After reading about the horrible actions of a gunman at of UNC-Charlotte in the May 2 Post and Courier, a wave of respect brought tears to my eyes.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said slain student Riley Howell had three options in that moment. His comments inspired me to write this:

When faced with a lethal threat to yourself or others, you have one of three options.

You run away, find a place to hide or you take the fight to the assailant.

Most take one of the first two options, but there are others caught with no other way out or consumed by a primeval rage to stop an injustice. To put others’ lives before their own, they choose the last desperate hope.

A split-second decision is made, and they begin to run to the battle. Whether they succeed or sacrifice themselves in the attempt, there is only one name this person will forever be called by from that moment on: a hero.

I salute you, Mr. Howell.

KEVIN WEATHERS

Central Avenue

Summerville

Derby decision

I am disgusted. I’ve watched or been at Triple Crown races for years, usually at the Preakness. I have never been to the Kentucky Derby or the Belmont Stakes. I grew up 2 miles from Belmont Park on Long Island where I learned to revere the sport.

In all those races I became accustomed to a bit of what is known as “race riding,” when horses are bunched side by side and a bump or a slide is not unusual. Given the sloppy condition of the track on Saturday, it would have been expected or, said another way, unusual if it did not happen.

Was there an infraction by Maximum Security? Apparently. But it was a very tight call on a very loose track, and given the significance of the race, I think the stewards should have kept their whistles in their pockets and allowed the result to stand.

All the more so because no one yet has stated that the infraction was intentional. In fact the jockey, Mr. Luis Saez, immediately righted the horse and proceeded to lead him home, having been in the lead wire to wire. He was nowhere near the horse that was awarded the mantle of roses.

Bear in mind that over the course of 145 outings in Kentucky, this is the first and only time a winner has been disqualified. Are we to believe that this is the first time such an infraction has occurred? Ridiculous.

It’s an unfortunate and unnecessary situation and makes thoroughbred racing look foolish.

This comes at the very moment when the sport is under attack and facing some very well-deserved scrutiny due to the recent deaths of some of these thoroughbred athletes.

The horses, the jockeys, the trainers, the owners, the tracks and, yes, the admiring public who support this wonderful sport, deserve better.

This race was a fraud perpetrated on all of us.

JOHN S. GILSENAN

Purcell Lane

Daniel Island

Mueller facts

In his May 4 op-ed, R.L. Schreadley writes that “Mueller came up with nothing, nada,” from which one can only infer that Mr. Schreadley limited his reading to the attorney general’s four-page summary, not the Mueller report itself.

In fact, Mr. Mueller itemized White House conduct where obstruction of justice charges could be brought and concluded, “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”

The Mueller report also concluded “that Congress may apply obstruction laws to the president’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office,” and that applying these laws “accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

Please note the specific language above: “The President’s corrupt exercise ...”

And Mr. Schreadley calls this “nothing, nada”?

I read newspaper opinion pages for informed commentary from all sides of the political spectrum. I often disagree with, say, George Will, but I never come away from his columns without a better understanding of whatever issue Mr. Will might address.

Mr. Schreadley, on the other hand, offers prejudice and insult without insight.

STUART BENNETT

Menotti Street

Charleston

Power politics

Throughout history, people have used their collective voice to hold up a mirror to those in power.

If South Carolina’s political and educational representatives have working consciences, they are starting to cringe at their own soundbites regarding educators.

When it became clear that teachers would gather in Columbia on May 1, our governor, many representatives and our superintendent of education belittled and shamed us, saying that we were sending the wrong message by using our voices when they have been ignored far too long.

Please reflect on your worldview. You either believe all human beings, young and old, have dignity or you believe that human beings are means to an end.

In defending their distaste for collective voices, South Carolina political and educational leaders are compromising themselves.

More charismatic people have found themselves on the wrong side of history.

KAREN C. PAGGI

Marshgrass Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Election safeguards

I was stunned by the May 6 letter in the Post and Courier, “Need popular vote.” Apparently, the writer does not fully understand why the United States has an Electoral College and how important it is.

The writers of our Constitution were smart men who realized they needed to safeguard the voices of the minority. In U.S. government, your representation is in Congress, not the presidency. The president represents the union, not the people.

The president is elected by the states, not the people. The reason we have a republic and not a true democracy is that our founders knew that pure democracy does not work.

If we relied on the popular vote to elect a president, then the people of the smallest of towns would never be fairly represented. The vote of the majority could easily tyrannize the rest of the country.

A good analogy is that pure democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what’s for dinner. We all know the probable outcome of that scenario. I implore readers to brush up on your knowledge of why the Electoral College was established. If the popular vote was used, our country would be controlled by California, Texas, Florida and New York, the four most populous states, and states like Vermont, Wyoming, Alaska and the Dakotas would be left in the dust. I think it is amazing that our Founding Fathers had the vision to make sure each state is fully represented.

LEISA LAWRENCE

Savannah Highway

Charleston

Academic Magnet

First of all, congratulations to all teachers, administrators, students and parents of Academic Magnet High School.

It was recently rated the No. 1 high school in the United States in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking.

Unfortunately, the announcement coincided with a guy donating a bunch of comic books to USC, so no front-page story for you.

BRYAN BAIN

Royal Assembly Drive

Charleston

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