My ideas evolve to the most simple. Why not, by legislative process, require firearms manufacturers to produce for civilian purchase only single-shot guns? Military and law enforcement to be excepted. How could that big thunder cloud in the sky, the NRA, not be satisfied with this?
DUDLEY MEADOWS, Signal Mountain
As a recent subscriber to the Times Free Press, I was surprised to find two editorial pages with differing viewpoints. The format presents an opportunity for critical analysis in forming one's opinion. However, after six months of subscription, I find the quality of the Free Press editorials perplexing.
Drew Johnson's opinions lack gravitas. He presents them flippantly, as if trying to be clever/artful.
For instance, is obesity really something to celebrate globally or otherwise? What of the positions of the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control or international medical/scientific groups? Should we really mock climate change when most national or international body of science maintains concern about the threat of our altered weather patterns?
Is government really not supposed to "achieve remarkable accomplishments"? I finished my second term on our Birmingham area city council just before moving here, and was very proud of numerous governmental achievements during that time. Should our goal have been mediocrity?
MARY LEE RICE
My husband and I have known District 2 City Council candidate Jerry Mitchell since we went to elementary school together at St. Jude. He has lived most of his life in this district and has only the best intentions in his decision to serve all residents who live here. Jerry has had remarkable success working in the private sector, negotiating global contracts for international and local companies.
His experience working as the Parks and Recreation director under both Mayors Kinsey and Corker gave him the unique opportunity to help bring those and other city leaders' vision to reality with the expansion of parklands that we now all enjoy, including Dupont Park in Hixson, Champions Club in Lupton City and Coolidge Park. He is extremely committed, honest and fiscally responsible -- a perfect choice for City Council.
Please join us along with two other generations of our family who live in this district as support and vote for Jerry on March 5.
ELLEN AND PAT CROWE
Four years ago, Pam Ladd ran a campaign on being a fiscal conservative and advocating for the taxpayers and neighborhoods, but her record and attitude have been anything but. Since taking office, Pam has voted to raise my property taxes 19 percent and my stormwater fees by more than 190 percent while chairing a City Council that has underfunded the needs of our essential services, public safety and road repairs.
Recently, Pam has failed to lead on the Chattanooga Village project -- a key issue in District 3. I'm glad she finally voted "no" on the project, but I can't help but feel hers was a timely political decision to help ensure her re-election among the many of us in District 3 who are opposed to that project.
Until the vote, she had only spoken out in favor of the developer while ignoring the wishes of those of us she was elected to represent.
In contrast, I believe Ken Smith will be a strong advocate for the needs of the taxpayers and neighborhoods. As a long-time businessman and civic leader, Ken has the right experience and knowledge to lead on the key issues. The status quo at City Hall needs to change. Vote for Ken Smith for District 3 City Council representative.
SHARON PEKER, Hixson
What are assault weapons?
Some in Washington and others would have you believe it is a military weapon. This is true in some cases.
However, when I was in the U.S. Army, I was taught anything I could lay my hand to could be used as an assault weapon.
In the past and recent weeks and months, I have seen in the media people murdered and by other than firearms. So, here is a list of what I consider assault weapons. From sporting goods stores, baseball bats, golf clubs. From hardware stores, crowbars, hatchets, lengths of pipe and chain. Gas stations, a gallon of gas. And then a bar to fill a drunken driver's belly full of beer.
Notice, none of these assault weapons needed gun powder.
KEVIN H. FLEMMINGS, Soddy-Daisy. Tenn.
It was so misleading to read the Free Press editorial on the inauguration day.
The article went to great lengths to praise the Lee University students who performed at the event, and noted what a great honor for the students to represent their school and our area in the patriotism of America.
The next editorial showed the patriotic spirit of the editor, by stating the inauguration is an event that some will forget. He goes on to ask "do you care? If you are like most people you have a passing interest in the proceedings. That in itself is about the success of the United States to transfer of power, or in this case the retention of power so unpopular it is almost a non-event."
The editor must not have read the article about the interview with the Lee students themselves after the event.
They were full of pride and had praise for our president and his family, the vice president and Sen. Lamar Alexander. They called it a great patriotic experience. It was a spectacular "non-event."
Speaking of unpopular, Mr. Editor, have you checked the polls lately? President Obama 60 percent approval, Republicans 12 percent approval, or right down there with lice and clogged toilets.
DON MYERS, Hixson
Tennessee's state and local governments are moving toward diverting badly needed funds for educating children to the arms industry to increase the number of armed guards called "school resource officers" in all schools.
According to a new NYT/CBS poll, 74 percent of Americans believe that more security guards would help prevent mass shooting in schools. There is no evidence to support that. Rather, it seems to me that this is the way hard-won democracy and freedoms disappear. They aren't taken away; citizens give them away out of fear. Fear is irrational, and no wonder that 74 percent of Americans when frightened want to have armed guards in schools "to protect children."
When frightened and confused, it even makes sense that the more guns around children, the safer from guns children are. But experience, logic and common sense argue against that. Our most recent gun massacre in schools makes that case. A Sandy Hook staff member testifying to Congress described the sound of "hundreds of bullets rocketing through the school." She said, "Make no mistake, if there was a police officer in our building that day, he would be dead."
Adam Lanza did not knock on the door and ask for permission to come in. He shot his way through the door barely seconds after he got out of his car. ... Nobody needs a gun that can kill 26 people and shoot hundreds of rounds of ammunition in three minutes.
FAYE WALTER, Sewanee, Tenn.