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Op Ed

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The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a mess, a grammatically challenged pair of clauses that allows two or more readers to insist that it says two starkly different things, both of which are of life-or-death importance and each of which can be only partially defended.

The White House’s latest effort to tackle the difficult problem of suicide among the military and veterans may be the comprehensive approach that’s sorely needed. It could help a lot of people here in Hampton Roads and across the nation.

Governments and agencies and families have to ask themselves: Why? What could possibly be the appeal? Sure, humans have dabbled with opium for millennia, but while the smoking dens of old might have resulted in listlessness, they didn’t threaten death with every puff.

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Next year, we told ourselves while shivering through the alfresco meal with our pandemic pods, Thanksgiving will be back to normal. Big time. But while 2021 is definitely an improvement over 2020, this pandemic is not over. We are heading into a second COVID Thanksgiving.

Once again, America is mourning the senseless deaths of innocents — this time the result of a mass killing in a city just west of Milwaukee. And this time, the weapon was a vehicle instead of a gun.

Things are better at the VEC. Three hundred more people have been hired since spring to handle inquiries. There is at last a 21st century IT system. However, foot-dragging and inefficiency turned the coronavirus epidemic into a long-running financial crisis for thousands of Virginians.

Kids come packaged in different hues, genders, experiences and maturity levels — they aren’t one size fits all. The books should be available for those who can handle the material. Schools need to quit the book banning. Censorship’s main lesson is exclusion.

The fact that the city is more concerned with its legal strategy than the quality of life of its citizens and neighbors says more about them than any heartfelt expression of sympathy and understanding ever will.

The failure of the bipartisan Virginia Redistricting Commission, which hasn’t been able to agree on legislative maps and now seems to be taking the same path regarding congressional districts, is more evidence that neither major party should take commonwealth voters for granted.

When it comes to spending for schools, the devil is in the formula. Virginia matches the school dollars provided by the localities, so poorer localities not only have less money, they also get less from the state. So the poor get poorer.

Joseph R. Holmes, born into slavery in Charlotte County, Virginia, emerged after emancipation as an outspoken advocate for the rights of freedpeople. Resentment in Southside Virginia led to his murder on May 3, 1869. Saturday, a marker will be unveiled where Holmes was slain.

Colin Powell was America’s first Black secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff but also a bridge-builder and champion of political moderation as a Republican who challenged his own party’s orthodoxy and tried to avert its drift toward right-wing extremism.

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