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Letters: Gun Violence, 'New Mind Of The South'


It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. And this week, the vast majority about us, following news that NPR will cancel production of this program at the end of June. To all of you who took the time to email, tweet or send a message on Facebook, our heartfelt thanks.

Last Tuesday, we talked about a Washington Post analysis of statistics from the CDC on gun deaths, race and location. It found that white people who died by gunfire are much more likely to be male, rural and suicides. Black people, much more likely to be urban, victims of homicide and, again, male. Epidemiologist Mark Rosenberg said that guns and mental health both need to addressed.

Tim in Anderson, South Carolina, wrote us: Your guest said that both guns and mental health are key factors in suicide. I assume the approach to helping people is more individualistic. Why should the approach to guns be the opposite? Why pass sweeping legislation on gun control, when you wouldn't treat each patient the same?

User Cobalt 60(ph) tweeted: Columbine shattered my hometown, lost two friends. My brother committed suicide. Aurora massacre was five miles from house. We are sick.

Last Thursday, we sat down with author Tracy Thompson to talk about her latest book, "The New Mind of the South," when we asked what it means to be Southerner today.

Debbie Micks(ph) wrote: My family moved from a suburb of Chicago to a suburb of Atlanta in 1978. Shortly thereafter, my father - born and raised in New York state - got a vanity plate for his car that said ex-Yankee. For the first five or 10 years or so, people would honk at him, and then make rude gestures in a sort of Yankee-go-home statement. But by the late 1980s when people honked at him, they'd wave happily and point at themselves saying, me, too. I think that gets at the change in the urban South in the past couple of decades.

Last week, when we talked to Google mountaineer Andrew Swerdlow about his work photographing some of the world's highest summits, we asked if you'd ever changed your route based on something you saw on a map.

Casey Horrigan(ph) in Ajo, Arizona, wrote: In 2004, I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, which is about 2,175 miles. The entire trail was an amazing experience, but it was getting off the beaten path, so to speak, that gave me some of the most memorable experiences. Looking at the map, I would often look for waterfalls, mountain summits, et cetera, that the trail did not go to. I saw some of the most beautiful places that those who stuck to the main trail never got to see.

If you have a correction, comment or a question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please, let us know where you're writing from, and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. If you're on Twitter, you can follow us there @totn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.