published Friday, July 27th, 2012

Americans allow NRA to be a bully and other Letters to the Editors

Americans allow NRA to be a bully

Six thousand rounds of ammunition, purchased online, a semiautomatic assault weapon with a 100-round magazine, a pump action shotgun and two automatic pistols cost a monster about $1,800 to murder and maim fellow Americans. "Tragic," says America's gun lobby, but "that's our right" -- including what we make on sales!

Fellow citizens, President Obama and legislators, we are responsible for such tragedies as Aurora. We allow the NRA to bully America with the pretext that "weapons don't kill, people do." We are accomplices for every life taken, every parent who will never see their child's graduation; hear their loved one laugh again.

We liberals are as grateful as every other American for the "the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness." Is that "liberty" synonymous with the "freedom" to murder citizens with weapons of mass destruction?

Writing this letter, I feel like the proverbial fiddler on the roof. My bow sings tears for those killed or maimed by weapons stamped "freedom." My lament is meant to challenge the NRA's hold on so many. For that, is not both courage and passion required -- a passion whose plea for weapons regulation is at least equal to their kind of disingenuous "freedom"? The courage to proclaim: No more "right" to murder, rather sing: "l'chaim: For Life!"


Politicians mustn't be pointing fingers

These mudslinging politicians need to pay attention to what they are saying and who they are pointing at. Why? Because when you point one finger at me, three point back at you.

Beside that, who is in the majority? It ain't the Republicans or Democrats or the rich. But the majority of us voters are just common people, some poor -- so why would we vote for someone like you? Think about it before you cut your own throat.


Campaign gift rules tilted to wealthy

One of the many things I would like to see changed about politics is that a candidate should not be allowed to contribute more than a regular contributor to his/her campaign.

The announcement that congressional hopeful Scottie Mayfield loaned his campaign $150,000 is ridiculous. If you don't have the money in the bank, you can't do things ... just like the federal government. Go out and raise the money like normal candidates. This is just the status quo of what we presently have.

This is what prohibits good people from running for office, the inability to compete with deep pockets of unlimited cash.

The laws will never change as long as voters continue to elect people who do this. The reason it will never change is because those who would have to vote for it are the ones who do it. This makes me sick to my stomach.


Vital's support of SAU laudable

It is with confidence I commend the character of Greg Vital. I thought it appropriate in light of recent press coverage to personally write about Southern Adventist University's former star student and long-time supporter. It is without the need for special recognition or publicity that Greg Vital has supported the university's Service Learning Center, which builds job skills and develops civic responsibility in students while helping Hamilton County. Greg is a part of our family at Southern Adventist University, and we are proud of him and thankful for his past and continued support of the university and our community.


Elect Horn to get strong leadership

Donna Horn is an educator with 25 years of experience whose focus is on children and securing the best education that can be given to all children, regardless of the school zone. While difficult, she knows that all decisions must be student-centered.

Donna wants to ensure the arts have a place in the curriculum. While an educator at a Title I school, she was responsible for writing $22,000-plus in Allied Arts grants to meet needs.

She knows that we cannot afford to minimize our PE programs. Our children's health is just as important as their reading and math scores.

Donna believes that we need to stop blaming teachers for their students' lack of motivation; parents, teachers, and community members must work together to motivate children. A vote for Donna is a vote for strong leadership in our schools for the most important people in the world, our children!


District 30's Smith will listen, learn

Sandy Norris Smith is an excellent choice for the Democrat nomination for Tennessee state representative in District 30. I have recognized her as a strong leader, a clear and creative thinker, and a great communicator since she was a student in my class at East Ridge High School in the 1960s.

As an adult, she has shown a real desire to give her time and energy in many facets of her career as an educator and to contribute to the needs and betterment of residents in the district. Her willingness to listen and lead are important characteristics for the position she seeks. I recommend her.


Walker does great job in tax office

I've worked for Walker County over 30 years and with Carolyn Walker in the tax commissioner's office since 2002. Carolyn had many ideas she brought from her banking and real estate knowledge and experiences and a desire to modernize the tax office. Under her leadership, the office utilizes more technology and she continues to try to make the office more convenient for the average citizen.

