Get serious about guns and other letters to the editors

Get serious about guns and other letters to the editors

September 20th, 2013 in Opinion Letters

Get serious about guns

Gun violence has become an epidemic across the nation. Every day throughout the day, there is news to inform viewers of yet another horrific crime involving a gun.

Yes, even in Chattanooga, Tenn., a place where you least expect such terrible acts of violence, we witness gun violence against our citizens.

According to the Center for American Progress, in Tennessee, an aggravated assault with a firearm occurs almost hourly. Almost twice as many people were killed with guns in Tennessee 2001-2010, than were killed in combat in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Yet the National Rifle Association had been generous financially to federal officeholders from Tennessee who protected the status quo.

President Obama has taken measures to introduce 11 common sense measures, including providing incentives for schools to hire school resource officers, etc.

We encourage all citizens to support our president's proposal to reduce gun violence. We don't want to take guns away, just reduce the violence and save a precious life.


Keep Westside a quality community

As a retired president of JDF, an industrial waste hauler that served Chattanooga manufacturers for more than 40 years, including several in the Westside community, I am opposed to the city's effort to subsidize manufacturing on public land and thereby destroy the Avondale community, whose quality of life has already been reduced by the Chattanooga Housing Authority's abandonment of the Harriet Tubman housing complex.

If the mayor's plan to put a manufacturer on the Tubman site occurs, Avondale residents will be forced to tolerate increased truck and auto traffic and endure the racket of trains on new tracks. They will be forced to live in conditions like those that existed in the Westside's shotgun house-society where Finley Stadium stands.

The Westside's southern end has a huge industrial site that is already cleared for construction and, being bordered by Interstate 24 and the Tennessee River with railroad spurs, is ideally sited for manufacturing, plus it is served by CARTA.

The City of Chattanooga abounds in available industrial sites and lacks a trained labor force. The mayor's $1 million should be used to train the city's neglected and undereducated youth for jobs that pay a living wage with optimal benefit packages.


Guy Bilyeu will be missed

Chattanooga has lost a true hero with the death of Guy Bilyeu. He took the reins at the Humane Educational Society and proved that when a leader leads from the heart, miracles do happen. He took over the directorship of the HES when it had nearly hit rock bottom. But by igniting those around him with his incredible vision and tireless energy, within a very short period of time our shelter was winning national recognition - for doing things right! The citizens of our community and especially the animals have lost a true advocate and champion for animal rights. Guy, you will be missed!


Meat inspections are insufficient

According to the lead story in a recent edition of the Washington Post, the meat inspection program that USDA plans to roll out in meat and poultry plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop production of contaminated meat. The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines and replace USDA safety inspectors with their own employees. But plants operating under this program have experienced some of the worst health and safety violations that include failure to remove fecal matter and partly digested food, according to USDA inspector general. These contaminants may contain complex strains of deadly E. coli and listeria.

Traditionally, USDA has catered more to the interests and profitability of the meat industry than health and safety concerns of American consumers. Consumer interests come into play only when large numbers of us get sick. Having the USDA protect consumers is like asking the fox to guard the chicken house. The Obama administration must reallocate responsibility for consumer safety to the Food and Drug administration. In the meantime, each of us must assume responsibility for our own safety by switching to the rich variety of plant-based meats offered in local supermarkets.


Let diplomacy work in Syria

I have been following the news about Syria and really enjoyed your article on Thursday, Sept. 5, "Actors in Syria seem Miscast." I feel the article was very well written.

I feel that sending air strikes to Syria will not really solve the problem, although I do understand that the president is under pressure to keep face with the rest of the world and we have to remain strong. I think dealing with Syria in this way will cause problems with the countries that support Syria. I believe an air strike would just lead to bigger problems that the United States is not necessarily prepared to deal with. I also understand the need to protect human rights, but I believe we really need to think about this before we jump in head first.

BRITTNI JAMES, Collegedale, Tenn.

Republicans should let reforms implode

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has voted several times to defund the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to no avail because the bill never reaches a vote in the Democratic-controlled senate. If the Republican house was wise, they would do well to let the bloated, unworkable bill proceed and let the Democrats (including President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) stew in their own juices when the voters realize what has been done to them.