So, now, a bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to increase penalties for straw purchases of firearms, eh?
I know where they should start to get some real practice about enforcing existing American firearms laws.
Let's refer them to Eric Holder, the attorney general, whose mandated straw purchases of real assault rifles caused the deaths of two border patrol agents and who knows how many Mexican civilians.
Federal Form 4473 -- mandatory for every firearm purchase through a federally licensed dealer -- contains 14 questions, one of which asks if the gun under pending sale is being bought for the ownership and use of the purchaser or for someone not legally allowed to own it.
All of these proposals, committees, bills, laws, are all smoke and mirrors and a dog-and-pony show. There are more than 30,000 anti-Second Amendment laws in force in the 50 States -- an average of 600 per state -- more than enough laws to prevent gun crime.
This past December saw the second Christmas which the Terry and Zapata families spent without their men. Who even remembers -- or cares?
With this administration and congress, I feel as though I'm living in "The Twilight Zone."
GEORGE MITCHELL, Blairsville, Ga.
After watching Pam Ladd for the last four years, I look forward to voting for Ken Smith. I encourage others to do the same come election day. I believe District 3 needs a new voice on the City Council -- someone who will strongly advocate for the best interests of taxpayers, local neighborhoods and small businesses and truly represent the views and values of the community.
During her tenure, Pam has ignored the wishes of the community on a variety of issues, including her vote to increase property taxes and park police cars that basically reduce the police presence on our streets. It's time to elect someone who will challenge the status quo at City Hall versus serving as a rubber stamp for the mayor. Our community needs a representative who will fight to adequately fund essential city services before funding non-essential projects -- and without raising taxes.
Ken is a businessman and community leader who truly understands what representation means to our community. His background and experience, along with his endorsement from local firefighters and police officers, are why I'm supporting Ken Smith for District 3 City Council. I hope you will, too.
I strongly support Jerry Mitchell for City Council, District 2. I have known Jerry for several years, and I am confident he will represent us well.
I first met Jerry years ago when he served as the head of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation. He showed effective leadership in this role and ended up serving under both Mayors Jon Kinsey and Bob Corker. But Jerry's experience isn't limited to public service. He spent years in the business world, giving him an important balance of both public and private sector expertise.
Not only does Jerry have the experience for this position, such as common sense, responsible budgeting and strong leadership, he also has the personality for this position. Jerry has great charisma, loves his hometown, is easy to talk to and is a good listener.
From knowing him personally and hearing his vision for the future, I can tell you Jerry is prepared to be our next Council member -- and he will do an excellent job.
When God said "Thou shalt not kill" He wasn't talking to guns, He was talking to us, man, human beings. Guns cannot kill without man's finger pulling the trigger. If God's word was a required class in school and parents would teach their children Godly values, we wouldn't have so much violence. Guns are not the problem. Sin is!!!
EVA MILLIGAN, Signal Mountain
I am writing in response to a letter (Feb. 5) by Jerome Woodall.
He expressed my thoughts so successfully that I will not try to elaborate but to say thanks for a thoughtful letter. Yes, if the Republicans continue on their trajectory, I fully think that Barack Obama will go down in history as one of our greatest presidents. I would like to give thanks also to the Tea Party and the special interest groups who have Washington awash with money.
FRANCIS A. GREEN, Chickamauga, Ga.
The Free Press editorial (Feb. 3) about fracking was excellent -- couldn't have been better.
Groundwater contamination was a problem long before environmentalists had fracking to blame. My recollection back to the 1930s and 1940s brings to mind a number of reasons believed to be the cause, depending on what was popular at the time. Some examples: (1) excessive use of manure as farm fertilizer; (2) dairy and pig farm use of waste collection ponds; (3) drilling horizontal and vertical mine shafts to recover top and bottom coal; (4) strip mining and (5) a combination of any or all of these.
Fracking has been used the past 50 or 60 years to shock shallow wells with declining production to release any additional residual gas before they go dry. If ground water contamination were going to occur, it would take place in shallow wells because they are much closer to aquifers.
Fracking used to release gas in the Marcellus shale layer, is too far below the aquifers to have any effect on ground water or any other environmentally sensitive issue. If there is any evidence otherwise, it should be made known so that it can be investigated for the public's edification.
THEODORE K. ELBELL, Madisonville, Tenn.
I am saddened by the editors of the Free Press in their advocacy for homosexuals in the Boy Scouts. They have fallen for the "big lie." Homosexuality is neither normal nor natural. Only a few percent practice this lifestyle, so it is not normal. Looking at the mammalian kingdom, it is not evident in any species so it is not natural. We have forgotten the lessons learned on the farm. Congress or the Supreme Court may make it legal but it will never be right.
The collapse of the great civilizations has been preceded by the disintegration of the family and the rise of homosexuality. America is approaching zero population growth, Russia is already there. If a few more percent are deceived into this lifestyle, we will start declining population. The purpose of every species is to survive. Homosexuality is contrary to survival of our species. None of the major religions advocate this lifestyle. Christians have been slandered by saying they hate homosexuals. That is completely false. If they did, they would simply shut up and leave the homosexuals to their eternal fate. Homosexuals must be treated with love and compassion and every opportunity to leave this unnatural lifestyle.
DAVID FORSTEN, Dayton, Tenn.