Two choices

In light of the recent tragedy in El Paso and the many mass shootings that have come before, Americans have two choices. We can take a stand on gun control by voting against the politicians who accept money from the NRA and remove them from office.

Our other option is making sure our local blood bank is always ready for a similar scenario.

Only 38% of Americans are eligible to donate, and sadly, only 10% of that number do. I saw the lines of people willing to donate in El Paso, but we must remember the turnaround time is not immediate. It takes roughly a day for blood to be tested before it can be used.

I encourage your readers to do both, but in the event some aren't in favor of the first option, they need to make sure there is blood available in case they or their loved ones need it. Donate.

Barbara Laughinghouse


Horror escalation

We’ve just seen three mass shootings in one week. How can everyone not see the effects of poor mental health support, way, way too many guns and the effect this administration has had on the escalation of such horror?

The coarseness and dehumanization and passing the blame our government is practicing, “led” by President Trump, has produced the kind of environment that gives rise to these events. Things simply have to change and change fast.

Susan Jadoff


A central location

As a health care provider, I am disappointed in the response and proposed solutions to the alleged “aggressive panhandling” happening downtown.

To move transit and drug treatment centers out of downtown would be a disservice to our most vulnerable neighbors. I would like to remind your readers that methadone is a treatment for substance use disorder. Patients must visit these clinics daily to obtain a crucial medication that is preventing them from using more dangerous, intravenous, illicit drugs. Having these centers in a central location and near public transit, such as downtown, allows for their patients to make clinic visits every morning.

Let’s remember that it is not a crime to be poor and to ask for help. There are many organizations in Winston-Salem that are doing the hard work of eliminating homelessness in our community. I would suggest donating to these organizations, expanding care for mental health (most crucially expanding Medicaid in our state) and creating affordable housing might work toward a more permanent solution.

Sarah Kruyer


Tip of the iceberg

I know it is not best to react to issues when feelings are raw, but dear God Almighty, when will the citizens of the U.S. pressure government officials and all who are elected to keep Americans safe find the strength to intervene in gun violence (“Gunman kills 20 at El Paso mall,” Aug. 4)?

I don’t want to hear all about the Second Amendment giving privileges and rights to adults. Except for those who hunt for food to feed a family, only minimal gun ownership is necessary. That same gun can be used to protect property if threatened.

There are many qualified people who could be trained to search every gun license registry to determine who owns the high-powered guns used in mass shootings. The same folks can explore individuals who have purchased equipment to “upgrade” guns, making them weapons for mass killings.

I realize this is only the tip of the iceberg. Every citizen should ask every person running for any office in 2020 what their stand is on gun control and how plans will be carried out to weed out this deadly scourge. City Council members, commissioners, judges, senators, congress people, state, national, leave no stone upturned. You can be sure the perpetrators won’t just walk away.

Mary Martha Smoak


Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to or mail letters to: The Readers’ Forum, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Letters are subject to editing and are limited to 250 words. For more guidelines and advice on writing letters, go to

Make sure you never miss our editorials, letters to the editor and columnists. We’ll deliver the Journal’s Opinion page straight to your inbox.

Load comments