Mailbag: Don't blame discourse for Arizona shooting

Re: "Lobdell: 'Who's to blame for Arizona shooting?'" (Jan. 11): Kudos to William Lobdell's piece on who is to blame for the Arizona shooting. I am sick to death of the media and politicians' needs to politicize everything, particularly liberals trying to score political points any way possible. The reporting of this tragedy has been hijacked for political gain as evidenced by The New York Times, MSNBC and the blogs. Crazy people walk among us and unfortunately do crazy things. I suggest we keep our eyes on the politicians who always jump at the chance to pass laws to try to fix random acts that will in turn have unintended consequences. Thanks to Mr. Lobdell for focusing on common sense. Let's keep the biased loons accountable and behave within the bounds of common decency.

Terry Johnston

Newport Beach

Anger sells in our culture, media

Mental health problems are as old as dirt and no matter how much we invest in dealing with the problem, we are never going to come to an absolute solution. Invest in mental health research and solutions we must, but the problem of people feeling disenfranchised, angry with whatever situations present themselves and being willing to act on that anger will continue to exist.

Unfortunately, anger sells, and in this 21st-century culture, networks, newspapers, politicians etc. are only too willing to invest in whatever the current controversy existing. I do advocate free speech but also would urge that the temperature and the motivation behind the rhetoric be closely considered in light of the current political and economic environment. Let "entertainment" be separated from serious, news from commentary, and demand our politicians treat each other and their constituents with respect. If this is civil discourse, so be it. We could use a lot more of it.

John S. McGlinn

Costa Mesa

Bell column was part of morning ritual

Over the past many years of Thursday mornings I've had a wonderfully anticipated appointment with The Bell Curve. A morning sit-and-read enhanced by fresh coffee, cereal, one boiled egg and one yellow highlighter.

Joseph Bell, you, sir, are a sage. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your column. Your wisdom, your reflections, your courage, your excavation and deconstruction of layers, your word choices and your humor. I am grateful for your passion, your vulnerability, your recall and your chosen profession, journalism, which requires "sharing."

Big kudos to the Daily Pilot staff and editors for placing your "retirement" announcement on the front page, above the fold. Love the photo depicting you and your dog nestled in your writer's cave, sitting in your writer's throne (replete with worn, dark-soiled armrests no doubt the tectonic markings of a perspiring, grind-it-out philosopher/warrior).

Go Angels. Go Anteaters. Go Hoosiers. Go Army. Go not silent in the night, Mr. Bell. And to Mr. Bell, fare-thee-well.

David Worthington

Costa Mesa

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