With all this fuss about the senseless killings in South Carolina, we have, I believe, lost all reason and are reacting out of panic without analyzing the facts. The flags and the monuments that have been mentioned did not cause this horrendous event. The cause was basically the fact that this father purchased and gave his deranged young son, who was banned from having firearms, a weapon for his 21st birthday. The flags and the monuments that are being criticized were built not only to honor the brave individuals who exercised their constitutional rights upon which this great country was built, just as the black people did when they exercised these same rights back in the 1960s with the protests against discrimination.

Was slavery wrong? Of course, it was — but in the South, thousands of brave individuals exercised their freedom of expression and choice and chose war instead of giving in. They lost, but, just like those who served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Southeast Asia, and now Iraq and Afghanistan, they deserve to be remembered. Are these memorials offensive to some? Yes. But that’s the cost of living in a free society.

Lets back up, come to our senses and be rational. The Mississippi flag, the rebel flag, the Jefferson Davis monuments, and all the other Southern history artifacts are not culprits. We must then make absolutely sure we elect people who will react sanely and sensibly, and not panic when faced with situations such as this.

William Rouchell

retired businessman

River Ridge