As a 10-year old I learned gun safety at NRA-sposored program at a YMCA camp in Texas. I was very proud of my junior marksman certificates for shooting my .22 rifle, had them framed, and kept them for many years.
Now fast-forward 50 years. At the recent NRA national convention in Houston there were life-size targets available for purchase, a so-called zombie with blood running out of his mouth, an unmistakable likeness of President Obama.
The vendor said that he was "very proud to have given one to my Republican grandfather for Christmas." Speaker Glenn Beck offered his new logo for New York, depicting Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Hitler, exhibiting a Nazi salute with the caption "I will NY." A Jewish man depicted as Hitler. Classy.
Will we hear any NRA members or Republican representatives condemn these expressions? I sincerely doubt it. It appears that the NRA is no longer a lobbying group for gun rights, gun safety, etc. It is clearly just another despicable hate group!
In the May 3 issue of the Times Free Press there is an article about Hamilton County sheriff's deputy Justin Tabor, who provided alcohol to minors but is not being charged with a crime. Yet, there also is an article about a woman in Kingston, Tenn., playing beer pong with her underage son and three other juveniles. She's charged with four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and is scheduled to appear in court.
Apparently, there are different standards for police where they are exempt from certain laws.
GARY HAYES, Ooltewah
The primary flaw exposed in the Free Press editorial on Sunday (VW layoffs expose flaws) is the flaw in the editorial's logic. The piece asks what we have to show for the half-billion dollars in taxpayer-funded incentives given five years ago to attract Volkswagen, then answers rhetorically, "Pink slips. Five hundred of them." The article never mentions the thousands who remain employed because of VW.
After the layoffs, VW still writes 2,700 paychecks. VW suppliers such as Chattanooga Seating Systems, Gestamp and others write a few thousand more. Plus retailers, restaurants, insurance companies, home builders, professional firms, landscapers, newspapers and others write a few thousand paychecks using revenues they would not have if VW and VW supplier employees did not their have paychecks.
Studies of auto-assembly plants would indicate that directly and indirectly, each VW job means three or more total jobs. What do we have to show for the investment of in taxpayer-funded incentives? More than 8,000 total jobs that otherwise would have gone to Huntsville, Ala.
BENJAMIN PITTS, Sewanee, Tenn.