LETTERS: Shooting details politicized tragedy

To the editor:

In an article on the tragic killing of two Metro police officers and a civilian, the report states, “The shooters then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, then covered the officers with something that featured the Gadsden flag, a yellow banner with a coiled snake above the words, ‘Don’t tread on me.’

“The flag is named for Christopher Gadsden, a Revolutionary War general who designed it. It has recently come back in vogue as an adopted symbol of the American tea party movement.”

What purpose does this statement serve, other than attempting to politicize a tragedy, discredit members of the tea party and depict them as violent, gun-toting killers? I’m certain the Review-Journal knows that the tea party had absolutely nothing to do with this tragedy and was not involved in any way.

As far as I’m concerned, the Review-Journal should offer an apology to those who were slandered by this irresponsible, irrelevant statement.

DOUG CHAPMAN

HENDERSON

What say the NRA?

To the editor:

The National Rifle Association’s favorite phrase is, “The way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” How did that work out Sunday for the poor guy at the Las Vegas Wal-Mart? With the greatest sympathies to Joseph Robert Wilcox’s family, and while I admire his courage, if he wasn’t carrying a gun and trying to confront the cop killers, he would still be alive today.

So NRA, how do you stop a bad guy with a gun? With a professionally trained lawman, not an innocent civilian. It’s long past time that as a society we do something about gun violence and the slaughter of innocent people in this country.

STEVE MITCHELL

LAS VEGAS

Poor photo placement

To the editor:

As a longtime subscriber of the Review-Journal, I was appalled to see the photograph of Amanda and Jerad Miller placed above victims of their crime, Alyn Beck, Igor Soldo and Joseph Robert Wilcox (“Shooters’ motives remain unclear,” Tuesday Review-Journal). The true victims are not the Millers. We have lost two policemen and a hero. The pecking order should have had the victims’ photos on top.

I send my sympathy to the families of officer Beck, officer Soldo and Mr. Wilcox for this photo arrangement. As far as the top picture, that one can go in the trash.

Godspeed to the heroes we have lost.

JANE A. HILLENBRAND

LAS VEGAS

Veterans care

To the editor:

The most important factor in medical treatment is a correct diagnosis. If you don’t get the diagnosis right, you can go off on a whole tangent of incorrect procedures and protocols, winding up worse off than when you started. That’s called malpractice.

In the case of the Veterans Affairs issue, we’ve got a whole bunch of pundits pandering cures galore, but they have not done due diligence on the H and P — the history and the physical. I am privileged to work with one of the best doctors anywhere ever, my husband. And I have a file with dozens of cards and letters from VA patients, mostly ones with complications — former prisoners of war, combat-wounded vets with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury and paralyzed vets. The letters offer thanks, praise, kudos and blessings from patients and families who have been wonderfully, compassionately and competently treated at VA facilities.

The letters include comments about great social workers, nurses, physician’s assistants and therapists who have been part of treatment teams, and glowing reports of excellent care that totally fulfills the mission of the VA. Abraham Lincoln’s famous words, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle,” echoed the need to take care of combat-wounded and disabled dating back to the Revolutionary War.

The VA as we know it was officially established in 1930 to coordinate government activities affecting war veterans and has grown from 50 hospitals to more than 150, plus hundreds of clinics and extended care facilities. Like every other government operation, bigger has not meant better. The American public who so generously foots the bill for the VA needs to understand who gets to go to the front of the line, and why. The baby will get thrown out with the bathwater if we don’t properly differentiate and diagnose what’s wrong with the baby.

Baby needs a bath, no doubt about it. But what can save the VA is a willingness to stop mission drift, unload the bloat of administrators, and hiring good doctors and nurses instead of clerical and management types looking for cushy government pensions. Hit the refresh button to begin anew with leaders who create a culture of compassion with a zeal for quality care. That’s how the VA can restore five-star service our veterans.

MONTEREY BROOKMAN

LAS VEGAS

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