• Oregon has a Red Flag Law allowing courts to take weapons away from people who are at risk as a danger to themselves or others. That’s better than some other states, but still not enough. We need to do more to stop mass shootings and gun violence. Thoughts and prayers sure as hell aren’t working. Let’s start with limiting the number of bullets in a magazine. Oregon Fish and Wildlife’s cartridge limit for birds is three rounds, and large game is five. If you need more bullets than that, you are either a terrible shot or looking to kill a lot of people. 

What we’re reading: Opening piece in the Aug. 15 issue of The New York Review of Books is a long review by Alan Weisman of two recent books: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells and Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben. Not especially fun, but important reading for all of us.



wiki commons / © John Mathew Smith 2001

• The world is a bleaker place after the death of Toni Morrison was announced Aug. 6. The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author died at 88 after a short illness, according to a note from her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. When she won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy wrote that Morrison was an author “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”

• After news of GateHouse and Gannett merging to become one megapower newspaper company, concern over whether the sale of the Bend Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman would go to an out-of-state corporation can be cast aside for the moment. On July 29, East Oregonian Publishing purchased the two Oregon newspapers for $3.65 million. Also known as EO Media, the company publishes 10 newspapers in Oregon and one in southwestern Washington. We hope GateHouse-owned The Register-Guard also has a happy ending. 

• It’s 2019, but it’s feeling like 2020 with election fever hitting the U.S. And Eugene isn’t safe. Campaign contributions, according to the Federal Election Commission, show Eugeneans are active in donating to presidential candidates. Eugeneans donated $35,487 to President Donald Trump and his political action committee, $21,981 to Sen. Bernie Sanders and $12,662 to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. 

The little “Choose Kindness” signs around Eugene seemed oddly incongruent after the terrible shootings in El Paso and Dayton, but maybe they’re even more important. How about “Choose Kindness” signs around the White House or Trump Tower or Mara Lago? Not that the inhabitant or his blind followers would understand choosing kindness over racism and bigotry, but it might be worth a try. Incidentally, a Choose Kindness Celebration will be held Nov. 3 at The Shedd in Eugene.