Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Divided by Orlando
Re How Orlando Divides America (June 14): Margaret Wente makes some excellent points, but the arguments could be turned on their heads if one considers that "drama news" and social media are the nation-dividers. Present the most violent images, most violent "rationale," most extreme political opinion to boost ratings.
This young perpetrator frequented the gay bar he attacked and accessed gay dating apps (FBI Investigating Reports Orlando Gunman Was A Club Regular – online, June 14). When he became violent in his marriage, could it have been because he was living a lie? Did he strike out in the most terrible, horrible way because he could not accept what he was? Be what he was, be accepted by family for what he was?
By making all those "traceable" phone calls and 911 admissions of IS support, was he creating a twisted, tragic reason for his destruction of what may have been his only "safe" place? There are far too many questions for simplistic answers. The real reasons may be lost in divisive rhetoric.
Sally Barker, Victoria
Margaret Wente has a Pollyanna view of American Christians if she believes no one in that group advocates for the death penalty for homosexual acts. U.S. anti-gay activists have infamously supported the death penalty for homosexual acts in countries such as Uganda, and although such a policy has no traction in America, they would presumably be happy to see it there, too. A quick web search brings up pastor Kevin Swanson as one such individual.
Groups like the Lord's Resistance Army claim a nominal Christian identity and goals. Should we be talking about radical Christianity?
Allan Olley, Oakville, Ont.
My prayers go out to the families of the victims of the Orlando shooting. In his heart, the shooter, Omar Mateen, lacked any understanding of the peaceful teachings of Islam. What makes this attack even more hurtful, is that it was conducted during the month of Ramadan, a time dedicated to better one's self and serve humanity. If my fellow Canadians let this attack stain their perception of Islam, it will only continue to fuel more hatred and violence.
Abdullah Ahmad, Hamilton
In Canada, 186 reported cases of hate crimes in 2013 were based on sexual orientation. Hate crimes, the uproar over "bathroom bills," and the lack of inclusive sex-ed curriculums across Canada all show how far we still have to go to affirm LGBTQ+ identities.
Homophobic attitudes are not just found among Western Muslims, but the rest of the West as well.
Samuel Maclennan, Calgary
Ready, aim, carnage
Re Thousands Gather In Solidarity As Officials Probe Gunman's Motives (June 14): Once again we see the NRA and the Republican Party act as staunch defenders of the Second Amendment and the right for individuals to bear arms, including assault rifles. I wonder if their unwavering support will allow guns and automatic weapons at the upcoming Republican Convention. Maybe their defence for everyone to carry arms only applies to schools, theatres, places of work, restaurants and, most recently, nightclubs.
Michael Gilman, Toronto
The issues in this horrific event are not terrorists or Muslims or gays. The real issues are guns and the spineless politicians who kowtow to the NRA lobby. How can a supposed modern society continue to put up with this insanity and not take the logical actions that other Western democracies have put in place?
Unless and until Congress smartens up, the U.S. will continue to descend into this modern darkness of barbarism that Americans have brought upon themselves. Return the Second Amendment to its original purpose and ban assault weapons except for military use and some police situations. Stop this cultural stupidity!
Jim Boyd, West Vancouver
In your editorial on murdered Canadian Robert Hall (So Now What? – June 14), you say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "will have to demonstrate to the public that there is a viable alternative to that of helplessly watching as Canadian hostages are killed."
There is: Don't go to these places! Mr. Trudeau (or you) can start, please, by publishing a list of countries in which organized terrorists, pirates and kidnappers are active. You may also wish to tag on the names of repressive government regimes. And then add governments who sanctimoniously do nothing when terror occurs on their own turf. I suspect it will be a ponderous list.
John Grimley, Toronto
Glen Murray replies
Re A Taxing Plan? If Only It Were (editorial, June 11): Ontario's cap and trade system, in conjunction with the Climate Change Action Plan, is a polluter-pay system that puts a hard cap on greenhouse gas emissions. All revenue from the program will be reinvested back to businesses and families to help with their costs of further reducing emissions.
Now that we have moved Ontario's energy supply off coal-fired power plants, it is critical that we address emissions in sectors such as transportation and buildings. We will provide, for instance, subsidies of up to $14,000 to purchase an electric vehicle and better access to charging stations. For the building sector, this plan offers incentives to install energy efficient technologies such as boiler replacements, adaptive thermostats and lighting retrofits.
Our plan does not take away choice. It provides more of it for households and businesses to transition to lower carbon technologies. These are voluntary programs that will make switching to non-polluting choices easier and less costly. The plan will be the centrepiece of Ontario's efforts to combat climate change and take advantage of the significant economic opportunities that await.
Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
An arts nation
I always enjoy Lawrence Martin's columns, including this one on the need for Canadians to appreciate our collective sports history (Sports Belong At The Core Of Canada's Story – June 14). But if you look at spending patterns, Canada Council research says that Canadians actually spend twice as much on live performing arts events as they do on sports events. Canada might be a hockey nation, but we're equally an arts nation on the cusp of our 150th.
Jayne Watson, Ottawa
Re Wynne Opts For More Women And Ministers In Cabinet Shuffle (June 14): Your report describes the promotion of a rookie MPP to the Energy portfolio as a "quantum leap." Since a quantum leap is by definition the smallest possible change in a physical system, what does this imply about Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's cabinet shuffle?
David Venus, professor of physics and astronomy, McMaster University