While gun advocates are accused of overreacting to new gun control measures, your editorial on the pending relaxation of 1950s knife laws makes Chicken Little look like the Rock of Gibraltar.
You state the pending legalization of switchblades and knives with blades over four inches will have "every crazed cowboy" carrying machetes and swords. Yeah, right! And all this hysteria about the pending repeal of an outmoded law passed way back in the late '50s to keep switchblades from street gangs! Gang members use illegally obtained firearms now, not switchblades.
Meanwhile, the 2009 federal law that keeps manual one-hand-opening knives from being classified as switchblades is in touch with reality. The implication of your statement that 80 percent of "non-kitchen pocketknives" sold in America are manual one-handers is clear. You are inferring one-handers are used in a majority of "knife crimes." Wrong again! The overwhelming majority of murders and other attacks with knives are committed with kitchen knives.
Bravo to the pending knife law. It would get Tennesseans out of the mid-20th century and into the 21st.
STEVE SHACKLEFORD, McDonald, Tenn.
Let's not be naive. Black women are struggling with of all things "hair issues?" The struggle, if any, is the perception that because of the texture of our hair, we somehow are seeking to deny what our Creator has divinely created and are seeking to be like other races.
In America, there has always been and will always be those who seek to demean and suppress others. Our hair is as much a symbol of our uniqueness as a race of people as the myriad shades of our skin, our full lips and large hips.
Yet no one is outraged at the money spent by those going to tanning salons and plastic surgeons to attain those physical attributes.
The article was an offensive and biased written account. There was the issue that our hair can't be touched, and we can't/don't exercise because of our hair. How do the statements of a handful of women define everyone? The title did not say "some" or "few" just "black women" which is all-inclusive. Our hair is not our identity or our struggle -- but the prejudice that still exists in America today.
ELIZABETH W. COOPER
The $9 million of taxpayer money projected for a road to a private luxury development at the top of Aetna Mountain would be better used for Chattanooga citizens in a three-pronged approach to crime and loss of life issues.
Gang killings take not only the lives of young men who are potential contributing citizens to our society, but also the lives of anyone, adult or children in proximity. Indiscriminate shootings threaten our neighborhoods and especially our first-responders.
First, we need to increase job training programs for unemployed or underemployed young men and women with appropriate teachers and skilled social mentors. Then, we need to eliminate gang graffiti, close drug houses and deal strictly with persons who choose to stay in criminal activities rather than join strong job training programs which the city or private organizations can provide. Finally, we need to employ more officers for our communities at wages which show our respect for their training, skills and the challenges they face.
Used in these ways, $9 million of taxpayer money will go a long way toward increasing the quality of life for all residents of our city.