Letters to the Editors

Letters to the Editors

March 4th, 2012 in Opinion Letters

Background checks do block gun sales

A letter writer says that the present law requiring background checks by licensed dealers has not been effective in preventing the sale of guns to legally prohibited buyers.

In fact, since the law went into effect, over 1.5 million legally prohibited gun buyers have been blocked from purchasing guns from licensed dealers; most were convicted felons.

If this many felons are risking prosecution under the law for lying when filling out the form, how many were buying from these dealers before the law went into effect? Almost all guns used in committing crimes start as legal guns.

The background check law is directed at the gun dealer, not at the purchaser. The effectiveness of the law does not depend on the criminal's agreeing to obey gun laws. The fact that some criminals will obtain guns by other means is not an argument against background checks; it is more of an argument to close the gun show loophole.

The fact is, gun control laws will not prevent all crimes. We have laws against murder, but we still have murders. No one is suggesting that murder should be legal because 100 percent of them can't be prevented.

ELLEN STEPHENS

Murphy, N.C.

Will children now get left behind?

I was very discouraged in reading that because of the price of busing, children in the low-achieving schools where I live will no longer be allowed to leave those schools to go to higher achieving schools. And we can do that now because we got a waiver from No Child Left Behind ... so now I guess that means that we can leave children behind.

I have some personal knowledge of one of those schools. It's in a depressed area, and the majority of students there don't see the need for education. The students come into class and say ... "I don't have to do this," or "I don't have to take your test." These are phrases voiced daily there.

I think some students need to be able to get out of that atmosphere.

In addition to the atmosphere of these schools, I believe that the school board and administrators seriously need to adopt the concepts of training found in schools like Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts and Normal Park.

These schools have been recognized on a national level for their achievements. So, why aren't those practices being put into place in other schools?

KATHRYN SHAFFER

Santorum not as he appears

Why did the tea party host a Rick Santorum event? I thought "TEA" stood for "Taxed Enough Already?" Rick Santorum doesn't believe in low taxes or small government.

In a 2008 interview on NPR, he said, "This whole idea of personal autonomy, well, I don't think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues."

Rick Santorum gives only lip service to being pro-life. In reality, he has voted at least six times to increase funding for Planned Parenthood. He campaigned for Christine Todd Whitman for governor of New Jersey, who is pro-choice. He also campaigned for ex-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, who is pro-choice.

Also, for all of his bluster about welfare and entitlements, while in office he voted against food stamp, Medicaid and TANF reform while voting to double funds for the Social Service block grant from $1 billion to $2 billion.

MARIA MITCHELL

Harrison

Accomplishments not a mystery

The tragic death of 9 year-old Savannah Hardin (page B4, Feb. 25) was especially hard for me because I recently retired after 36 years of teaching. I can't imagine the grief felt by her teacher as she/he must comfort those who sat with Savannah each day in the cafeteria or played with her on the playground.

I was struck by the AP writer's statement that with all the fractured family relationships, this young girl "still somehow managed to remain among the top students in her third-grade class."

It's no mystery to me how Savannah achieved success at school. Imagine her classroom teacher giving extra one-on-one time to boost her math scores and her school librarian quietly reserving Savannah's high interest AR books. She may have received little reinforcement at home with school projects, but it sounds like Savannah was given many chances to shine at school.

I'm going to speculate that some of Savannah's happiest hours were those spent under the tutelage of a nurturing and supportive educator.

Even with all the scripted standards that teachers must "check off" daily, I'm certain a safe haven was still provided for this sweet child.

Peace to Savannah's teachers, principal and peers who feel the sorrow left by such a bright-eyed innocence.

CATHY ELKINS

Cleveland, Tenn.

Make solicitors pay return postage

Let's help the Post Office make money and cut down on our trash.

When you get those unwanted credit card, insurance applications, etc., simply rip the contents up, put them in the "postage paid" envelope and let the company that sends this junk mail pay the postage to send it back to itself.

BILL MOSES

Dunlap, Tenn.

Obama clear choice if Santorum chosen

I pray that Rick Santorum will be the Republican nominee for president.

Why? With a clear conscience I will be able to cast my vote to re-elect President Obama.

Listening to the former senator on "Meet the Press" demonstrated to the viewer he is unaware of our Constitution as an "evolving document made possible by the elastic clause."

As I listened to the former senator, I was reminded of the recent wars in which our country has been involved.

I might remind the reader we fought against those whose goal was to establish a religious theocracy. I'll settle for the limited democracy we enjoy.

Another discouraging goal of the former senator is to re-establish a caste system in society. Backing off the outrageous, distorted and misquoted inferences directed at President Obama on college attendance, he said he "didn't really mean higher education shouldn't be an option, but that junior college, trade schools, etc. could be considered." He should have said that from the beginning!

I hope we never elect a person like Rick Santorum as president of the United States.

MIKE CARTER

North Chattanooga

Maybe it's time for a third party

Americans believe third political parties never succeed. But the Whig Party, formed in opposition to Andrew Jackson's policies, elected two presidents and two congressional majorities.

Today's Republican Party emerged in 1852 because both the Democrats and Whigs were in bed with the Southern slave owners. Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party didn't win in 1916, but drained off enough votes from the GOP to swing the election to Wilson. And Clinton probably couldn't have won without Ross Perot in 1992. Third parties can make a difference if the time is right.

Over the past few decades, there has been a steady transfer of political power from the individual voter to corporate interests, and nobody in either party wants to talk about it. Corporate money is being poured into both parties, not entirely equally, but equally enough to assure favored treatment no matter who holds the White House or Congress.

We changed parties in 2008, but many who advised George W. -- Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke et. al. -- now have Obama's ear. Both parties are more interested in perpetuating their terms and lining their pockets than in governing the republic. Could it be time for another third party?

GEORGE B. REED JR.

Rossville, Ga.