Names here are missing from gun control plea

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It was gratifying to see your article reporting on regional college presidents signing a national letter imploring our nation's policymakers to take action on gun control ("College Presidents Plead for Gun Control," Dec. 29). We urgently need this kind of moral and political leadership in order to achieve a nation safer for our children and, indeed, for us all.

However, after a quick scan of the presidents and individuals who have joined in this effort, I was shocked and dismayed to note the absence of President Jared Cohon and Chancellor Mark Nordenberg from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively. What could possibly explain or justify their failure to join this initiative?

Are they possibly deferring to the political biases of their institutional trustees? Do they fear offending large gift supporters or alumni? Or are they, too, captives of the National Rifle Association as are so many of our state and national legislators? I am especially reluctant to believe the latter. Both are representatives of distinguished institutions of higher education which presumably cherish both the First Amendment and the values of scholarship and integrity. And I prefer to believe that both cherish, as do all of us, our children and their safety.

So I ask, once again, where are you, Chancellor Nordenberg and President Cohon? We need to hear from you!

NANCY E. WELLS
Oakland


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