Weapon editorial needs clarifications

Weapon editorial needs clarifications

April 22nd, 2011 in Opinion Letters

Weapon editorial needs clarifications

I find your editorial (April 16) at best ill-informed and at worse deliberately misleading.

While you did mention that the AR-15 found in (Jesse) Mathews' trunk was a semi-automatic, you then proceeded to call it "rapid-firing." A semiauto rifle fires no faster than a semiauto shotgun or handgun ... one squeeze of trigger required for each round fired. Same applies to a single shot firearm, a double barrel or a pump gun.

You then call the AR in question, "that powerful weapon" but you fail to mention the caliber. I suspect a .223, which I further suspect was a less powerful caliber than the handgun actually used.

You refer to studies documenting gun shows as a "main source" of criminals getting firearms but cite no such studies. May I cite a study?

Professor John Lott actually did a study - of inmates who had used firearms. Only 3 percent said they got their firearm at a gun show ... the rest stole them, got them from friends or relatives or through the black market.

By the way, the firearm Mathews actually used was stolen! And he should have still been in prison!

TOM WALLER

Soddy-Daisy

Let young people take reins of city

Everyone in Chattanooga who's concerned with the direction our community seems to be taking should read David Cook's last two articles in the Times Free Press (April 11 and 18).

Mr. Cook and other young men and women like him represent the future of Chattanooga, and they are very concerned. Violence is increasing weekly, the police force morale is at an all-time low, and no one in power seems to care and won't listen to the ideas of these young people.

Mr. Cook's property tax idea was exciting, but no response from the mayor. Take away cars from our police, cut the pay and benefits of the police and school teachers, etc.

The City Council needs a complete overhaul, top to bottom. Chattanooga needs young professionals to run for office and take charge before it's too late. Thankfully, Mayor Littlefield has only one year left to try to destroy everything Bob Corker worked hard to complete. Consolidate the county and city? Never happen. Homeless mall?

A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. This is what Chattanooga needs now. Young men and women like David Cook need to take control and protect their future!

PAT HAGAN

Blame legal system failure

Regarding your April 16 editorial. Instead of ranting about gun show loopholes and gun laws, you should look at the facts. Passing any law only affects the honest people. To illustrate: "Jesse Mathews was convicted of robbery in 2003 at age 17 and had served eight years of a 20-year sentence when he was released to a halfway house, according to the federal affidavit." Why was he here in the first place? This is a failure of the legal system.

"Colorado police accuse Jesse Mathews of robbing a pawnshop in Colorado Springs on Feb. 12 and stealing 16 firearms, $10,000 and some jewelry." I'm guessing that the robbery loophole was to blame here.

Another point, "Two guns that Jesse Mathews is accused of using in the robbery of U.S. Money Shops pawnshop on Brainerd Road were loot from the Colorado Springs robbery, authorities said." Does the gun show loophole have anything to do with these stolen guns which were used in the robbery and shooting?

Passing more laws is of no avail if criminals are not punished sufficiently. Reality check: Laws are made for the law-abiding!

CHRIS DAFFINSON

Hixson

Let legislators work for free

Here's a concept for Sen. Corker. Let all legislators - in national and state government - work for free! Give them housing and travel allowances and make them justify every penny. Make them pay their own medical.

All the bloodletting should not be on the poor, children and the elderly.

But of course, these folks don't pay thousands into your re-election campaign fund.

Enact and enforce term limits, then you wouldn't have to have a campaign fund.

Save money! Work for love.

NANCY SMITH

Dayton, Tenn.

Facts make birthers look ridiculous

Just what does the Constitution mean when it says the president must be a "natural born" citizen?

Did George Romney born in Mexico meet the requirement when he was the first to announce his candidacy in the 1968 presidential race, or Barry Goldwater born in Arizona before it became a state, or John McCain born in the Panama Canal Zone?

No birthers challenged any of these! Could it be because they were all white Republicans?

Certificate of live birth issued by the Department of Health, state of Hawaii, states Barack Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, at 7:24 p.m. on the island of Oahu. Both the Honolulu Advertiser and Star Bulletin recorded his birth within a week along with the family's address.

All this makes Donald Trump and the birthers appear ridiculous. Further, Trump declared George Bush to be probably the worst president in American history and "should go into a corner and hide." Recently he said mostly the same about Obama, proving again that he will say anything expedient, whether or not it is contradictory or makes sense.

If Republicans run this loose cannon with no government experience for president, they won't regret it but once and that will be always.

JOHN BRATTON

Sewanee, Tenn.

Three-second rule needed for lights

As a sophomore at UTC, I am still fairly new to Chattanooga. I am originally from Nashville and there is one big difference I have noticed in the two cities, the traffic lights.

In Nashville a traffic light will usually turn green three seconds after the intersecting light has turned red. However, there are many traffic lights in Chattanooga that do not wait three seconds, but instead turn green the second the other light hits red.

I didn't think this was such a big deal at first, but about a year after moving to Chattanooga my car was T-boned by a driver who was trying to make the light. Maybe if the light was programmed with the three-second rule, this could have been avoided.

JOHN SANDERS

GOP priorities are out of line

In 2010, Republicans won big in the Tennessee Legislature, partly because of their promises to focus on jobs. Instead of jobs, they've been pursuing more urgent business.

House Republicans just passed a virtual poll tax. Only those with a valid state-issued picture ID can vote.

Coincidentally, people who don't have a driver's license tend to be poor, elderly and urban. They must now get to the Department of Motor Vehicles and pay for an ID.

Republicans have stopped implementation of the Voter Confidence Act, which would have required a paper trail on all voting machines.

Republicans are working to strip teachers of collective bargaining rights and have introduced bills to teach creationism in public schools, requiring dogs to wear seat belts, creating a separate currency for Tennessee, and banning Shariah law.

Republicans voted against banning mountain-top removal mining when tourism creates more jobs than mining. They voted down every Democratic-sponsored jobs bill, and, according to Republican Speaker Beth Harwell, "The role of government is not to create jobs."

Are these your priorities? If you think government has a role to play in creating jobs; protecting our environment; encouraging free, fair elections; and protecting workers' rights, please vote Democratic, and don't forget your driver's license.

HELEN F. STAPLETON

Sewanee, Tenn.