Bill would make it difficult for harness racing to survive
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, currently before Congress, seeks to create national, uniform anti-doping medication and track safety programs to help prevent the catastrophic breakdowns affecting Thoroughbred horses. However, the bill also includes Standardbred horses and leaves an opening for the breed to be regulated by the federal government, which is not necessary.
It will drive small owners out of an agricultural business that significantly benefits Ohio.
Standardbreds are used in harness racing, a safe sport that very rarely has catastrophic breakdowns like Thoroughbred racing has. Standardbreds are sturdier and race at a trot or pace gait where their weight is carried on two legs, as opposed to Thoroughbreds that gallop and carry their 1,000-pound bodies on one leg at a time. Standardbreds also race three times as often and have longer racing careers.
The proposed law would have a per-start-fee funding mechanism that is unfair to harness racing because of the frequency of racing and longer careers. Standardbreds compete for significantly less purse money, meaning horsemen will be hit hard under the per-start fee model.
Congress needs to seriously take into consideration the differences between these two horse breeds and remove Standardbreds and harness racing from HISA.
Dan Leary, director of communications, U.S. Trotting Association, Hilliard
Failing clear gun reform, everyone buy insurance
Despite the pandemic and all it entails, gun violence is again in the news, this time police-related and at demonstrations. Before, it was shootings at schools, houses of worship, mass events, domestic and more.
Each time there’s an upsurge of interest with much attention to the victim(s) and the shooter and yet surprisingly little on the impacted survivors and what happens to them. These include a parent who loses a child, or a child who loses a parent, what happens to these kids, their medical problems (some long-term), lost opportunities and lost wages. All of that should be followed up.
Assuming conservatively that each shooting death comes with at least 10 whose lives have been impacted, for 2019 that comes to 39,506 times 10 people. All of that comes at a huge overall economic cost. A report from the Clifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which includes data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates $219 billion for 2019. There are similar figures from other sources.
Clearly, sensible gun regulation is, unfortunately, not on the horizon. What we need is a change in the conversation: Everybody should buy gun insurance — gun owners and the rest of us. The insurance companies will end up promoting gun regulations, which will reduce the current influence of the National Rifle Association and its supporters.
The cash payments will help alleviate some of the consequences to those impacted by these deaths. Who knows? Sensible gun regulations might ensue.
Gideon Fraenkel, Columbus
Left, Democrats don’t send armed gangs to Statehouse
The Oct. 1 letter “The left has been undermining Trump from the day he was elected” from Suzanne Purdy stated that the left and Democrats rejected the will of the voters in 2016. An earlier letter writer asserted similar views. That must be the latest offering from the Fox/Trump network.
The truth is the 2016 election results were accepted. President Barack Obama tried to provide appropriate transition, and we all hoped that Donald Trump would prove better than we feared.
“The left” and “the Democrats” did not encourage armed white supremacist thugs to “stand back and stand by.” They did not encourage armed gangs to present themselves at polling places similar to the way armed protesters appeared at the Michigan Statehouse and at then-Ohio State Health Director Amy Acton’s home.
Do the letter writers suggest we should accept this kind of behavior?
Agnes I. Martin, Jackson
My yard sign represents my right to free speech
Yard signs are expensive, but that’s not why I’m writing. You hear a lot nowadays about the Constitution. People defend the Second Amendment, statues on public property, mangers at Christmas. In short, their right to express themselves.
I know that theft of yard signs is really just an issue of civility. However, I propose it as a First Amendment issue. As long as my yard signs are being taken, I don’t have my First Amendment right to free speech. I can’t express my opinion on my own property. That’s just not right from either side.
Carey Kozlowski, Bexley
Former Right to Life official stood up for her principles
I wish to offer my thanks and admiration to Stephanie Ranade Krider, former executive director of Ohio Right to Life (Dispatch article, Saturday). She finally came to the conclusion that President Donald Trump is not pro-life, given his positions on COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, immigration and the environment, as well as many other issues. To be truly pro-life, we need to care for those who are already here, not just the unborn.
However, I fear that some on the extreme right of the political spectrum will vilify and threaten her, just as they did Dr. Amy Acton, who also tried to protect lives. To these two brave women: Hang in there. God is on your side.
Marie Kalinowski, Pataskala
Some take police for granted until they need protection
The suspect in Chase Meola’s shooting death, Kinte Mitchell Jr., also had additional felony charges. Before this murder charge, he was out on bail. Sentencing for these previous charges was set for Oct. 22. During that time, he was charged with killing Meola with a gun that was illegal for him to have. What a surprise!
It is past unfortunate that Meola was killed. Another surprise: Parent groups and more than 700 others are demanding additional Columbus police patrols in the area. These people realize the importance of the police, ironically after some Ohio State students and faculty members called for the cutting of ties between the Columbus police amid the racial justice protests.
People should be thankful for the police. This situation proves it.
Brad Strominger, Etna
Evasive Supreme Court nominee does Americans a disservice
In a healthier democracy, Amy Coney Barrett’s testimony would instantly disqualify her from consideration. Her responses have consistently revolved around this idea that she cannot respond to hypothetical situations or comment on earlier legal precedents. Instead, she must be impartial, interpreting the law as “the law of the American people,” as if we’re all a monolith.
This is a farce. Students in law school are trained to understand how to apply the law to hypothetical situations in their first year and to understand judicial precedent. One struggles to believe this is out of incompetence, but instead out of a desire to obscure her views.
Hiding her views behind platitudes when we will have her on the court for decades is deeply injurious to whatever legitimacy the court has left. About a week after the election, Barrett could rule on a case dealing with the Affordable Care Act. We collectively deserve to know what she will do in that position.
Zeb Larson, Columbus
McConnell pushing nominee to forefront of critical decisions
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell successfully blocked President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination in 2016, seven months before the election, because the “voters should decide” in an election year. This marked the first time since the Civil War that a nominee whose nomination had not been withdrawn failed to receive consideration.
Now McConnell is fast-tracking President Donald Trump’s nomination while the election is in progress. But we’ll get a conservative justice who will overturn Roe vs Wade and the Affordable Care Act. I suppose the end justifies the means.
Stuart Wilms, Westerville