Real leaders, not 'toy soldiers'

The very real and serious nature of the COVID-19 crisis has revealed, simply by juxtaposition and contrast, the false and artificial nature of the so-called Second Amendment crisis, the one that had so many toy soldiers in Lynchburg marching around in circles just two months ago, banging their toy drums and blowing their little bugles, demanding that City Council make a pointless and grandiose gesture to repel an imagined threat to their lives.

Where are they now? Why aren’t they just as vocal now, in response to the real threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness posed by COVID-19? Why aren’t they circulating petitions and launching Facebook groups, demanding that their government take action to protect them? Why didn’t they step forward to complain about Jerry Falwell Jr.’s intent to keep Liberty University open, before he was forced to reverse course by Governor Northam?

The answer is that toy soldiers are the first to run and hide when the going gets tough, the first to crawl into a foxhole in the fog of war. The COVID-19 crisis doesn’t respond to a pointless proclamation or a back-slapping brotherhood. It lies in the realm of real problems that demand real effort and real analysis by people possessing real expertise, as even a person like Donald Trump has slowly come to understand. It is, in short, the kind of thing that separates the men from the boys.

And so, unsurprisingly, we see that many of the toy soldiers who were all fired up about making Lynchburg a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” are noticeably quieter now, suddenly confounded by a problem that doesn’t fit within the limited vocabulary of their little playbook.

Just a few weeks ago they proudly proclaimed that they were “libertarians” who believed in a “limited role of government.” But now, in the context of a public health crisis, they probably realize that their battle cry was — and is — a vacuous dog whistle, a mere tag line that doesn’t help anyone decide what actually needs to be done when the feces hits the fan.

Just a few weeks ago they boldly announced that they would “flip” our City Council and push our local government to the right, reducing taxes by slashing “unnecessary” programs and services. But now, in the context of a public health crisis, they surely realize that people are fearful of all the ways their lives may change for the worse, and therefore are thankful for the safety net of social services and public amenities that exists to support them and nurture them in difficult times.

So what should wedo? What should we, the voters, do? We should send the George Caylor Crowd — Chris Faraldi, Abe Loper and Larry Taylor — back to their echo chamber of empty rhetoric.

This is a time for adult leaders, not toy soldiers.

BENJAMIN COWGILL

Lynchburg

Time for sex ed

In response to Grace Beauregard’s letter on March 16, “Richmond’s ‘purveyors of death,’” she has made an excellent case for sex education.

Education will not eliminate all unwanted pregnancies, but it could eliminate the lion’s share of them. One thing’s for certain, we will never eliminate the drive that produces pregnancy.

That drive, instinct, force comes from God, who ordered that all life should multiply. We just have to learn how to use that force wisely.

ADGIE DIROM

Lynchburg

A silver lining?

There may be a silver lining to the coronavirus. I see all our “enemy states” struggling with it also, and the world is cooperating to contain it for obvious reasons.

Wouldn’t that be a “Kum Ba Yah” moment? We truly are global citizens, for the moment united against a tiny microbe. Maybe God has a plan after all.

WENDY BRUBAKER

Monroe

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