I wonder if the "Boston bombers" told their victims of their "rights"? Did they say "I am placing a bomb at your feet which will explode shortly? You have the right to remain silent, stand there and get either seriously injured or killed ... You have the right to run away as fast as you can to avoid being at the sight of the bomb when it goes off ... You have the right to scream and alert the police about the upcoming explosion ... The choice is yours - it is your 'right' that I tell you what's going to happen."
Too bad the victims don't also have a group standing up for their rights!
SUE MONROE, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.
"Despicable, unconstitutional, ridiculous, immature and mendacious." And that's just how Tennessee newspapers characterized the state's "ag-gag" bill now awaiting the governor's signature.
"Ag-gag" bills criminalize whistleblowing that exposes animal abuses, unsafe working conditions and environmental problems on factory farms. Instead of encouraging whistleblowing and preventing these violations, ag-gag laws ensure that consumers and regulatory authorities are kept in the dark. Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and Utah have enacted ag-gag laws, but such bills were defeated in eight other states, thanks to a strong outcry from the public and newspaper editors. In 2013, new ag-gag bills were introduced in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming. Some original language was drafted by the infamous anti-consumer American Legislative Exchange Council.
Thirty newspapers and 60 national animal protection, workers' rights, civil liberties, public health, food safety and environmental conservation organizations recently have gone on record as strongly opposing ag-gag bills. Each of us who feels that our government must never restrict our right and obligation to know where our food comes from should urge Gov. Haslam to oppose the ag-gag bill.
On April 29, CNBC aired a report "America's Gun: The Rise of the AR-15." Due to mass shootings, the reporter stated all of the children in the Sandy Hook shootings were killed with an AR-15 rifle. The police chief on the scene stated at that time the AR-15 the killer had was still in the car and not used in the school. I don't see how he could have killed himself and then gone and put the rifle back in the car. But this is typical of some reporting when it comes to one-sided reporting. When are they going to report when a firearm of any type is used in defense of a person's life or protecting another. But then again that's not big news, is it.
KEVIN H. FLEMINGS, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.
Very often Clay Bennett succeeds in provoking people to write in response to his political cartoons. I am sure he thinks that in order to do his job, he needs to be controversial. I am sure there were a great many people who were able to do political satire, but he is not one of them. His April 28 cartoon is beyond a doubt the most insulting image your paper has ever printed.
I believe you owe a sincere apology to the survivors and the families of the Holocaust. It takes a twisted mind to draw the conclusion that the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and the Holocaust Museum are alike in any way. Millions of people were rounded up and put in boxcars. They were put in prison camps that would make an animal shelter look like the Hilton. They were systematically marched to showers and gassed with poison, then loaded into furnaces.
As a newspaper someone must look at and approve what is to be printed. That person also owes those millions of people a sincere apology. As do we the readers. I always have praised your paper for its balanced reporting. But this is a new low even for Bennett.
STANLEY D. HERDMAN, Ellijay, Ga.
Some folks feel that the National Rifle Association has pushed too far to the right in its effort to protect our Second Amendment. Such was not its purpose as organized, but has been made necessary by the extreme liberal left whose goal it is to destroy that amendment.
Our local gangs seem to be well-armed. Some believe closing the gun-show loophole will solve the problem. Are they not aware that most of these guys are under 21 and not allowed by existing law to own a handgun? It is doubtful that any who are over 21 could get a carry permit. Does anyone really believe that these guys will obey more laws?
A senator from Illinois objects to straw-purchased handguns being sent by us Southern folks to his gangsters in Chicago. If such exists, it can only be based on demand equals supply. Solve the gang problem, and the gun problem disappears. Should we close the gun show loophole? Fact is, the only way to enforce such loopholes requires registration that has always led to confiscation; Britain, Canada, Australia, et al.
AL HOCKERT, Hixson
The number of deaths by firearm homicide and suicide in Australia has been greatly reduced since stricter gun laws were introduced after 32 people were murdered in six massacres by legal gun owners in 1987 and 41 people were murdered by non-criminal gun owners in two massacres in 1996.
The improved gun laws after 1996 are usually called the National Firearms Agreement (NFA), or sometimes referred to as the Howard gun laws. Thousands of lives have been saved. It took over a decade for the full worth of the post-1987 and post-1996 gun laws to be revealed, but the facts now are known. We own a legal pistol, rifle and shotgun. No Democratic politician has ever even suggested that any of these legal guns be confiscated. You will only hear such nonsensical lies from the usual right-wing hate and fear machine.
This newspaper showed the faces and votes of our Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia GOP senators concerning background checks. All six voted to continue to allow anyone to freely buy (WMD) - military style mass killing guns, which is their only purpose! Do you never even check how they vote?
WALTER M. BENTON, Signal Mountain
In Tuesday's paper on the left side, Maureen Dowd called "Obama weak on background check vote" and the editorial on the right side chastised the Republican state lawmakers as budget-busters. Is the person who did that day's layout dyslexic?
A judge in Northeast Tennessee has dismissed a $750,000 libel lawsuit against Sen. Stacey Campfield for publishing false information online about a Democratic candidate for the state House in 2008. The Democratic candidate lost. A Republican candidate, Chad Faulkner, won by fewer than 400 votes. The loser filed the lawsuit against Campfield for blogging that "he had heard" candidate Roger Byrge had multiple drug arrests," and the judge dismissed the case?
Best part of the story: Circuit Judge John McAfee said, according to a transcript of the court hearing in Jacksboro, "Politics are politics, and it's a big boys and big girls game," and "That's just the way it is."
Politics at its best! Ladies and gentlemen, we are creating and leaving this America for the next generation. I was raised by (first generation) parents who came from immigrants. They believed in the United States of America and they raised me to have respect for the law, the government, the president and everything in between. Oh, if they could only be alive today to witness America today.
How can we let our values and standards be compromised. How and what do I teach my grandchildren today?
CAROL VANDENBOSCH, Sewanee, Tenn.
I just finished reading (April 24) Your Voice. In response to a letter writer who wrote that he thought Bin Laden was smarter than George W. Bush: You are the most unpatriotic person in our area. You think because Bin Laden was responsible for the death of nearly 3,000 Americans that he was smarter than George Bush? That's idiotic.
DENNIS BROWN, Lookout Mountain