Letters to the Editor — Mass shooting aftermaths, cluster bombs, clean energy, EPA

Readers say we must to do more to prevent mass shootings; don’t support sending cluster bombs to Ukraine; support clean energy; and worry about EPA regulations.

We must speak up

Re: “Life plays out differently in the aftermath — You didn’t have to be there to be affected, trauma expert says,” July 9 news story.

Thank you, Dallas Morning News, for printing the story about Kat Vargas, her husband and their children. It is chilling to be reminded that mass shootings have an aftermath of fear, trauma and pain. Of course, there’s also the initial tragedy of the gunfire: people running to find safety, people wounded, people murdered. It is all such a horrific tragedy with many layers, too.


What to do? We must get to the source of this gun violence. It is mostly our passive legislators who take donations, represent particular interests and seek to get reelected that are the problem.


Get smart opinions on the topics North Texans care about.

We must get off our hands and have the courage to write, call and protest this legislative passivity. I belong to the organization Moms Demand Action and help spread its message of too many guns, too many assault-style weapons, just too many.

We, the citizens who elected our legislators, have the power to remove them from office. Get busy!


Sheila Madigan Levatino, Fairview

Use of these bombs unjustifiable

When Russia deployed cluster munitions shortly after invading Ukraine, the United States and world nations rightfully condemned President Vladimir Putin, describing it as a potential war crime. Now the Biden administration wants to send the same weapons to Ukraine.


Under the United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions, 125 countries have outlawed these weapons because of the indiscriminate harm they cause, including mass civilian injury and death. Cluster bombs contain bomblets that remain unexploded after impact, spreading out over a landscape, and can detonate when disturbed.

They destroy military vehicles and kill soldiers but also civilians in the contact zone. Fifty years ago, the U.S. dropped millions of bomblets in Southeast Asia that continue to kill civilians to this day. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen recently tweeted, “Cluster munitions will pose serious threats to civilians for years or even centuries if cluster bombs are used in Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia.”

The Biden administration must reconsider its decision to provide Ukraine with these horrible weapons of war. We must not become the “enemy” we relentlessly denigrate and abhor.

Syed Hadi Jawad, Old East Dallas


One way to reduce emissions

Re: “Clean energy can be lifeline for many Texans — Federal funds will make solar panels, other upgrades a realistic option,” by Robert D. Bullard and Stephen K. Brown II, July 6 Opinion.

I couldn’t agree more with the authors of this column. We should not say no to free money, especially when it benefits lower-income households the most, and as the authors also point out, our emissions hurt lower-income families the most.

However, I would like to add that another important step towards decarbonizing our economy is to make fossil fuels pay for their true cost in the form of a carbon tax. This is an extremely efficient way of reducing emissions. By allowing the proceeds from the carbon tax to be returned to households on an equal basis, lower-income households will receive more money than they lose in higher prices.


Studies show that households of lower income will, in general, benefit. In addition, this will benefit the Texas economy by increasing the demand for Texas’ relatively clean natural gas at the expense of more carbon intensive and dirty coal.

The money from the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy projects and a carbon tax returned to households will reduce emissions, protect future generations and benefit the Texas economy.

Thomas Wikman, Dallas

The last thing we need

A new Environmental Protection Agency proposal will do the opposite of what it is intended to do — unless it is changed to eliminate two very big risks. Left as is, the plan will thwart efforts to improve the environment and inflict an electricity, food, fuel and fertilizer price hike at a time when Texas consumers are fighting stubborn inflation and high interest rates.


The proposed rules to cut methane emissions from natural gas and oil production are well-intentioned. We all agree on the need for a better environment. However, how we get there is important. Left unchanged, the rules would eliminate effective technological solutions, create unrealistic timelines and improperly delegate the EPA’s enforcement power to private third parties. Those would include many activists and organizations with zero expertise but plenty of motive and means to interfere with American energy production and security.

Anything that needlessly restricts energy supply risks higher prices and pressures an economy clouded by recession fears. The last thing Texans need is a self-inflicted energy and electricity price hike, which would lead to higher costs for fuel, food, fertilizer and many other products.

Katie Hammons, Houston

Just a drop in the bucket

Being the owner of a rental house in Collin County and having the lien on it fully paid off, I have seen my personal expenses greatly reduced and have passed the savings on to my tenant. Maybe I didn’t have to, but in doing so I’m still coming out ahead financially.


This I did well before the announcement came from the top Texas lawmakers that property taxes will be reduced statewide. However, the county’s appraisal value of the property is unfairly overinflated and taxes run me almost $6,000 annually. And yes, I filed a protest with the county, but was promptly denied. So, for me a reduction of $700 would be a mere drop in the bucket, and would be of better use for raising teachers’ pay.

Richard Street, Carrollton

We welcome your thoughts in a letter to the editor. See the guidelines and submit your letter here. If you have problems with the form, you can submit via email at