More guns, more jobs!
I loved Mayor Dave's article "I Can't Wait to Pack Some Heat" (10/28/11), though I was disappointed by his glaring oversight with regard to one issue. Though he brought up a number of the oh-so-many benefits to our state's lovely concealed carry law, he forgot to mention the role it could potentially play in Gov. Walker's push to increase employment. Perhaps, if we are lucky, Wisconsin will need to add more emergency room staff to deal with shootings, accidental and otherwise. More guns, more jobs! Brilliant!
Karen Hendrickson, Reeseville
Us vs. Them
"Blame Waukesha" (11/4/2011) was rife with a counterproductive "us" vs. "them" mentality. The majority of Wisconsinites know that both political parties as well as our corporations and labor unions have sometimes done right by us and sometimes abused their power. If I feel betrayed I will get involved, educate, vote, recall, vote again, peacefully protest, boycott. What I will not do is engage in incendiary semantics that pit me against my neighbor. We move Forward together.
Patty Wanta, Fitchburg
The biggest howler about the anti-government Republican voters in Waukesha is that if it wasn't for FHA loans, the GI Bill, federal highway funding and countless other sources of "welfare," there would be no Waukesha.
Keith R. Schmitz, Shorewood
If Tara Darga (Letters, 11/4/11) had read my letter (10/21/11) (about Larry Kaufmann's opinion column "What's So Bad About School Choice?" 10/7/11), she would have noticed that I was talking about the Milwaukee school choice program. There have been voucher schools closed in Milwaukee because the people who started them took the voucher money and did nothing with the kids. And yes, voucher schools in Milwaukee have turned away minorities and disabled kids. I did not say public schools are left to "deal" with these kids, but that they accept all kids, while voucher schools pick the kids they want. And some of those schools charge more to voucher students than to regular students, which is a ripoff for the taxpayers.
Name-caller, you are free to send your kids to private schools, but you should pay for it. It is terrible that Gov. Walker claims the state is broke, but then steals money from public schools and gives the money to private schools.
In response to Tara Darga's letter, I would like to correct Ms. Darga's language: "While our private school does not have the funding to accommodate all disabilities, we have a young girl attending who is wheelchair bound."
Please educate yourself and your school on the concept of "people-first language." We no longer use terms that are demeaning toward a person. Proper speech would be "who uses a wheelchair." It gives people dignity knowing they are defined by their person, and not by a disability.
Who's the victim?
Your Nov. 4 "Tell All" column included a letter from a man who claims he's outraged by a recent headline regarding the sexual assault of a city of Madison employee by Ald. Brian Solomon. I'm outraged by Isthmus' decision to print a letter that so clearly blames the victim and perpetuates the many myths around sexual assault.
The letter asks, "Who on earth could have interpreted the messages this woman was sending?" and implies Ms. Berg was asking for it when she:
- Went out drinking with Solomon - Yet nearly 90% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by an individual known to the victim, and state law clearly defines sexual assault to include instances when an individual is too intoxicated to consent.
- Allowed Solomon to spend the night - Yet nearly two-thirds of sexual assaults occur in the home of the victim or perpetrator.
- Engaged in consensual kissing - Yet no amount of kissing can substitute for consent for further sexual activity.
Finally, the letter concludes that in spite of the assistant district attorney's statement, "There is no doubt in my mind that Ms. Berg did not consent," the decision not to prosecute indicates there was no sexual assault. Never mind that only 37% of reported rapes result in prosecution, and only 46% of those end in conviction.
Sexual violence is among the most underreported and underprosecuted crimes. Instead of revictimizing a survivor courageous enough to speak up, we should hold the perpetrator accountable for his actions.
Ald.Lisa Subeck, City of Madison District 1
At Rape Crisis Center, our mission includes working to end sexual violence, while supporting over 1,000 victims every year. Since this issue arose in an advice column, here's some advice for the letter writer:
- 1. Ask. Check in with your partner, at every step, if this is what s/he wants, so you can be confident it's consensual. Don't try to guess - ask the questions, then respect the answer.
- 2. Don't assume. Not fighting back doesn't mean consent to sex; victims are often shocked into inaction. We've heard about "fight or flight" responses, but there's a third: "freeze."
- 3. Don't rape. Wisconsin law says someone who's sleeping, passed out or excessively intoxicated can't consent. That offers a clear baseline for sexual activity: Don't take sex from, or commit sexual acts against, someone who's not actually coherent and eagerly participating.
For victims of sexual assault or abuse, Rape Crisis Center's 24-hour crisis line, 608-251-7273, offers nonjudgmental support and information. To respond or get involved with RCC, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-251-5126, ext. 13.
Kelly Anderson, Rape Crisis Center