Re: David Cook's column (Aug. 8). For every person publicizing armed attendance at a film, thousands more quietly and lawfully carry weapons they are competent to use. You decry their having weapons in churches, schools and theaters. One such citizen could have prevented or minimized the loss of lives at Virginia Tech, both mass shootings in Colorado, and the slaughter of helpless Amish girls in Pennsylvania.
I am unwilling to gamble that your statistics will protect my family. Nor can police, who investigate and prosecute assailants after the fact. That my weapon makes my family or others threatened with death safe is not, as you charge, a lie.
Angels of our better nature might survive in a utopia you apparently yearn for. That world does not exist. The lawless will always have deadly weapons, even if their ownership were unconditionally outlawed. Most lawfully armed citizens understand this and realize that we must try to live peacefully, while responding swiftly to deadly threats if we must.
The NRA is not perfect, but it serves as a strong voice supporting citizens' rights to protect themselves, especially when gun-control forces erupt after every senseless tragedy. To accuse it of treason is irresponsible in the extreme.
In response to critics of Chick-fil-A, I am proud to support a company that supports God's plan for humanity. The response of employees by Friday protests (Aug. 3) prove that the company supports the biblical standards of love and Christian service.
The corporation supports numerous programs that reach many deserving groups. I patronize Chick-fil-A because of their respect for God and family, for the great food and service and because it is my choice. I don't patronize businesses which conflict with my personal beliefs. Shop where you want and let others do the same.
I think time could be better spent finding ways to help children and young adults to find safety and success in life than trying to interfere with the individual rights of a very respected corporation. The silent majority spoke on Aug. 1, and to God be the glory!
JUDY PIKE, Flat Rock, Ala.
A letter writer (Aug. 7) who moved here from out of state could not understand why she was asked to declare a party preference. What she participated in was not really an "election," but a party nominating process. In some states they use a caucus whereby small groups meet and by show of hands or voice vote select a nominee. The real election comes in November when she will be allowed to vote for those selected in the primary plus the independents who are running. So unless she selects a party affiliation in the future she will not be allowed to participate in the primary nominating process in this state or most other states.
Whoa! Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Neither I nor anyone else I know who has worked with Dr. Hal Hill believes him to be capable of the actions he has been accused of in the press. A few short months ago, this community had Gail Palmgren's husband all but convicted of murdering his wife. Have we not learned anything? Back off and let the legal system get to the bottom of this mess before trashing someone's reputation based on rumor and innuendo.
DR. GARY LANHAM, Signal Mountain
Re: David Cook's column (Aug. 8) on the NRA as treasonous. I wanted to take a moment and applaud David Cook and the Times Free Press for having the courage to respond so eloquently to the lobbying and public relations efforts of the NRA.
I grew up in the '60s and '70s in an area of the country where gun ownership was not just commonplace but virtually unanimous. I have owned guns and do not object to responsible gun ownership.
The NRA should be a force for good, but instead acts as a bully, shouting down reasonable voices, and misusing their membership funds to threaten anybody willing to stand up to their strong-arm tactics. The fact that they do this for the most base of reasons, to increase corporate profits, with complete disregard for the lives of their members, is criminal.
I hope this is one of those situations where a single person with the courage to speak up starts a conversation that leads to a positive change. Thank you again, David Cook.
NATHAN BELL, Signal Mountain
To gold medal Olympian Michael Phelps: You have exhibited humility in winning -- and losing. You have given your family some heart-stopping moments but always brought them pride.
We will all miss you, Michael. Have a good life.
I grew up in Chattanooga and now live between Blue Ridge, Ga., and Murphy, N.C. Thank Goodness. I thought our government here was bad until today when I saw just how out of touch Chattanooga City Councilman Peter Murphy really is. With all of the gang violence, lack of jobs and high number of homeless veterans he doesn't have anything better to do than to waste the time of the ATF by complaining about the color of firearms.
I showed this front-page story (Aug. 7) about him to a female friend of mine who laughed until it hurt as she showed me her bright pink Sig 9mm pistol that has gold inlay that reads "I Survived Cancer" on the barrel of it.
Another friend has a 375 magnum, which is UT orange and white. They paid more for their firearms to get the colors that they liked ,which meant paying higher taxes for them. They both carry them for their safety.
Peter Murphy, who is head of the council's Legal, Legislative and Public Safety Committee, should spend the time that taxpayers are paying him for to see that downtown is more safe instead of worrying about the colors of firearms.
KEEVIN PRINCE, Mineral Bluff, Ga.
Owner of Chick-fil-A Dan Cathy's comments disturb me because they only add to the angst some people experience with the realization that they are gay.
To anyone struggling because you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, I have a message from your allies: We love you. There is nothing wrong with you. There is a great deal wrong with a culture that cannot accept that you are perfectly made in the image of God. You deserve to live openly and without fear, to work without being subjected to discrimination, to marry the person you love, to be a legal parent to your children, to participate in medical decisions for your family, and to leave an estate for your surviving spouse and children, just like other families do. I urge others to "come out" and speak up on behalf of our LGBT friends and loved ones at every opportunity. Let us love our LGBT neighbors as ourselves by making life hospitable for them, in our families, schools, sports, churches, the workplace, and as citizens with full equal rights.
H. DIANE DIXON, Hixson