In the wake of the tragedy in Sandy Hook, gun control will inevitably come up. Who can legally own a gun has been asked and answered. The children in China who were attacked on the same day were knifed. Senseless violence is not confined to our country.
The question "who in their right mind would ...?" The answer is "no one." People who commit heinous acts need treatment long before they become violent.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, "An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older - about one in four adults - suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year." Personality disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD are all treatable.
Some people may think mental illness is an excuse for criminal behavior. It is not. Severe cases where standard treatment is not possible are handled in a more aggressive way.
I am not attempting to excuse the acts of a seriously ill person nor do I condone institutionalizing anyone without a professional, very thorough examination. There are most definitely people who do not need to be free among society. My point is to address the real issue of how to deal with psychotics instead of guns. That is the hard question.
The middle class is the engine of our economy. By working hard and playing by the rules, America has shown that anyone can achieve the American Dream.
But in times like these, we simply cannot afford to have middle-class taxes go up just because a few in Congress aren't willing to ask millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.
We need leaders in Washington to find a balanced approach to our economic challenges, but we can't risk the entire middle-class for the wealthiest 2 percent of America. Congress should pass the middle-class tax cut extension, avert the fiscal cliff, and work with the president to get our country moving again. Anything less is unacceptable.
Enough! When are we as individuals and as a society going to say to our leaders in Washington enough, stop this madness. The argument that the enactment of common-sense legislation that makes it illegal for individuals to purchase assault and semi-automatic weapons and ammunition somehow tramples on our Second Amendment rights makes no sense to me.
I believe our Founding Fathers would be appalled and sickened that under the guise of this constitutional right, we allow the sale of weapons and ammunition whose only true purpose is the destruction of human life. I am under no illusion that banning the sale of assault weapons would end the mass shootings and killings, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction.
We must use the heartbreaking tragedy in Newtown, Conn., as the call to action. Please join me in urging Sens. Corker and Alexander and Congressman Fleischmann to lead the charge in enacting legislation that will permanently ban the sale of these types of weapons of mass destruction.
If we carefully read the U.S. Constitution, we see that the Second Amendment states the only justification for citizens to bear arms is because we need a "well-regulated militia." What is a militia today? It is our National Guard. It does not mean we should have large numbers of well-armed individuals who are not "well-regulated." The country needs better gun control to keep these weapons out of the hands of the type of persons who attack innocent citizens. When will we learn?
CHARLES M. "ROCKY" RENNEISEN
I don't know who the letter writer (Dec. 13) is talking about, but most of the people who want the rich to pay more taxes are the middle class - people who work every day and pay their taxes. People living off others don't care who pays them.
Methane: Coming to a water tap near you?
Industry statistics from the past three years reveal that 6-7 percent of the wells drilled to produce natural gas by hydraulic fracturing experience structural integrity failure related to the casing. Both the water and the nitrogen-gas fracturing method (used in Tennessee) are subject to these flaws. Most common is disbonding of the cement which allows methane to migrate outside the casing up to the aquifer. Once in the aquifer, the methane enters drinking-water wells and is released into homes when residents turn on the tap.
Natural gas is primarily methane. Methane is deadly poisonous and highly flammable. By Tennessee state law, all hydraulic fracturing wells currently under production in Tennessee and all hydraulic fracturing wells slated to be drilled are exempt from oversight monitoring hazards related to methane migration. Residents whose health and homes are put at risk by migration of methane into their water supply have no recourse.
Two-thirds of the state is targeted for natural gas production by hydraulic fracturing. Write Gov. Haslam today and ask him to call a moratorium on horizontal fracturing in the state of Tennessee.
Tracy City, Tenn.
I wish I had the wisdom to offer an explanation for the senseless murders of kindergartners in Connecticut or words of comfort to families who are grieving. I do lift my prayers.
We live in a nation that continues to abandon our roots of belief in and reliance on God. The Bible is not welcome in our schools. There are groups that continue to try to remove all public mentions of God. These are concerted efforts to make our nation more secular and less spiritual.
However, in addition to our physical nature, we humans have a spiritual nature that we deny at our own peril. As Pascal said, "There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."
The baby born at Christmas is that God who alone can fill the vacuum in our hearts. He is especially the only One who can heal the hearts of the grieving families.
Included in my prayers for the victims and their families in Connecticut is that rather than letting this evil act drive them away from God, they will embrace the hope of Christ/Christmas.
I do not own a gun, and personally wish they all could be banned. Seeing the needless tragedy of the past week reinforces my personal beliefs even more. However, I am a realist, and I see how well the laws concerning the elimination of illegal drugs seem to be working.
I feel gun-control legislation would be equally as unsuccessful, resulting in what the popular bumper sticker says: "If guns are banned, only criminals will have guns." How many legally obtained guns do you think are used in the gang shootings here in Chattanooga? If they cannot stop drug smuggling, how can we possibly believe they can stop gun smuggling? Think long and hard before you support gun control.
The tragedy in Connecticut and other incomprehensible crimes leave us stunned. We are tempted to shut down to our grief and see the world as a violent place that is spinning out of control. What can we do? I thought of a very simple solution to world peace. The solution is to treat every little boy and girl like your son and daughter; every man and woman like your brother and sister; and every elder person like your mother or father. And this is regardless of their race, sex, or religion.
Jesus, who said "Love your neighbor as yourself," was a Jew from Palestine who spoke Aramaic. The goodwill we are all searching for lies right inside our hearts.
Recently 1,770 meals were served by the First Baptist Church of Fort Oglethorpe. This is the sixth year this gift has been given to our community. This Christian outreach was led by Pastor Jason Thomas and Kevin Stone, and the chief cooks were Jeff and Michelle Fletcher. Jack Goodlet helped with the donation of the food.
The food was delivered, cooked and served by many of the church members and volunteers from the community. Meals were delivered to Rossville, Ringgold, Tunnel Hill, Rock Spring and LaFayette.