Re “Alleged Killer, Proven

Killer” (11/22):

I am not at all surprised by the level of majority (read: white male) outrage and quasi-national-safety/family-values/moral justification that this piece evoked (The Mail, 11/29, 12/6). It is readers’ right and it is their privilege—and it is, collectively, the very thinking that places America at the virtual bottom of “modern civilization.”

In America, crime sprees and violence aren’t about race or religion—they are about individual choice. Likewise, capital punishment isn’t about punishment—it is about retribution. And those of us who can (and do) read know that retribution is about traditional Western religious principles (“An eye for an eye,” the King James Bible, etc.), which have quite effectively fostered and maintained divisions based on race, gender, economics, and nonbeliever exclusion throughout his-story (David and Goliath, Egyptians and Jews, Muslims and Animist Africans, the Spanish Inquisition, Jews and Eastern Europeans, Bosnia, etc.).

We have everything here but very little in the way of a meaningful, egalitarian civil society. I applaud Eddie Dean’s stab (no pun intended) at entering the debate between those behind the gun—criminals, alleged and otherwise—and those in front of the American public—politicians, alleged and otherwise.

Capitol Hill