Re “Too obscene” (Your Views, May 25): Thomas Conant, and, indeed, the court ruling to which he refers, is simply wrong to say that there is nothing to be gained from sexual images . Books like “Gender Queer: A Memoir”, if you take the time to read the entire book, can be essential tools to help young people think critically about the world and the way they want navigate it.
As an educator turned librarian, I see every day how important representation is. People, especially young people, want to read about people like them; they want to read stories about people going through things they’re going through.
“Gender Queer” is a memoir. The sexual encounter in question is brief, but reflects an event that contributed, for better or for worse, to the author’s journey of self-acceptance. Seeing the progress of this encounter is essential to understanding the story. An event like the one described could happen to any reader; something like this may have happened before they even heard of the book. Memoirs give readers valuable perspective to reflect on: Would they make the same decisions as the author? Does the author feel the same about her sexual encounter as the readers feel about theirs? Do they feel less alone?
There are few surer ways to develop minds to explore the most difficult parts of life than by engaging in stories like these. The world is a difficult place. Instead of protecting your child’s eyes, parents should also step in and help them understand what they are seeing.
Natasha Arnold, Virginia Beach
York County Personal Property Taxes have been posted. My car tax almost doubled. I spent a day on the phone being sent from office to office trying to figure out who is responsible for the higher bill.
Ann Thomas’ Office (the York County Revenue Commissioner’s Office) said vehicle assessed values have increased due to COVID-19 and supply chain issues. The office said she had no authority to change those values.
The commissioner’s office told me that the York County Board of Supervisors had been made aware of the problem and had the ability to reduce the tax rate. My county supervisor admitted that the council voted not to change the tax rate, but blamed the commissioner for the high bill.
The finger pointing should stop. All these parties must come together, sit around the table and find a solution for the good of the citizens. It is unconscionable that in these times of high gas prices, inflation, and ongoing struggles with the effects of COVID-19, these government officials cannot work together for their citizens.
Mary Tillman, Williamsburg
Re “‘A Wretched Evil That Destroys’: Texas Elementary School Horror Resonates in Virginia and Beyond” (May 24): Law-abiding Americans Will Never Give Up Their Guns, and I Will Not Give Them Up Not asking to do it, but seriously, do we really need high capacity magazines and military style weapons? Too often they seem to fall into the wrong hands. I think it’s been said that 90% of Americans want rigorous background checks. Nothing wrong with that if you are truly a law-abiding citizen. Of course, people who intend to use firearms in criminal acts do not have background checks. But there must be records of who buys these weapons. Serious hunters don’t need fully or semi-automatic weapons if they pride themselves on their accuracy.
The best opinion content of the week and the opportunity to participate in a weekly question on a subject that affects our region.
If we can’t “control” guns, maybe we should control ammunition. I think ammunition should be taxed on an increasing scale according to caliber. A small caliber receives small taxes, a large caliber handgun receives higher taxes. The same goes for rifle ammo, large caliber and semi-automatic ammunition should have a higher tax, something like $1 per bullet minimum. Tax money could be used to mitigate the violence that results from these weapons being used in criminal acts.
I am currently a gun owner and have had rifles, shotguns and handguns since a young age. But we need to restrict high-capacity magazines and weapons that can too easily be converted into fully automatic weapons. These weapons of war are not intended for the general public.
Bob Parsons, Norfolk
Re “Youngkin criticized for use of ‘creator'” (May 16): I’m proud to be a Virginian and proud to be an American, but most of all I’m blessed to be a born-again believer in Jesus- Christ, Almighty God.
The article mentioned the criticism of our good Governor Glenn Youngkin for using the word creator. I thank God for allowing us to have a good governor to change and thank him for this video he initiated. So grateful for his stance on abortion, unlike our former leader who believed in abortion.
And by the way, Christianity is not a religion, but it is faith in a living person, the Lord Jesus Christ – one way (John 14:6).
Curtis Irby, Newport News