Sometimes when I listen to the news, I think that perhaps I have been living under a rock. The news is just plain depressing. It would be nice if once in a while the news was all good and positive instead of being so negative. I especially feel sad when I hear about events that occur locally.

It seems like the leaders in our country have all taken leave of their senses. No, change that. The leaders all over the world seem to have taken leave of their senses. It just seems conditions are getting worse and not better. Yes, other countries do need to interact and maintain a healthy relationship with each other for a more stable economy. However, countries could be involved with trade and still live within their own borders. They shouldn’t lust after what doesn’t belong to them. There is no need for threats. Why can't people learn to be content with what they have? Having recently acknowledged the anniversary of September 11, and making people once again aware of the loss of life and property, you would think that we would finally see things a little differently and feel more compassionate toward our fellow man.

I wonder what triggers in someone's mind that makes them decide to take an assault rifle or a semiautomatic, go into a public place and just start randomly shooting without regard for human life. What kind of mental satisfaction does someone get out of shooting a child or a child's parents leaving said child an orphan? Do you realize how many mass shootings we have had in this country just this year? Do you realize how many people have been senselessly murdered creating hardships for their families? What does someone gain by going into a synagogue and shooting people who are only there trying to worship the god of their choice? What would make someone think that it is a perfectly acceptable idea to go into a Walmart openly carrying firearms and maybe shooting people?

I recently heard where two teenagers got into an argument that ended in gunfire. When I was young, if you had a beef with someone you met somewhere after school with a bunch of the kids looking on, slugged it out and whoever won the fight was the winner. Afterwards you shook, made up and you were friends. It may have been a childish way to settle things but it didn't cause someone's life to end.

The Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. It does NOT say it gives you the right to shoot innocent people. If you have a beef with someone or they are guilty of a crime, it does not give you the right to take on the role of a vigilante. You have to call the police.

I believe that life is one of the greatest gifts that we have. The question I have for you is when did a life lose value? When did we become worthless and dispensable? Who has the right to make that decision? Every person on this earth has something to contribute. If you take their life prematurely you could possibly be ending the life of someone who perhaps was destined to find the cure for cancer or AIDS. You might end the life of someone who could clean up our water and save our environment. You might prematurely kill the person who was on the verge of finding a way to predict earthquakes or other natural disasters.

There are human blights on the face of the earth. Hatred has overtaken compassion and love. Greed has overtaken the desire to share. Compassion and empathy are almost nonexistent. Yes, we have defaced and hurt mother earth because of our actions. It is up to the people to create a better environment in which we can live. If each and every one of us worked on changing our own little corner of the world, we would soon find that we’d have a better place to live.

Ponder these parting words: What if all of the changes in weather and the increase in natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are just Mother Earth's way of trying to rid herself of the plight which hurts her? We all need to open our eyes and seriously consider some changes before it is too late and this earth is too far gone to ever repair itself.

Kathy Bartolotta is a resident of Tower Hill Two.

(1) comment

pacman

The State House passed a bill on Thursday that would give away billions of dollars in tax credits to incentivize massive corporations to build new polluting petrochemical plants throughout the state. Unfortunately, your lawmaker, Representative Matthew Dowling, voted yes on this bill.



Building a petrochemical plant in every corner of the state is a deadly job-creation strategy for Pennsylvania. These plants have proved to be so dangerous in other states that many families that live near them have been left with three options: "get sick, die, or move away.”1



The legislature is going to take votes on three more bills in the coming days that will increase carbon pollution in our state and put our families at risk. If we send enough messages of disappointment now, we can pressure some of the lawmakers who voted for HB 1100 to switch their votes.



Tell Representative Dowling that you’re extremely disappointed that they voted YES on more handouts to the fossil fuel industry.



Petrochemical plants -- also known as ethane cracker plants -- are a public health disaster. A single plant emits hundreds of tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other hazardous pollutants per year -- a mix of pollution that causes asthma and has been linked to cancer and childhood leukemia, brain, liver, and kidney problems, and even spontaneous abortion and birth defects.



Cracker plants are just as bad for the climate crisis. Adding one new petrochemical plant is like putting nearly a half million additional cars on the road.



Petrochemical plants should NOT be the future of Pennsylvania, and every lawmaker who voted to bring the petrochemical industry to Pennsylvania must be held accountable.

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