Carolyn has implemented a system of accountability with the money and dispersements that are made to the county, cities, state and school. She wants her staff to be professional and encourages us to be more customer friendly and is cross-training all employees. She's gone out of her way to help her staff when misfortune has come their way.

Carolyn is receptive to the public, and it's not uncommon to find her working the window on either the property tax or auto registration or in either of her two offices. Not many people in management today are that in touch with their constituents. Carolyn understands when it comes to financial hardships, and I've seen first-hand the compassion by making payment agreements. Vote for Carolyn Walker for tax commissioner as she's honest, trustworthy and doing a great job.


Romney creates many challenges

Romney supporters face a challenge with many issues.

Newt Gingrich said Republicans would not succeed "with this guy who has Swiss bank and Cayman Island accounts, and is a stockholder in Freddy Mac -- the worst Republican in the country to challenge President Obama on the individual mandate."

Gov. Mitt Romney maintained that with federal loans, "you can kiss the automobile industry good-bye." When President Obama authorized the loans, General Motors was reorganized, loans were repaid with interest, and soon was leading the world in sales. Romney then said he saved the industry from failure!

Romney has taken the reverse of every issue, from abortion rights to global warning, to mandated health care for all citizens, to calling it Obamacare that he would repeal.

Job creation? Romney said he likes being able to fire people and is not concerned about the poor. Massachusetts was 47th in job creation when he was governor. Originally claiming he created 10,000 jobs, he later inflated this to 100,000. Whatever it was, whenever Bain Capital functioned as either corporate savior or raider, Romney's pockets were lined.

Are Romney supporters wanting a president of, by and for the few?

JOHN BRATTON, Sewanee, Tenn.

City department isn't justified

I attended the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Saturday night (July 21) at the Tivoli. Preceding the movie, the Department of Arts and Culture presented a short movie filmed by a former Lee student now working in Los Angeles. While I enjoyed the movies, what I did not enjoy was the comments by Missy Crutchfield. She stood before the audience and justified her position and the employees in her department by stating that her department has generated enough money from their work to offset the cost of their department and the salaries in their department. I would argue that point unless money was generated directly into the department, which I do not believe is the case.

The department could be merged with the Department of Parks and Recreation and save the city a considerable amount of money each year including the retirement for these employees. The city taxpayer has enough to pay without paying for a department that is not needed. That includes the sculptures around the city that add nothing to the infusion of tourist money to our city nor to the beauty. What was accomplished by this department could have easily been done under the Department of Parks and Recreation.


Media must give facts about ads

I consider myself an independent and, as such, feel both political parties often present misleading and untruthful information in their political ads.

This has only gotten worse with the growth of PACs with no requirements to present the truth or even disclose who is funding these ads.

I have come to the conclusion that the media, both electronic and print, should have a responsibility to disclose the facts when untruthful and misleading political ads are presented in their publications or broadcasts.

When such misleading and untruthful ads are allowed to stand as if they are true, the public is in fact misled by the media as well as the group presenting the untruthful information.


All candidates not represented

Since there are five candidates for sheriff of Catoosa County, why were only two of the five shown in the picture that accompanied your article in Wednesday's paper on the Metro front page? One of the candidates not shown was the subject of an article in your Saturday, July 21, edition. Is there a message here?

RAY MILLARD, Ringgold, Ga.

Travis not able to do two jobs

Ron Travis, candidate for the Tennessee House District 31 GOP primary, is so busy running his insurance business that he doesn't have time to look at the good that Rep. Jim Cobb has done.

Funny thing is, I have not seen one good thing that Ron has done!

All he's done for me is go up on my insurance rates!

No way he can keep his mind on doing what needs to be done in Nashville and run his business here at home. Even if he does have people here running it while he's in Nashville, do you think he can keep his mind on Nashville and not be thinking of things at home. I don't think so!

I just don't want to pay him to do a job that he can't do full time and devote all his time to it.

JOHN MARTIN, Spring City, Tenn.

