Treating the cause of gun violence

With regard to gun violence, it puzzles me that there is too much discussion about gun laws, as that does not address the cause. Experience says that to solve a problem, you need to find the causes.

Why do people who go on these suicidal rampages have so much hate? It was not that way 50

years ago. What is at the root of lowered self esteem to the point that there is no motivation to want to live? It seems pretty complex, with no reasoned discussion in the media. I suspect it has to do with seeing no hope from disappointing school experiences, a lack of jobs, viewing minorities as threats that lower job opportunity, and other pressures.

For several decades, we have witnessed our government remove restrictions on doing business in America to where jobs that used to support a majority of families are no longer there for high school graduates. It is possible these people do not see any future, so they try to “get even” as they commit suicide.

The removal of guns will only lead to the use of other weapons for creating mass mayhem if the cause is not treated.

Fred H. Irons

Collins and Kavanaugh

I hope that Susan Collins read the article about Brett Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez (among others) in the Sunday Review section of this Sunday’s New York Times, and felt remorse.

As a former, but never again, Collins supporter, I am still angered by her vote to put on the Supreme Court of the United States of America a man who I believe is so clearly tarnished. It remains inconceivable to me that there was not at least one attorney among the more than 400,000 members of the American Bar Association who is not at least as

qualified as, and cleaner than, Kavanaugh.

Why then did she vote for Kavanaugh? I hate suspecting that Collins was motivated less by her oath to the Constitution and more by the promise of donations to her 2020 campaign that reportedly now total more than $6 million.

I used to believe, even fervently hoped, that Collins was among the few politicians in Washington with integrity and dignity. She has dashed that.

Stefan Nadzo

School start times

The recent OpEd by Julia White on early school start times has captured what high school students are grasping for. I can confidently say that the majority of my high school mornings were spent drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee and daydreaming about a nap during my morning classes. While a lack of energy and attention is an obvious consequence of early start times at high schools, I was shocked to read about the other, more dangerous consequences. I was especially concerned to see that 27 percent of drowsy car crashes in the U.S. occur with 16- to 19-year-old drivers.

I wonder what statistics around adolescent mental health would change if there was a nationwide push to have schools start later? I think a reform like this would be highly beneficial to our developing youth and encourage higher academic integrity and attention span in the students. This is a public health issue and should be reported on more often.

Erin Sewall