David Cook's Aug. 8 column, your political cartoon, and your recent editorial all vilify the NRA and call for strict gun control. The recent mass shootings are indeed tragedies, but the fact is that violent crime across the country, for several years, has dropped significantly, while gun ownership and the number of concealed carry permits are way up.
Cook also stated in his column that carrying a weapon to prevent a mass shooting is delusional. On two occasions the display of a firearm has stopped me from being victimized. A number of my friends have had similar experiences. These types of incidents are seldom reported to the police and almost never reported by the media.
One form of gun control I would support is the more stringent enforcement of mental health professionals reporting potentially violent patients to authorities so they could prevent them from legally purchasing firearms. In the recent Colorado shooting and the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, mental health professionals might have helped avert the tragedies by reporting their findings to authorities.
If you want to really stop gun violence, start aggressively prosecuting juveniles and young adult felons who are terrorizing Chattanooga and many other cities with gang warfare.
With reference to the pitiful Times editorial "District 3 embarrassment" (Aug. 4), having to do with Congressman Chuck Fleischmann's victory in the recent election, I say refer to the statement by Obama after the 2008 election. "We won ... get over it!"
C. BRUCE SPENCER
In the past few weeks and months, I have seen editorials with unfounded statements about the NRA. The Times editorial page has a passion about blaming the NRA for any deranged or mental defective who kills another human being with a firearm. In my lifetime I have seen these same type of people use gasoline to set fires in night clubs and theaters, killing hundreds of people at one time. If a person wants to kill, he will find other means besides a firearm to do his deed.
The editor and others condemning the NRA, please check the history of the National Rifle Association. It knows there are persons out there who do not need to possess a firearm. I suggest you get a copy of the American Rifleman and read the section of "The armed citizen." Those mentioned in those articles know the responsibility of gun ownership. So please know what you are writing about.
KELVIN H. FLEMINGS, Soddy-Daisy
I was brought up to believe that in the good old U.S.A. a person is innocent until proven guilty. From the recent articles in your paper, that is no longer true. The media has gone wild with the story about Dr. Hal Hill. The story has even been on national news.
I was a patient of Dr. Hill's for three years due to a staph infection in my leg. Dr. Hill not only saved my leg he saved my life. There isn't a doctor in the world who is smarter or more caring or compassionate. I wouldn't hesitate to call Dr. Hill's office because he is the best! I think you and others are doing him a serious injustice -- after all, this man has not even been charged.
Thanks for David Cook's article (Aug. 8) on the treasonous behavior of the NRA. They are not the only organization that exhibits some of those treasonous characteristics. In my opinion, there are very important matters that our country and our representatives in Hamilton County, Nashville and Washington need to address.
We seem to spend too much time and energy and money on peripheral issues and ignore honor and health and severe economic problems of all citizens.
Right on, David; keep up the good, well-reasoned columns.
JIM HENRY, Signal Mountain
The United States is the world's leader in attracting private clean-energy finance and investment - yet because of expiring tax credits, we're at risk of losing this edge in the growing clean-energy market.
The PTC, or Production Tax Credit, supports our wind energy manufacturing here at home, allowing us to maintain our competitiveness in the global clean energy market. Despite the policy's importance, it's set to expire at the end of 2012. Small-business owners like me know that one of the best ways to reduce the price of goods in our market is through scale. Clean energy is the same - the more we invest now, the more prices will fall in the future as more wind turbines and solar panels are built. National policies give investors assurance that there will be a market for their goods in the future, which leads to increased production.
Congress should protect U.S. clean energy jobs and extend the PTC.
"Immigrants (prove) big business for prison companies," an AP article published by The Chattanooga Times Free Press on Aug. 3, relied on selective information and speculation to advance a misguided hypothesis about the impact our company, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), has on U.S. immigration policy.
The fact is CCA does not and has not ever lobbied for or endorsed immigration legislation under long-standing corporate policy. In reality, we have financially supported a number of individuals and organizations that run contrary to the examples provided in the report. For instance, we are a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which vehemently opposed Arizona's controversial immigration legislation.
CCA exists because we provide solutions to the government to help meet our nation's detention and corrections challenges. We have been innovators in everything from rehabilitation programming to facility design, and we do so at independently verified cost savings of 5 percent-15 percent.
MIKE MACHAK, Manager, Public Affairs, CCA, Nashville
Re: Times editorial "District 3 embarrassment," (Aug. 4).
In your editorial, you once again take your shots at Chuck Fleischmann. You say he didn't hesitate to call his triumph in the primary as a great victory. Of course he did. If it was a Democratic primary, wouldn't the Democratic candidate call it a great victory?
You said he foundered in his home county with 31 percent of the vote. I'm not a mathematician, but weren't there three candidates running?
Then you go on to blast him as you usually do about his getting funding to finish the new Chickamauga Dam, when you know that government funding for these projects throughout the United States is not happening with the budget battles in Washington.
You also stated that Fleischmann has a rigid right-wing rejection of infrastructure investment. Where do you guys come up with this hogwash?
And finally, there is no disappointment with him across the gap base, but there should be disappointment by the readers of your editorial.
MARY FRICKE, Spring City, Tenn.
Guns! How wonderful! A color for each new outfit, I'll buy one henceforth. Are there shoes to match?
MARYMORE CRAVENS, Sewanee, Tenn.