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Wayne Gretzky takes a break during the pregame show on Oct. 13, 2021 in Atlanta.Jeremy Freeman/The Associated Press

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American will

Re If An Existential Threat To Roe V. Wade Can’t Galvanize Progressives, Nothing Will (May 5): It should – should – go without saying that Americans should react to reactionaries now. But this American, who has been hanging warning lanterns and sounding alarms since Donald Trump took his escalator descent in 2015, isn’t sure enough of us will do so.

Unfortunately, I fear most of us won’t act until soldiers threaten to tear down our doors. Or government officials outlaw beer sales and arrest anyone engaging in premarital sex or sports betting.

We are a people who have achieved much that is worthy. But we also are a people who too often have not done enough, in enough time, to see wrong and do what is necessary to try and right it.

Mary Stanik Tucson, Ariz.

Dangerous times

Re We Should Rethink Defence Spending (Opinion, April 30): Dictators have a sixth sense for weakness. Often the only trait they respect is strength. If for decades NATO had been stronger rather than complacent, Vladimir Putin likely never would have attacked Ukraine. Tens of thousands of lives would have been saved.

Ukraine has been at war for eight years in the Donbas and the expanded war could continue for years more, an absolutely horrible outcome for the country. It is too early to know who or what might be next.

Columnist Doug Saunders argues that Mr. Putin is “showing us that the world is, in fact, slightly less dangerous than we thought.” I believe he would not be making that argument if Canada was the country being destroyed.

Apparently all is well and good when someone else is doing the dying.

Rob Ogrodnick Toronto

What happened?

Re Western’s Weekend Of Fear (April 30): After almost one year, a police investigation involving more than 600 interviews, a university investigation and, now, an investigation by The Globe and Mail, we find that the horrendous and disturbing claims that up to 30 women were drugged and sexually assaulted on campus likely did not occur.

As a father, university teacher and former faculty member at Western University, I find this to be incredibly good news. I’m relieved that the social-media-driven rumours have not been confirmed by evidence.

Yet today, Western’s reputation is in tatters, applications are down and students continue to live in fear, insisting that an alleged mass drugging and assault did occur. Any violence, particularly sexual violence, on campus is unacceptable and should be eradicated. But continuing to claim that this event happened should be seen as illogical, irresponsible and dangerous.

Paul Benedetti Hamilton

Don’t bet on it

Re A Risky Bet (Opinion, April 30): If provincial governments are going to sanction sports betting, they should “up their game” when it comes to gambling addiction services.

In British Columbia, despite having created a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, the government continues to house gambling addiction services within its Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, which reports to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor-General.

A culture built around enforcement and public safety cannot comprehend the complexity of gambling addiction, let alone deliver proper diagnosis and treatment. GPEB’s mandate is to protect the “integrity of the gambling industry.” In reality, I find it is to shape public perceptions of gambling as a wholesome pastime, by downplaying the severity and extent of gambling addiction.

Gambling addiction is a significant mental-health issue. The onus should be on governments to provide treatment programs that are focused, compassionate and non-judgmental, and engage the requisite expertise.

P. J. McCormick Kelowna, B.C.

How is it possible that we as a society have recognized the addictive qualities of alcohol and cigarettes, yet are rushing headlong into an embrace of online gambling, which has the same capacity to destroy lives? My heart breaks for gambling addicts, who are trying desperately to avoid temptation, not to mention those who love them.

What could government’s motive possibly be? Oh, wait. Right. I guess the millions of dollars that casinos and lotteries already bring in aren’t quite doing the job.

Shame on us all for pretending this is okay.

Alison Vanderkop Brantford, Ont.

When a family watches sports on television now, I can’t help but wonder about the subliminal message being sent. If a child sees Wayne Gretzky promoting betting and gambling, the child will likely look at it as a good thing to do.

Even the vernacular in broadcasts has changed. Sportscasters talk about -300 or +600 on a certain team. Are we accepting this as a new norm in society?

I am afraid of what it can do to the minds of our children, who will become future leaders.

Gillie Santos Toronto

Tough love

Re Laid-off Ottawa Bank Teller Keeps Spending (April 30): It seems that Ben never learned the fundamentals of saving money for a rainy day.

Luckily (or maybe not), Ben’s relations, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and employment insurance, are taking care of him while he goes on exotic vacations, dines out and parties, living beyond his means. But even at 27, it is not too late for Ben to learn fiscal responsibility.

He should realize that he will not immediately be offered his dream job. He should gain practical experience through paid or volunteer work. He should work harder and save harder.

Put a realistic savings plan on paper. He should revisit and revise it regularly. Next time a pandemic or personal crisis comes along, he would have a nest egg to fall back on.

The government cannot afford to keep helping the Bens of the world. Ben should figure out how to stand on his own two feet.

Mike Gauci Toronto

Rabbit hole

Re Is The Metaverse The Future Of The Internet? A Globe Journalist Steps Inside To Find Out (Report on Business, April 30): What I really want to know is: Will my metaverse avatar be able to buy a VR headset and immerse himself in his own metaverse? And if so, could my avatar’s avatar not buy a VR headset and immerse himself in a meta-meta-metaverse?

After all, if there is a business opportunity for a single-level metaverse, it would seem that the business potential of metaverses of metaverses (metaversa?) would be exponentially limitless. A worthy challenge, I’m sure, for someone like Elon Musk – as soon as he fixes his latest acquisition, of course.

Bob Rafuse Beaconsfield, Que.

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