Letters to the editor 5/7

Letters to the editor 5/7

Bill supported
Thank you for the wonderful article, “W.Va. Holocaust commission struggles for funding, survival,” (April 23). When we had the Yom Hashoa service in Morgantown, W.V. House of Delegates member Charlene Marshall was there and she commented on the article quoting her, Edith [Levy] and me.
A bill [has been] introduced in the U.S. Congress (S. 892). It will fund organizations with a purpose of teaching about the Holocaust and its lessons. I am pushing people to get to our representatives and senators about this bill. The bill actually lists West Virginia as one of the states that recommends teaching the Holocaust, but where there are often little or no funds available.
Your article is good fuel to support that reason for funding, especially in West Virginia and points out that there are very few Jews in the state, but that efforts are being made to teach the Holocaust just the same.

Mary E. Haas
Morgantown, W.Va.

(Editor’s note: The author chairs the West Virginia Commission on Holocaust Education and is a professor at West Virginia University. S. 892 would authorize the secretary of education to award grants to educational organizations to carry out educational programs about the Holocaust. The complete text of the bill can be found at govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s111-892.)
The Second Commandment?
In his April 30 letter, Ken Weissman makes an astonishing argument, that we must support the proliferation of guns in our society so that we can thwart another Holocaust.
Can anyone truly believe that if only the Jews of Europe had been universally armed, that the rampaging Nazi army and its tanks would have been repelled, and all would have lived happily ever after? Those fighting for their freedom in the moving and valiant Warsaw ghetto uprising utilized firearms. I would remind readers, however, that after a noble battle, we lost.
In Mr. Weissman’s view, the Second Amendment has a special place in society in that unlike every other amendment, it has no restrictions. We must make assault weapons available to all, we must allow individuals to obtain firearms through the gun show loophole, we may not limit the number of guns one may acquire, and we certainly may not require that gun owners report lost or stolen guns upon discovery.
These common sense measures are interpreted as somehow limiting what some gun fanatics have laughably referred to as their “God-given” right to bear arms. I must have somehow missed the unrestricted gun owner Commandment
Another Holocaust must be prevented at all costs. What Mr. Weissman does not see, however, is that there is a modern-day Holocaust occurring on our streets right now, in which innocents, including police officers, are being slaughtered. The common pattern in these crimes is that they are committed by deranged men. Criminologists have concluded that the United States has no monopoly on citizens with mental illness, but that the ease with which one may acquire a weapon here causes us to be the gun murder capital of the world. What a sad distinction.

Oren M. Spiegler
Upper St. Clair