Not causing violence

After the Highlands Ranch, Colorado, mass shooting, I submitted a letter to the editor regarding the association of mental illness with such acts of violence (“About mental illness, May 15). After additional research, I am now refuting my prior statement that “the underlying cause [of these acts] is almost always mental illness.”

Although there is most certainly a sudden loss of brain function when someone “pulls the trigger,” many published studies document that the vast majority of those diagnosed with mental illness without any other predisposing factors do not commit these violent acts. To state otherwise is not justified and further enhances the significant stigma associated with these diseases.

The Highlands Ranch student who said “it’s all about mental health” following the shootings may have been exhibiting compassion, but he was also implying the widely held perception in our society that these disorders are a significant cause of violent behavior.

I sincerely apologize to the vast majority of those suffering from mental illness who have been unfairly accused of violent behavior. Our president and the National Rifle Association should do the same.

Richard M. Schwartz, M.D., Akron

President, NAMI Summit County

 

Make purges obsolete

Regarding the Aug. 28 editorial, “A digital answer to the purge problem,” I have some concerns with that statement. For the record, there is only one way to make the purge obsolete in Ohio, and it isn’t Ohio Senate Bill 186. The most efficient and precise way to ensure that every eligible Ohioan can cast a ballot is to adopt same day voter registration.

Same day voter registration is an increasing trend in the United States. Twenty states already have some form of this voting reform in place. It’s not an experiment — it’s a tried and true policy that red states, blue states and everything-in-between states are operating with every day.

I appreciate that the Beacon Journal editorial board wants to make controversial voter purges a thing of the past. I do, too. But until eligible voters are able to register and cast a ballot on the same day, it’s a guarantee that the purge will still be a problem in Ohio.

Daniel Chand,

Associate professor of political science, Kent State University

ACLU-Ohio board member

 

Closing the gap

Here's a suggestion for starting to make up for slavery. It's counterintuitive because it pushes reparations and their historical justification to the sidelines.

Instead of reparations, let’s declare war on the ubiquitous social and institutional racism that's staring in the faces of every American of every color, every single day. How about ending the ongoing beatdown that is being black in America? It will be the American Civilizing War.

If we're to close the gap between the American ideal and today's racist reality, offering reparations will be the analog of “Here's some cash. Now will you please shut up about slavery so we can get back to business as usual.”

Mark Ira Kaufman, Silver Lake

 

Friends in high places

In response to the July 31 column "McConnell does Moscow's bidding" by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, I was so glad to see someone else is alarmed at the Republican leadership, or more correctly, the lack of leadership displayed almost daily.

I do not know how much more Republicans can do to help Russia, but I am sure we will find out by the election of 2020.

Randall Kline, Cuyahoga Falls