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Letters to the editor: September 4, 2019

Action needed to end gun violence

We’ve lost more than a dozen children in the St. Louis area this summer from violence. As a mother, I am so tired of seeing headlines with precious faces of children lost to gunfire yet I feel like our elected officials need to be confronted in this way with the pain our community is feeling. We need all of them, from city leaders to members of Congress, to commit to finding a broad, multi-pronged approached to ending gun violence. 

There is plenty to do at every level of government. The city of St. Louis can increase funding for the Cure Violence program. Our state government can pass a domestic violence bill. Gov. Mike Parson could call a special session on gun policy to show at least the same commitment to public safety as he does to vehicle sales tax allowances. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley can pass federal laws requiring background checks for gun purchases. All of these things are the very least we can do in honor of the kids we’ve lost to protect the kids we still have.

Cynthia Levin, St. Louis


Praise for the J

Do we Jews in St. Louis realize what an incredible asset we have in the J?

It is more than a mere place to work out, swim and play racquetball, join a sports team, go to summer camp, be safe in an after-school program, enjoy (and perform in) a theatrical performance, play mah jongg and kibbitz with old and new friends.

It is a reflection — indeed, a symbol — of who we Jews are: a community proud of our religious and cultural traditions and our moral values, hard-working and hard-playing, striving each and every day for the betterment of our families, yes, but also for our friends and neighbors, and our country, world and planet.

And as the J’s right-on advertising tagline says, Everyone is welcome at the J. We believe in diversity; we believe in inclusion. Walls are meant to be broken down, not built up.

Anyone who wants to learn about us Jews and our values has only to visit the J. Or better yet, become a member.

Donna Brodsky, Creve Coeur


‘Stop the Stigma’

I noticed an Aug. 14 commentary and subsequent Aug. 21 letter to the editor about the stigma of mental illness and wanted to remind your readers that the campaign to “stop the stigma” of mental illness is a well-documented pharmaceutical marketing campaign, ultimately paid for by the various psychiatric drug manufacturers.

With its seemingly altruistic sounding agenda to eliminate “stigma,” the fact is the real “stigmatization” is coming from those behind this campaign — pharma, psychiatry and pharma-funded front groups such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). 

For example, take the NAMI campaign to stop the “stigma” and “end discrimination” against the mentally ill — the “founding sponsors” were Abbott Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Pfizer, Novartis, SmithKline Beecham and Wyeth-Ayerst Labs.

The real stigmatization is coming from those that benefit from labeling behaviors as diseases to be “cured” or “treated” despite the complete lack of medical/biological evidence to support them.

Moritz Farbstein, Creve Coeur