Mandate threatens religious freedom

The president is ordering Christian organizations to violate their beliefs by forcing them to pay for things like morning-after pills which are part of his "Obamacare" package. In January, Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, announced regulations for employers. The rules mandate, with few exceptions, all employers would be forced to provide coverage for contraception, sterilization and morning- after pills. Churches are exempt but not religious ministries such as schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. Any organization that refuses to comply with Obamacare is fined! Some of these nonprofit organizations cannot afford the fines and will be forced to close their doors rather than compromise their principles! This mandate threatens religious freedom. When the government exalts itself to a place of supremacy over people's consciences, religious freedom is in name only!


Gardenhire is true conservative

Recently, someone suggested that Todd Gardenhire's opponent is more conservative than he. What a joke! Instead of taking one person's opinion from a "back room" private conversation, let's look at the facts.

Todd Gardenhire has been endorsed by the Tennessee Conservative Union for his fight against an income tax. The Tennessee Right to Life endorsed Todd Gardenhire for understanding pro-life goals. The National Rifle Association supports Todd Gardenhire for his strong, pro-Second Amendment stance. Todd also won the Hamilton County Tea Party straw vote.

Todd's opponent may say or do anything to win, but the facts prove that Todd Gardenhire is the Ronald Reagan conservative. I ask all Republicans in Tennessee state Senate District 10 to vote for Todd Gardenhire.


Vital will make great senator

I have known Greg Vital since 1976. He rented from me while attending Southern Missionary College (Southern Adventist University). Greg was an outstanding young man who paid his rent on time and was always kind and courteous to us. I have watched him serve as a Collegedale city commissioner and a businessman committed to the area.

Years later, my husband and I moved into Morning Pointe and recently into a cottage in Greenbriar Cove which Greg developed.

I am 90 years old now. I think Greg would make a wonderful state senator and fully endorse him in this venture.


Take personal steps to lessen tragedies

Could the media please give us a break with endless grisly accounts of the Aurora killings? I understand it was a tragedy, and our sympathies lie with the 70 innocent victims. But we also need to appreciate that while 86 Americans are killed by firearms every day, nearly 4,000 are killed prematurely by chronic diseases linked with consumption of animal products and lack of exercise.

So, let's replace the vacuous hand-wringing over the Aurora tragedy with constructive personal steps to lessen the greater tragedies facing us every day.


It's not difficult to love others

As a new resident, I am surprised at the ongoing argument about using "Jesus" in public prayers at the County Commission. Could not all parties be satisfied with "in God's name" (as in our Pledge of Allegiance) at the County Commission?

I argue that it is not difficult to love people unlike yourself when you live according to the principles of any religious or philosophical beliefs. All religions have a god. Most overt/covert religious practitioners, agnostics, and, yes, even atheists pray to a god of their own understanding.

Jesus gave two commandments to His followers: "Love me, and love thy neighbor." It is not difficult to love people unlike yourself if you follow those two Christian tenets. Trying to pound Christianity into anyone is a waste of time -- time that could be used to "teach by example" by following Jesus' commandments.

Shepherd existing religious flocks. Sit with the sick and dying. Visit the lonely elderly in nursing homes. Take a neglected young person to church Sunday and then to lunch for an upbeat conversation.

When you "love thy neighbors" who need companionship and help, it is then never difficult to love the people unlike yourself wherever you find them.


Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

PHILLIP M. POSNER, at least they're getting enough public attention that their medical bills will be paid. Unlike the thousands of other victims of various tragedies over the past week.

RICK TUCKER, campaign finance reform, even John McCain wanted it once.

ROGER THOMPSON, facts in politics? No way!

CONNIE LEONESSA, you mean religious ministries functioning in such a way that they're employing people who don't share the religion? My word, such horrors, the state acting in the interests of the whole citizenry and not being dominated by an individual religion's dictates. If their principles are causing them to behave in such a spiteful way in order to control their employees...I think we're better off without them. Much like many places already decided they were better off without being under the constraints of the Catholic Church. If your individual conscience is such that you must impose your religious tenets upon others without regard for the objective considerations, then...I think we'll be better off without that too. You know there's a reason anti-discrimination laws had to be passed. People like you who demand the freedom to discriminate against others while pleading that you are the one being oppressed.

LEE SHUFF, it's the individual stories, not the mass events that attract attention.

CARREN BERSCH, sorry but it seems that the County Commission wants to pick another path.

July 27, 2012 at 12:11 a.m.
michaelb said...

