June 30, 2016 7:08 AM EDT

GENETIC EDITING

“Interesting and very informative,” wrote Young Shin of Aberdeen, Md., about Alice Park’s July 4 cover story on CRISPR, a way for researchers to alter genetic code. “But such gene-editing scientific activities need to be fully regulated.” Scott Hunziker of the Woodlands, Texas, wrote that he “couldn’t help think of its eventual effect in extending the average person’s life span,” and of the resulting depletion of natural resources. Meanwhile, Ron Flickinger of Fort Wayne, Ind., was reminded of a classic novel by Aldous Huxley. “As I read your report I kept stopping to look at the front cover,” he wrote, “to make sure I was still reading TIME and not Brave New World.”

SIT-IN STAR

“I love this story,” wrote California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on Twitter of Jay Newton-Small’s TIME.com profile of Representative Katherine Clark, the Massachusetts Democrat who started the recent sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to protest inaction on gun violence. “Proud to be her constituent,” said Carol Donovan. But others dismissed Clark and protest leader Representative John Lewis as wasting taxpayer dollars. House Democrats and Republicans, tweeted ApocalypseHarbingers, are equally responsible for a “dysfunctional” Congress: “Work together and find answers or get the hell out.”

Back in TIME

July 5, 1976

THE PROMISED LAND

On the occasion of the American Bicentennial, TIME surveyed the state of the nation–with a particular focus on the dreams of immigrants, then arriving at a rate of about 1,000 per day. See the issue at time.com/vault

TOO MUCH?

A story on the red-white-and-blue fad described the making of a “superflag” measuring 193 by 366.5 ft., “bigger by half than a football field,” and weighing 1½ tons.

THE TAKEAWAY

“One should never love America uncritically, because it is not worthy of America to be accepted uncritically,” wrote editor Henry Grunwald. “The insistence on improving the U.S. is perhaps the deepest gift of love.”

NEW LEADERS

As part of TIME and Rolex’s partnership to present 10 Next Generation Leaders, TIME Video profiled rock climber Ashima Shiraishi, 15, who scales courses of greater difficulty than any other female climber. Watch at time.com/nextgenleaders

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This appears in the July 11, 2016 issue of TIME.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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