June 13, 2013
Letters to the Editor: Dennis Prager, gun control and BDS
In a bizarre attack on diversity under the guise of defending “historical truth,” Dennis Prager denounced a music critic who once made the “mistake” of writing that Debussy, Bartok and Stravinsky were more important composers than Prager’s beloved Haydn and Handel (“CA: The Left’s Laboratory,” June 7). He seemingly fails to understand that the issue is a matter of opinion, not “historical truth.”
Conservatives believe their views on religion, politics and many other aspects of life fall into the realm of truth and fact rather than interpretation and opinion. Liberals, on the other hand, understand that most (but not all) things in life fall into the realm of interpretation and opinion, rather than truth and fact. This is the real reason that conservatives denounce liberals as “moral relativists.”
Michael Asher via e-mail
Gun Control in the Crosshairs
Rob Eshman argues in favor of common sense — common sense on gun control (“Scandal!” May 24).
Common sense tells us that if gun control legislation reduces criminal gun violence, it would make sense to limit guns in our society. But this is overwhelmingly not the case.
A Pew Research Center study found that the firearm homicide rate was 49 percent lower in 2010 compared with 1993, and the victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm — assaults, robberies and sex crimes — was 75 percent lower in 2011 than in 1993, despite the increase in population, and after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) of 1994 expired in 2004 when Congress voted against renewal.
This provides irrefutable evidence that gun-control legislation does not reduce violence. On the contrary, it significantly increases gun violence. Although this seems counter-intuitive, it is, no doubt, because gun ownership when not restricted (except in extreme cases) allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from criminals who have no trouble getting firearms at any time, even when a ban is in effect. And background checks, although ostensibly beneficial, would only weed out the mentally deficient. The vast majority of criminals are not mentally ill but morally ill. And, in addition, screening would create long delays and unnecessary cost of obtaining weapons for self-defense.
Other than making Mr. Eshman and his gun-control supporters feel good, banning assault weapons — all weapons are assault weapons — will significantly increase gun violence.
C.P. Lefkowitz, Rancho Palos Verdes
Rob Eshman responds: According to FactCheck.org, the effect of the Assault Weapons Ban on gun violence is still a matter of dispute. Moreover, while it is true gun violence has decreased significantly since 1993, there were 31,672 deaths from guns in the United States in 2010. Of these, 19,392 were suicides. Common-sense gun laws can and should reduce these numbers significantly.
The BDS Movement
Bravo! I’d like to know if the Rev. Kenneth Meshoe has been approached to speak on college campuses by organizations like StandWithUs (“Lies, Apartheid and BS,” June 7). Unlike Israeli government representatives, who are often disrespected and shouted down in that environment, Meshoe is the perfect antidote to the BDS movement’s poison.
Daniel de Porto via jewishjournal.com
“BDS is BS” should be on T-shirts.
Philippe Assouline via jewishjournal.com
Family Adds Its 99 Cents’ Worth
Thank you very much for the thoughtful piece in the Jewish Journal about my dad, Dave Gold (“Humility and a Deal,” May 24). Everyone truly enjoyed your article!
We continue to receive many calls and kind notes. It seems that at least 9.9 million readers relished the article! I just wanted to reach out to you and thank you.
Our family has loyally read The Jewish Journal for the past 99 years! Thank you for all you do!
Karen and Eric Schiffer via e-mail
I just read the article by Bill Boyarsky (“Keep an Eye Out for Seniors,” May 31). I am 93 years old and a survivor. I belong to the JFS Freda Mohr Multipurpose Center, which offers food, gym, films and other stimulating programs that we enjoy.
I would like to thank Mr. Boyarsky and all those who are instrumental in helping us seniors lead a happy life. May you all be blessed and know that your work is greatly appreciated.
Margaret Goldblatt, West Hollywood
I am looking to this modern-day Jewish hero to be true to our shared values as a Jewish People and to work with the politicians, the population and the passionate supporters of Israel to find a way for Israel to be a healthy modern Jewish democracy (“Q&A With Natan Sharansky,” June 7).
Francine Miriam Gordon via jewishjournal.com