Smoke rising from a marijuana cigarette. 

Smoke rising from a marijuana cigarette.  Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett

Although much of our entertainment is based on violence, we are isolated from actual images. We often are advised that what we are about to see might be disturbing, but the brutal parts are filtered out.

Daily news shows urgently report the latest assault-weapon mass shooting with an AR-15- style rifle, but they make sure not to assault our sensibilities.

Wisely, in recent years, public service announcements about the dangers of smoking show real people, like the woman who grunts through an artificial larynx. It’s so much more effective than a line graph.

In 1955, after Emmett Till, visiting from Chicago, was lynched and mutilated in Mississippi, his mother insisted on an open casket so the horror could be viewed by the public. Her decision left people with an indelible image.

With the permission of grieving families, it’s time for America to leave the coffins open. When people are killed by an assault weapon, it’s not just another statistic. Let the media show the savage explosion of human flesh, the bloody dismemberment of internal organs. Repugnant? Sure.

But it might be the most effective way to wake people up.

— Bruce Stasiuk. Setauket

I like the opt-out of holiday emails

How wonderful that a reader has managed her grief so well “Mother’s Day emails shouldn’t have option,” Just Sayin’, May 13]. No one is attempting to take away Mother’s Day or Father’s Day by allowing us to opt out of the avalanche of sales pitches that come into our inboxes this time of year. Isn’t it ironic that the reader scolds that no one should dictate how to feel or celebrate while doing exactly that?

I appreciate that companies and media corporations extend me and others like me the kindness of opting out of the reminders of our pain. Imagine if a woman just endured her fifth miscarriage in as many years, or that perhaps she just buried her 10-year-old child.

Perhaps we who are grieving can skip the greeting card store visit and avoid the plant sales, but it certainly is nice to know that marketers and companies value and appreciate that we all grieve in different ways and some of us appreciate when kindness is extended. You can “opt” to simply scroll by and/or delete if you are somehow upset by kindness and compassion in your email inbox.

— Trish Yeager, Babylon

I prefer fresh air without smell of pot

It’s unfortunate that those who choose not to use marijuana must endure the odor. It’s terrible, with nice weather now, that some of us can’t sit outside on our patios or inside with sliding glass doors and windows open without the smell of marijuana in the air.

I returned home from work and had my windows open. I couldn’t believe the house was filled with the smell of marijuana. Something needs to be done.

— Barbara Powers, Oceanside

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