Analyzing Old Op-eds: Kurds, anti-Zionism, and Gun Talk

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Kurds Have Waited Long Enough

Regarding Kurdistan, you have falsely concluded that “a unilateral declaration of independence appears destined to fail, as it should,” because, instead, you advise Kurds should be “patient” (“What about the Kurds?” Oct. 5). You then create a paper tiger when claiming “those dreaming of a greater Kurdistan for the region’s 34 million Kurds will be disappointed” when the referendum focuses solely upon the status of northern Iraq.

Specifically, this overwhelming vote would create a more limited diaspora primarily encompassing Syria, Turkey and Iran. Yet in the process, a pro-American, pro-Israeli, anti-Islamofascist haven would be born.

That’s why, as we have written repeatedly during the past decade, “at long last, America must recognize Kurdistan by serving as midwife for a new country.”

A century following the Treaty of Sèvres after World War I, Kurds should not be expected to keep “Waiting for Godot.”

Robert B. Sklaroff | Rydal
Sherkoh Abbas | Rochester Hills, Mich.

Authorities Should Take Notice

Gabriel Kaufman served the Jewish community well by recounting his stunning experience with a so-called English teacher who transformed his composition class at the University of Pittsburgh into an Israel-bashing fest (“Israeli Hatred Masquerading as Anti-Semitism,” Oct. 5).

Kaufman wrote that he enrolled in the class to fulfill a requirement for his major, yet the teacher has exclusively used the program as a biased exercise against Israel. At the very least, either the university misrepresented the purpose of this class or the teacher acted on her own without the university’s approval.

Kaufman is urged to file a complaint with the appropriate authorities. Among them, the Pennsylvania Department of Education states on its website: “The department investigates student complaints against all types of postsecondary institutions.” Of course, Kaufman can also notify state lawmakers, the city of Pittsburgh, the university’s trustees and administration, and anyone else in authority who has some kind of jurisdiction over the university involving funding, tax breaks, its employees or protection of students.

Obviously, the very publication of Kaufman’s commentary should be noticed by someone with the authority to investigate this matter. We hope.

Bruce S. Ticker | Northeast Philadelphia

Fully Automatic Is Not Semi-Automatic

Editor-in-chief Joshua Runyan asserts that our nation has “a penchant for putting military-style assault rifles in the hands of private citizens” (“A Rapid-Fire Assault on Our Republic,” Oct. 5). A much more accurate statement would be that in our nation, all who are qualified — as in not disqualified by prior conviction records, mental health conditions, age, lack of permanent address, etc. — are free to obtain legal weapons if they so choose. Fully automatic firearms — machine guns, for instance — are not legal for ordinary citizens and have not been for more than 50 years.

Semi-automatic firearms — the AK-47 look-alikes, for example — are not machine guns and do not fire automatically, despite the gun manufacturer’s efforts to make them appear to be military assault rifles, which do fire automatically.

Runyan also exaggerated when he wrote that “we don’t allow … arming yourself with a modified fully automatic firearm, as Mr. Paddock apparently did.” The sentence should have read, “a modified semi-automatic firearm.”

I too, like Runyan, feel that fully automatic firearms should be outlawed, as well as any ancillary kits or devices that allow the conversion of legal firearms (those not fully automatic) into firearms that do fire automatically. However, the arguments for or against legislation concerning the serious matter of firearm ownership rights should be based on cool facts rather than emotion-stirring rhetoric.

David Perelman | Philadelphia