Having hate is both taught and learned

Published 9:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2016

What a welcoming column by Erin Murtaugh regarding the three tragedies in Orlando recently, compared to Brian Hensley’s message, “It didn’t matter to me.” One speaks of coming together and showing compassion, and the other one leaves it open to interpretation. Even though he stated the Orlando mass shooting victims were innocent, there was no real signal of support. It gave me the same empty feeling of the past military practice of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Hate is taught and learned, and not just from terrorist organizations, but also from pandering politicians using it to win votes, parents who have no insight into the possible human sexuality spectrum, ministers of all faiths who preach only certain verses of their holy book and ignore others, institutions and their practices that don’t reflect the diversity in their communities, and other built-in factors.

The Republican Party has a long repressive history toward the LGBT community. There are still 28 states that have legislative laws the would deny them their civil rights of employment, housing, hospital visits or decisions of a significant other and joint financial transactions. In southern Minnesota we have two Fortune 500 companies that support and honor LGBT organizations within their framework: Mayo and Hormel. Businesses and personal interactions with LGBT have led the way to social changes.

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Also, I would like to point out that AR-type rifles are originally military type of weapons used primarily during the Vietnam War. They can shoot over 40 bullets per minute. This assault weapon has been used in five of the U.S. mass shootings. They were banned during the Clinton presidency. They once again have been legal to buy since 2004, and it is estimated that around a million are sold per year. Few are used for hunting — if you would consider that sportsmanship. Most polls are showing over 80 percent support for tighter gun controls. Australia has some of the toughest gun control laws and their low murder rate reflects that.

As a people-centered individual, it does matter to me that we treat all people fairly and we have common-sense laws.


Gary Williams

Albert Lea