Forum, Nov. 7: The Real Question About Killings

Monday, November 06, 2017
The Real Question About Killings

The question, “Why did the gunman kill 26 (or five, 29 or 100) people?” — as though the issue of motive mattered — is totally irrelevant. The reason men (and it’s always men, something we should be paying attention to) repeatedly mow random numbers of people down at will is simply because they can.

The “reason” will always be a simple, repeated banality: because “God willed it,” because the gunman is insane, angry, despondent or a loner. And the resultant shock and horror we feel will always be somehow made acceptable through our prayers.

The fact is that we the people have all colluded to lace the entire country with murder machines, those fascinating, powerful seductions to take life. We’ve set up these men, and we stand back and essentially cheer them on, with endless, fulsome, almost lascivious details of the massacres in the media.

The real question isn’t “Why?” It is, “Do we have enough anger?” — not to mention the wisdom, courage and tenacity — to actually clean up the mess we’ve made.

Nan Bourne


Important Vote on Women’s Health

As a mother and educator, I constantly worry about the health and well-being of my children and my students. I want the very best for them — I want them to be prepared for life, which includes being healthy and safe. This is why I value the work that Planned Parenthood does to keep our communities and our young people healthy.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and their five health centers, play an outsized role in ensuring Granite Staters get treatment and stay healthy. PPNNE has spent more than 50 years leading the way on expanding access to birth control and family planning. and ensuring that women, men and young people have access to preventive care. Yet, this is at risk in New Hampshire.

On Wednesday, the Executive Council will be voting on Planned Parenthood’s family planning contract. We need Joe Kenney, our councilor, to vote for the health and safety of our community. We need him to vote to fund Planned Parenthood.

Now is not the time to put politics in front of health care. Now is not the time to attempt to shutter Planned Parenthood. I’ll be keeping a close eye on Councilor Kenney’s vote. His support will ensure that thousands of people in the Granite State will continue to have the access to the affordable, quality health care that Planned Parenthood provides year after year.

New Hampshire consistently ranks last in unintended teen pregnancy, has one of the lowest occurrences of sexually transmitted infections in the country, and our maternal health outcomes are some of the best in the country. These facts are critical to attracting and retaining our young people. Defunding Planned Parenthood would be shameful for the health of our communities, and the economic success of the Granite State. I hope you join me in urging Councilor Kenney to support funding for Planned Parenthood.

Fiona Mills

New London

Dartmouth Now a Bad Neighbor

Seventy years ago, when my wife, Sylvia, and I were growing up here, Dartmouth was an excellent neighbor with good cause, as most residential property in Hanover was owned by college professors and doctors at the then Mary Hitchcock Hospital. The college seemed very respectful of existing properties when it wished to build.

But that all has changed. Now long lines of commuting cars attest that many faculty members and health care providers live outside of Hanover. Dartmouth no longer seems to care about its neighbors’ wishes.

One wonders how President Phil Hanlon would react if he lived on Tyler Road and the college proposed to plunk down there an athletic facility with almost 20 times as much space as any of its neighbors.

Dartmouth should be ashamed.

Harry D. Nelson Jr.


Good Information on Enrollment

Huge kudos to the Valley News for its coverage of this year’s Affordable Care Act open enrollment period (Nov. 1 – Dec. 15), amidst much confusion and sometimes intentional misinformation. This is a critical program, especially for underpaid workers who could not otherwise afford health insurance or health care. There are still subsidies available, and in fact some have gone up because of premium increases.

With changes in the program and the shortened enrollment period, people should sign up as soon as possible and can start at www.healthcare.gov. This coverage can make the difference between being able to get treatment when you or a child is sick or injured, or between being able to recover and work or being out of work for an extended time.

Enrollment assistance is available locally. In New Hampshire:

Ammonoosuc​ ​ Community​ ​ Health​ ​ Services,​ ​Inc, www.ammonoosuc.org. Hotline: 1-866-201-5076, select option 3.​ ​

Mid-State​ ​Health​ ​ Center, www.midstatehealth.org, 603-​536-4000, extension 1450.

Local help in Vermont:

Little​ ​ Rivers​ ​ Health​ ​ Care, www.littlerivers.org, 802-439-5321.

Gifford​ ​ Health​ ​ Care, www.giffordhealthcare.org, 802-728-7000.

Thank you for helping to get the information out!

Your article on the 4th also covered the large premium increases experienced by some not eligible for subsidies and having to buy on the individual market. We do need guaranteed universal access to affordable coverage, and better control of costs, in order to have fair access to health care. Other countries are doing it, and we can, too.

Diane Root

West Lebanon