Readers React: Tear-gassing migrants is inhumane. Any Army veteran would know why

Migrants run from tear gas launched by U.S. agents at part of the border with Mexico in Tijuana on Nov. 25.
(Ramon Espinosa / AP)

To the editor: I am a veteran of the U.S. Army. I did basic training at Fort Ord, Calif.

The most memorable and unpleasant experience I had was being in a small room with my gas mask on, then being told to take the mask off. The room was filled with tear gas, which quickly went into my eyes, nose and throat. It was as if sand had been thrown into my eyes, and my nose would not stop running.

It is totally disabling. The point was to make us appreciate our gas masks, and we sure did.

I cannot imagine anyone who does not pose an actual threat — and migrant women and children do not pose a threat — being tear-gassed. Had our president been in the military, he would know how inhumane it is.


Rudolph Silva, Yorba Linda


To the editor: I recently watched President Trump on television address this “invasion,” the tear-gassing, his indomitable wall and the successful thwarting of the attempt by Central Americans to storm our border.

Something about Trump struck me: The tone of his voice, the glaring facial expression and the words that he used all suggest that he lacks any semblance of compassion for these people.


Yes, we have to control our borders, and the United States cannot take in every impoverished, fearful and hungry person who wants in. But is there any reason why the president cannot express at least a modicum of concern for these desperate people?

Trump’s words and demeanor show nothing but contempt for them. How sad that our president is so mean-spirited.

Dennis G. Cosso, Arcadia


To the editor: The liberal media are obsessing over the fact that women were among those tear-gassed at the border. Why is this worse than tear-gassing men?

If we believe it is so terrible that the women rushing the border were treated as harshly as the men, then we should prevent women from becoming firefighters, police officers or soldiers.

I know my statements are politically incorrect, but they are just as incorrect as the media’s logic.

Joseph Delvaux, Covina



To the editor: The use of tear gas on helpless and desperate people — including children, whose cardiovascular systems may sustain serious damage from tear gas — must not become the new normal.

This, along with Trump’s comment that “barbed wire used properly can be a beautiful sight” and the continuing caging of children, violate all norms of decency.

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has said that sending 5,000 caseworkers to the border to process asylum applications instead of deploying that many troops would have been a better use of taxpayer resources and could have prevented this abhorrent moral and humanitarian crisis.

I guess that just isn’t Trump’s style.

Ken Levy, Los Angeles

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