It is commendable that the Democratic and Republican parties could dismiss their platforms and agendas long enough to agree that domestic violence is a problem that can affect any woman and that all women should be protected regardless of their backgrounds or circumstance.
Congress should be praised for uniting to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Reauthorization of 2013 that President Obama recently signed into law.
Positive change has occurred as a result of the Violence Against Women Act. It allocates funding for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, which enhances the responsiveness of the criminal justice system.
The law also improves access to support services for victims and their families through the establishment of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Office on Violence Against Women. The law also provides funding for education and training of law enforcement and legal system personnel, thereby improving the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
Positive change has taken place at the state level, as well. Currently, 35 states have adopted laws that address domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking.
Since 1994, the rates of intimate partner violence and intimate partner homicides have declined drastically (67 percent among women and 35 percent among men).
Likewise, the incidences of reporting domestic violence and of domestic violence that result in an arrest have increased.
We need to continue the fight against domestic violence. Domestic violence doesn’t have any particular political party affiliation; it is an equal-opportunity crime.
Annette “Bonni” Gill
Back to basics in Coventry schools
As I understand the April 23 letter “Beneficial for Coventry,” the writer would like to see us spend $3,104 of our tax dollars a year per nonresident student so we can have Japanese taught in our schools.
We have students graduating from our schools who cannot fill out resumes or do simple math. Some graduate at a grade school level in spelling and other skills
Let’s get back to the basics in our high schools and let higher education handle the advanced courses.
Our primary and secondary schools have had their hands full with the basics, so why add more on the students? By staying with the basics, there would be more kids completing high school, giving them a better start in life.
A new school building will not do this. Maybe if some of these extras, along with the administrative costs, could be reduced by combining with other school districts, we could use our current tax dollars more wisely.
Question of clarity
I read the April 22 story on Page One by staff writer Phil Trexler about the vigil that was held on Sunday evening at Kimlyn Circle for the four people who were killed (“Mom calls for unity”).
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families. The mother of Ronald Roberts said: “You’re killing each other. That’s what they want you to do.” I don’t understand who she meant by “they.”
Watch what you eat
You are what you eat is a slogan we often hear from promoters of health and good nutrition, taunting us to eat our fruits and veggies. But when it comes to the issue of genetically modified organisms in our foods, the industry is saying, “Just eat what we grow for you.”
In fact, large investors in the seed industry are saying it is not only safe for them to meddle in the food chain, but that we should sit idly by and let them do it.
So while we have a right to know what additives are in our soda, what preservatives are added to our bread and how much sugar is dumped into our cereal, we have no right to know what is added to our fresh fruits and vegetables, even though recent research suggests that genetically modified organisms in our food supply have been linked to the introduction of new allergens and viruses into the food chain.
Further, the safety of using such organisms in food production is still being debating, and the negative effects on the global environment continue to be scrutinized.
So who cares whether the debate over the safety of genetically modified organisms is still going on or not? American consumers should care. Shouldn’t consumers demand the right to know?
Instead, the mighty stakeholders in the seed and large farming industry would prefer to keep consumers ignorant. Perhaps they believe that consumers should learn to eat whatever is put before them, without a question asked.
Shamefully, we could learn to ignore the fact that we are indeed a product of what we eat. So with farmer’s market season just around the corner, educate yourself on the issue and demand to know whether or not your produce contains genetically modified organisms before you buy. Just because it comes from the farm does not mean it is free from such organisms.
Evelyn S. Williams
Failure in American education
I read the commentary by Luis Proenza, the president of the University of Akron, and feel I have to respond from a different point of view (“Turn international students into local entrepreneurs,” April 19).
He is really describing a great failure in the American education system. He mentions UA has educated thousands of foreign-born students and that we use their skills and entrepreneurship to help fill the thousands of high-skilled job openings in Ohio and the United States.
I really don’t object if they truly assimilate. When I was a UA graduate student in the late 1950s, I complained to my department head about the large number of scholarships being given to foreign students. I asked if the university couldn’t find deserving American students for those slots.
I was told that the university was seeking “diversity,” and we were educating foreign students so they would return home to improve their own countries. Is that the policy of the university now?
I recognized the critical need for science, technology, engineering and math at that time and felt frustrated with the thinking of our university educators.
Wouldn’t it be great if universities spent as much time, energy and money proselytizing about our country’s critical need for STEM graduates, to compete in the world, as they do about sports?
Protected by the Constitution
In my opinion, there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the National Rifle Association’s opposition to background checks and firearm restrictions. It is more about distrusting the federal government and the progressive/liberal end game, which is to remove weapons from the hands of all citizens. They are patient and will pursue their agenda for generations, if necessary.
They can call them background checks, but any federal database collecting information on law-abiding citizens purchasing a firearm is a de facto national gun registry as we move into the future.
Once the door to the Second Amendment is cracked open, there will be a methodical and systematic effort to chip away at our rights. And if the Second Amendment is open for manipulation, surely the rest of the Bill of Rights will be on the table, as well. This is a constitutional issue.
If Congress and the president feel public sentiment is squarely on their side regarding the Second Amendment debate, then they should move to repeal it.
Any other attempts to restrict constitutional rights through executive orders or congressional action is political overreach.
I could repeat all the cliches surrounding the gun debate, but that is not what truly explains my opposition to federal government involvement in our right to bear arms.
It is more about the Constitution, the greatest governing document ever created for a free people. The fact I can have this opinion and voice it in a public forum assures me, for now anyway, that we still live in the greatest country in the world.
Selling their souls
There’s an old song called Sixteen Tons with a line that says, “I owe my soul to the company store.” The senators who voted against the sensible bill for background checks at gun shows could sing, “I owe my soul to the NRA.” That is, if they have a soul.
How can they look at the faces of the grieving Sandy Hook parents and vote against such a common-sense measure is beyond my understanding. Apparently, winning re-election is more important than the lives of children. Will they accept any blame after the next Sandy Hook or Columbine? Probably not.