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!"
PHILLIP M. POSNER
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.
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.
RICK TUCKER, Hixson
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.
CHRISTOPHER D. CAREY, Collegedale
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!
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.
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.
GLENDA NOBLITT, LaFayette, Ga.
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.
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.
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.
ROGER THOMPSON, Coffee County
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.
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.
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!
CONNIE LEONESSA, R.N.
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.
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.
PALOMA CHALKER, Ooltewah
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.
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.