Hey Phillip, don't forget all those dangerous DUI wrecks. We must rid our society of the cars too.

July 27, 2012 at 12:45 p.m.

michaelb, your attempt to offer such an argument is easily refuted. We do have laws against driving while intoxicated, and considerable effort is put into preventing such abuses.

And sure, you could cite a statistic about how cars kill more people than firearms, but if you consider how often the average American is around a car versus how often around a firearm, you might see the real risks are considerably different than your attempt to make us look only at a shallow presentation.

So...don't bother, come up with something more original as a rebuttal.

July 27, 2012 at 12:52 p.m.
Downtownman said...

michaelb uses one of the oldest defenses of the gun lobby: cars kill people too, lets ban cars.

When a lunatic invades a theatre through a side door with a car and drives around the theatre with enough precision to kill a dozen or so people, when a car is driven through a bank door and a teller is told to hand over the money at car point, when a deranged student can drive into a classroom building and kill over 30 people, when a disgruntled employee can drive to his boss' office and run him over, when 2 rednecks argue at a bar and one gets in his car, drives into the bar, and without the other having time to just get out of the way, then we'll talk.

Or maybe we'll wait until a gun can take me to work or go visit my parents, get groceries and haul them home, or take me to the beach, THEN we'll talk.

Until then, give the car/gun analogy a rest.

July 27, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
hambone said...

Have you noticed how many Republican canidates are "proud members of the NRA..".

We need a national referendum to reinstate the ban on assault rifles. It's much easier to intimidate or buy off a few politicians than it is the general public!

July 27, 2012 at 4:23 p.m.

We need a referendum on stupidity. We need to ban that. I hear drugs like marijuana and cocaine are illegal. Why isn't the ban on those working? Why do you anti-freedom types think a ban on guns will work? Criminals don't care about your stupid laws and bans. Unless of course it isn't the criminals you want to keep away from the guns. Only sane, law abiding, decent men and women will obey your laws and bans. But you already knew that didn't you?

Guns in the hands of the citizens is the only thing keeping the small number of freedoms we have left in this country. Give the save lives, ban a gun mantra a rest. Most americans aren't falling for it.

July 27, 2012 at 5:36 p.m.

You'll have to ask the conservatives who reject any attempt to repeal those laws or engage in decriminalization. Or any kind of refinement. Instead they just go with longer prison terms for some reason.

However, don't think that I want to ban guns. I want proper regulation of guns. Much like I want proper regulation of marijuana and other such substances rather than prohibition. The terms of this, well, I don't happen to have a full list, but maybe gun tracking, background checks, and waiting periods. Perhaps a checkup by somebody if you order a large quantity of guns and ammunition. Much like if you ordered a quantity of certain chemicals you'd be checked up on.

If a few individual criminals can skirt the law? Ok, that's true of any given law. We don't expect speed limits to be absolute, yet few of us rage over that and demand they be repealed because they can't be perfectly enforced.

Maybe the American people aren't falling for your rhetoric.

July 27, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.
riverman said...

I am a conservative Republican but not a big gun guy. I think there should be restrictions on semi-automatics and gun sales at gun shows. But what I don't really understand is how this loon could buy a full body armor suit without any questions. Who in the hell needs a full body armor suit unless they are up to no good?

July 27, 2012 at 8:36 p.m.

He called a company called Tactical Gear and ordered it.

You'll have to ask them about their business practices.

July 27, 2012 at 9:03 p.m.
hambone said...

FPSE, Loughner wasn't stopped until he emptied a 30 round magazine. Had the ban still been in effect he would have had only 15 rounds.

How many people were killed or injured by those last 15 rounds?

All the guns Holmes had were bought in the last 2 months. If the ban was still in effect then he would have had a shotgun with 5 shells and 2 handguns with 15 rounds each. Not a AR15 with 100 rounds. How many shots do you think he fired?

Your right about one thing.

Maybe there should be a referendum on stupidity!!

July 27, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
MalleusChristus said...

Jesus Christ>>>John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life..."

Exodus 20- "And God spake all these words, saying, I Am The LORD thy God,...Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

Saint John 4-"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth."

July 28, 2012 at 12:35 a.m.
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