Opinion Outpost: Sept. 15, 2015

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The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

9/11

The nation’s lawmakers have nothing less than a moral obligation to renew the health care and compensation programs for the thousands of 9/11 responders and volunteers severely stricken by their long labors at ground zero’s infernal pile of devastation. These selfless workers were home-front casualties in what politicians presented as a war on terror. More than 33,000 responders and volunteers have developed illnesses from their time at the 9/11 sites, including Shanksville, Pa., and the Pentagon. Some 3,700 of them, including about 1,000 from the New York Fire Department, have developed cancers attributed to toxins that suffused ground zero.

Editorial Board

NY Times

Teenagers across the United States have been radicalized through social media to hate our country and work with ISIS to destroy our way of life. To be sure, methods to harm the homeland have evolved. But the basic nature of the threat remains: There are people who wish to kill Americans and will themselves die to accomplish their objective. In fact, the NYPD, working with federal partners, has prevented 16 known terror plots since 9/11. Yet with each passing year, arguments to defund critical security programs gain supporters.

Dan Donovan
NY Post

There would be plenty of grief and tears ahead, but I didn’t want those girls to feel the helplessness that was beginning to seep in. We needed to do something, anything, to keep from being victims ourselves. I didn’t want their lesson from that day to be that we are helpless in the face of tragedy, that people could attack us and kill us and we could do nothing about it. Everyone Can Do Something.

K.T. McFarland
Fox News

When I read articles about the Muslim Brotherhood or the uproar around an Indian woman being crowned Miss America or any article that had to do with the Middle East, Islamists or Muslims, I found my fingers scrolling down to the comments. There were thousands of them and the majority were heinous. People lumped everyone who was Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern, Arab — whether they were Hindu, Christian or Buddhist — into one box and threw a label on them as “terrorists.” They proposed genocide, to exterminate a massive population of people because of an attack that the majority of “us” had nothing to do with. With what the media choose to cover and how they choose to depict anyone who is Indian or of the Islamic faith, “we” never stand a chance.

Mahjabeen Syed
Chicago Tribune

Kim Davis

U.S. District Judge David Bunning opted to send her to jail. Plainly this is within his discretion, inasmuch as Ms. Davis didn’t follow his earlier order. But plainly it is also the nuclear option. It’s hard not to notice, the contrast with 2004, when other clerks and mayors were cheered for issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in defiance of the state laws against it.

William McGurn
Wall Street Journal

Kim Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, Ky., went to jail last week, and there was no good reason for her to be there. Americans can expect more conflicts over religious conscience and same-sex marriage if we don’t find a way to coexist peacefully. Ms. Davis has become a symbol of what happens when we don’t.

Ryan T. Anderson
NY Times

She is not being asked to personally condone or philosophically accept homosexuality. She is being asked to confirm whether the applicants meet the statutory criteria for marriage. And, under state law, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in June, the applicants do in fact meet that criteria.

Laura Coates
CNN

Suicide Awareness

Peter purchased his handgun in 2011 for target shooting as well as for “protection” since he lived near the Baltimore City line where gun violence is rampant. It made me uneasy. I knew that owning a gun by itself tripled the risk of suicide, apart from family history. I told him so, and also about the immense sorrow my father’s suicide had caused my family. Guns may not be the enemy, but they make a dangerous friend. He did not heed my warning.

No matter how successful or popular we might be, no matter how happy-go-lucky or collected we may appear, thoughts of suicide can breach our defenses.

Dorothy Paugh
Baltimore Sun

New research published last week in The Lancet Psychiatry points to young people who identify as goth are five times more likely to self-harm by the age of 18. But, in reality, suicide is a pandemic that affects the young and old, rich and poor, Christian and non-Christian. I came from a suburban, middle-class, Christian family. I had really an incredible upbringing and parents most kids would die to have. From the outside, no one would have guessed I would be at risk. That is the thing about suicide. No one is immune.

Jay Lowder
Fox News

The relationship between firearms and suicide is significant not only because of their frequent use as a method amongst seniors, but also because of the high lethality of guns. Ninety-one percent of suicide attempts with a gun are lethal. Clearly, we have got to stop avoiding the topic of suicide in America and start talking about it. This is especially true when it comes to seniors, who are rarely the target of awareness campaigns or other suicide prevention efforts. Doctors should counsel senior patients about the risks of guns in the home, something that should be as much a part of a senior’s health care conversation as driving, nutrition, and physical activity.

Marshall Kapp
CNN

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