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Editor’s Letter – 5/16/18

Gun control. What a topic! And one that triggers various responses among many people. I recently came across this quote from Buddhist teacher and scholar Chogyam Trungpa: 

“You don’t have to abandon things because there is something destructive in them … We don’t have to reject or abandon anything. We could work on the creative aspect of situations.”

To me, having room for creativity to work on the situation is heartening. For this issue, we are pleased to run a lengthy feature examining myriad ideas for saving lives in our state and country. As Oklahoma ranks fifth in the nation for gun violence, this category is one of the rare instances in which we make the top ten. (Other categories include obesity, teen pregnancy, and uninsured individuals—but we’ll save those for other TTV issues.)

Oklahoma ranks high in incarceration, too, with the second-highest rate in the country (which also makes us second-highest in the world). Writer Damion Shade examines the seven criminal justice reform bills recently signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin and how they might help us fix our broken prison system.

Gov. Fallin signed another important document just last week—she vetoed Senate Bill 1212 (also known as the “Constitutional carry” or “permitless carry” bill), which would have allowed anyone to openly carry a gun without a permit. Fallin has done some pretty wonky things in office, like moving the vote on medical marijuana—SQ 788—to June 26, but The Tulsa Voice commends her choice to veto a bill that would have put the lives of Oklahomans at greater risk.

There are lighter topics in these pages, too—Andrew Saliga gives the low-down on making a perfect mint julep; Zack Reeves pries the mind of the beloved LeVar Burton, who will visit for the Arts Alliance Tulsa Brunch on May 19; OKC rapper Jabee prepares to return to Tulsa’s Habit Mural Festival to perform and raise money for Youth Services of Tulsa; and John Tranchina introduces Fortuna Tulsa, Tulsa’s newest soccer team.