Letters from readers: 2/15/2016

STUDENT-CENTER-1Guns won’t make the campus safer

 

In November 2014, when Aura Rosser was killed in Ann Arbor by a police officer who had been in her home for less than a couple of minutes, I was so horrified that I told the (then) police chief that I would never call for a police officer to enter my home, because I never want a gun in my house.

Just because I have white privilege and would be much less likely to be shot by a police officer is no reason for me to make life less safe for people without white privilege. We live in a country of institutionalized racism. This means that racism, like the air we breathe, is invisible. Like air, it is as ever present, and like air, many of us believe that it is as necessary for life as air. But we know for sure, living north of the Mason-Dixon Line, that we better not say this out loud.

The most likely person to get shot with a gun in our country, our state, our county, our college, is an African-American. But who are the people who commit “incidents of mass violence on college campuses?” By and large they are white males. Why not increase the counselors at our college and directly address some pressing concerns of males?

For instance, feeling they have to do better (financially) than their parents; that they have to prove something or bring honor to their family and so on. Are we ready to work on these issues? Then we have the “I” word. Are we able and willing to talk about our prejudice regarding immigrants? My best friend from forty-plus years back is afraid to visit me in Ann Arbor. She has Islamophobia. I live in a neighborhood where many of my neighbors wear a hijab and they are my sweetest neighbors.

There are no world religions that teach violence. However, there are fake Christians (like the KKK) who have committed lynchings and other terrors. They are not real Christians. There are a few fakes in every religion who pretend violence is condoned. If I see an SRO (police officer) with a gun, I’m outta’ there. I do not believe I’m safe near a weapon that’s for killing people. Having police with weapons that kill is not the best way to stay safe.

 

Judith Bonnell-Wenzel
Ann Arbor, 74

 

 

 

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