- - Sunday, June 28, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

When President Obama came forth to condemn the recent slayings at a Charleston church, he delivered a political statement about guns, in effect making the situation about his agenda and disregarding the feelings of the families who were suffering a great loss. Hillary Clinton did the same thing, crafting her public comments about the atrocity in order to serve her own purposes. These two narcissists acted like children saying ‘Look at me’ instead of politicians giving thoughtful responses to mourners.

Next, Mitt Romney came forth, demanding that South Carolina take down the Battle Flag. As both an independent who voted for Mr. Romney and a northerner who went through the Marine Corps boot camp in South Carolina back in the 1960s and has lived here for over 20 years, I, too, was taken aback by the flag when I first arrived. Then I was told it was flown to honor the dead killed in the Civil War, not in order to insult African-Americans. To put this into perspective, we fly the U.S. flag over embassies in countries around the world that lost to us in various wars. Should we remove these flags because the countries in which they fly might be offended?

At the same time, however, I recently read some online remarks from a National Rifle Association member that laid blame partly with the Charleston church for not allowing people to carry guns into the building. This is outrageous, to say the least. Are people to go to church in helmets and bulletproof vests? While a murderous rampage is no time for politicking, I think it’s also high time that we were more thoughtful in our public comments on these matters.

GREGORY J. TOPLIFF

Warrenville, S.C.

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