Every place you look, there is condemnation of guns as the cause of violence. Each time there is a mass shooting, the culprit is guns, and a hue and cry rises for taking guns from law-abiding citizens.

Guns are used as the scapegoat, but violence is brought by many means. There are suicide bombers who kill many people. Box cutters enabled the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacking of three planes that killed more than 3,000 people.

Cars are driven into crowds of people causing injury and death.

There are random stabbing deaths. There are many deaths using sticks, bricks, poisons, choking, etc.

So why all the fervor over gun violence?

Possibly, violence is an indication of social decay and a lack of value for human life.

A gun, brick, stick, car or knife used for violence may just be a symptom of that social decay.

We need God’s guiding principles in our life. Then, just maybe, violence will become the focus of the evils of man, not guns.

COLEMAN W. DANGERFIELD JR.

Lazy Hill Road

Moncks Corner

Dumpsters needed

While it’s somewhat understandable that college kids moving out of their off-campus apartments might not want all the paraphernalia they’ve accumulated over the year, it seems incredible that the city of Charleston allows them to dump everything on the curb on downtown streets.

Couldn’t someone develop a better arrangement? Perhaps strategically placed temporary dumpsters?

FRANK FREEMAN

King Charles Circle

Summerville

PFAS chemicals

The contamination of military sites with a toxic group of chemicals known as per- and polyfluorinated substances — PFAS for short — has gained widespread attention across the state.

The Department of Defense has identified more than 400 potentially contaminated military sites across the country. Military sites are not the only potentially contaminated areas. Industrial, manufacturing, airports, fire stations or training facilities and landfills are among documented contaminated sites.

As a school nurse, the threat to children’s health from extensive contamination is alarming. PFAS chemicals have been widely used in products since the 1950s in nonstick cookware, food packaging such as microwave popcorn bags, stain- and water-repellent clothing and fabric and fire-fighting foam, which is the source of contamination at military sites.

These chemicals don’t break down in the environment where they persist and accumulate over time. They can easily pollute nearby drinking water sources. Exposures to PFAS has been linked to a number of health concerns, such as cancer, high cholesterol, thyroid issues and developmental impacts.

From Charleston to Greenville, our cities are not well-equipped to handle this emerging threat to clean drinking water.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration continues an onslaught of rollbacks to clean water protections and proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.

As millions of families are being exposed to these harmful chemicals, South Carolina needs strong clean water standards in place that protect our children’s health and our elected officials must hold this administration accountable.

HANNAH NOEL-BOUCHARD

Teal Avenue

Charleston

2nd Amendment

Considering the rise of mass shootings in the United States, perhaps now is the time for the Supreme Court to re-examine the Second Amendment in light of the killings that deny Americans their dreams of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The amendment states: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

So what can be the value of a “well-regulated militia” in America today when citizens are killed by firepower usually found in war zones?

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Originally, the amendment was viewed as a check on the misuse of federal power against citizens. The founders were fearful of it.

But today, most Americans don’t need to fear federal power as such but rather the American who appears without warning, shooting fast and with tremendous firepower.

The Supreme Court is the ideal institution to provide an updated constitutional perspective from the Revolutionary War years.

America must have a debate on the right to “bear arms” and the concept of an “armed militia” in civil society as those rights have brought on exponential violence to America in the 21st century.

As the “guns of war” now shoot in civil society we, like Thomas Paine, have justification to also say, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

RICHARD UJVARY

Waterlily Way

Summerville

Public health

Civilization and societies evolve to become what they are.

Sooner or later, the flaws, and there are always flaws, become evident. Some of these flaws are minor and subject to “reform.” But some exist at the very core and changing them will result in a whole new way of life.

Health is one of those and there are others. Often they are related and common changes yield common benefits. Such is the case with health, climate and environment.

Reorienting civilization to yield better health would not result in more hospitals or surgeons. It would result in a different lifestyle with less pollution and less highly processed food as well as more clean air and water, and more physical activity.

More public health has much in common with a better environment and climate.

There is no doubt it would yield an entirely different economy from what exists today. That would not be good or bad. It would be just the way it is.

W. MARCUS NEWBERRY

Woodruff Road

Greenville