Years back a very conservative acquaintance came to my house seeking help with a computer problem. We were never close, so I was surprised that she would seek my help on anything. After the ruse of the computer problem was resolved, she revealed the real purpose of her visit. She showed me pictures of her grandchildren and told me her grandson was gay. She was frightened for his well-being, seriously fearing that his father (her son) would kill the young man.

It was clear that the hate that so threatened the object of her love, grew out of her own mouth, her own beliefs, the things she had taught her son. It never occurred to her that she had, inadvertently, taught her child to hate her grandchild. How sad that she sought help from me, fearing that her friends might condemn her for loving her gay grandson.

My advice: Love your grandson and stand by him. Sadly, her family split on the issue, with her alone standing with her grandson. Love may have saved his life.

Consider the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who killed two unarmed people. He took an assault weapon to a protest, ostensibly “to protect property.” His family, his culture had taught him that property was more important than human life. He believed it was OK to take a weapon of war into a volatile situation. His mother drove him there! While preaching the value of guns, no one taught him that life is precious, that violence begets violence. No one taught him how to wisely use such a weapon. What is a wise use of an AR-15?

Some people are holding him up as a hero. In what universe is it praise-worthy to encourage a teenager to arm himself with an assault weapon? I can hear you excusing yourself, saying that you didn’t teach him that. But if you are teaching your children that a gun makes you the good guy, that it is OK to hate people because they are different, you may someday find yourself beside your child in a courthouse, or worse, in a funeral home because the people around him, with good reason, felt threatened by a kid with an AR-15. Regardless of the verdict, Kyle Rittenhouse was not “a good guy with a gun.” Not guilty is not the same as innocent.

Tobey Miller,

Fort Payne, Alabama

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email emily.kirby@times-journal.com.

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