Chattanooga will prevail after tragedy and other letters to the editors

Flags placed by hundreds of people stand in a makeshift memorial at the military recruiting office on Lee High following last week's deadly shooting of five service members.
Flags placed by hundreds of people stand in a makeshift memorial at the military recruiting office on Lee High following last week's deadly shooting of five service members.

Chattanooga will prevail after tragedy

What a horrible crime that occurred on the morning of July 16 on Lee Highway and Amnicola Highway. It is incomprehensible.

I applaud the professionalism of law enforcement, city officials and the acts of bravery shown by the military.

Even though details of why this troubled Muslim did this, we still don't know his true motivations.

Let's look to God for answers. We as citizens can pray for Chattanooga, the five men who lost their lives and for those remaining. God bless Chattanooga. We will get through this!

Jo Ann Follis, Hixson

Obama should be ashamed

What is wrong with you, Barack Hussein Obama? Five service members were killed in an attack. You haven't been to Chattanooga, but Peyton Manning came. You couldn't have postponed your Sunday golf game? You sent four administration officials to the funeral of Michael Brown. I guess robbing a store and trying to take the gun of a police officer is a more noble act than serving your country. You got involved in Treyvon Martin, Michael Garner and Freddie Gray, criminals all, but these servicemen deserve nothing from you? You had time to have the White House bathed in rainbow colors and do your happy dance over the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. You are the commander in chief. These men worked for you!! I know it doesn't fit your agenda that terrorism is on the run. Maybe you are trying to figure out how to spin this as workplace violence or "random" or "lone wolf." How many "lone wolves" does it take to make a pack, Mr. President? It's too late now. Any gesture you make in the light of the public outrage is empty and political. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Patricia Shrader

Teachers deserve appreciation, too

Proponents urged extending Superintendent Smith's contract, saying it was a vote of confidence and demonstrated appreciation. Several aspects deserve recognition: his political and interpersonal skills and fighting the state's underfunding. Smith's salary increased from $163,500 in 2011 to nearly $200,000 today. His teachers have received no relative salary boost. Higher insurance costs offset any pay increase. Teachers are paid based on their degree and experience. When hired, Superintendent Smith had a bachelor's degree and experience. In 2011, first-year teachers with a bachelor's degree made $16.44 an hour ($34,198 per year). Mr. Smith made $78.61 an hour. Four years later, the teacher makes $18.31 an hour ($38,084 per year). Our superintendent's salary increased an average $6,625 each year. People are afraid we will lose him. Fine. He can be replaced. There is always another person waiting for the opportunity. Contract extensions increase the odds of a more expensive contract buyout in the future. Contracts should only be renegotiated when they are closer to expiring. Teachers are there, every day, preparing our children to be educated. They are no less valuable than the superintendent, but they are arguably less appreciated.

Linda Walker

'They know not what they do'

In Chattanooga, a squad of military recruiters, when confronted with gunfire, retreated past the displays of our national defense propaganda and protected themselves with a barricade of office furniture. The lone enemy struck two locations, killed five Marines and a Navy member and died in a gun battle. "It was a tragic day in Chattanooga," The Chattanooga Times asserted. "The loss of the city's innocence, for the moment, is deafening," the Chattanooga Free Press said. "Horrific incident in our community. Prayers to all those affected," said Mayor Andy Berke. "We condemn this act in the strongest possible terms as one of cowardice and hate," opined the saddened president of the local Islamic society, Bassam Issa. "All who take up the sword will die by the sword," said Jesus to his disciples and a crowd of sword-bearing officials during his arrest. "Where have all the flowers gone?" asked Pete Seeger in 1955. Only days ago, the world saw them blooming in a Charleston, S.C., church, where in the soil was written, "Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing."

The Rev. Leroy T. Griffith

Reward police by passing gun laws

Is there is a single person in Chattanooga who is not thankful for our Chattanooga police officers following the recent deadly shooting spree against local Marines? They exhibited courage in a heavy exchange of fire involving at least one AK-47. They put their lives on the line to protect us. In return, we say thank you. It seems an inadequate response. Perhaps we can do better. The International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs of Police Association and many others in law enforcement support the ban of semi-automatic assault weapons and armor-piercing ammunition, increased firearms enforcement and stronger, more reliable background check processes. Assault rifles and armor-piercing bullets are simply not needed for our self-protection, target shooting or hunting. If we respect and appreciate our public safety officers, we need to support legislation and common-sense policies that will assist in reducing the gun violence we have witnessed. Our officers fought to protect us. Let's return the favor.

Mary Lee Rice

Obama's actions undermine democracy

Democrats, certainly far-left liberals, care little for the basis of our democracy if their views are reflected in the actions of Obama. For example: 1. The Constitution, Article I, Section 1 states all legislative powers are vested in Congress. The Affordable Care Act has been modified numerous times by Obama since its passage. Obama has modified law about immigration numerous times. 2. Obama has fought the right of states to set reasonable voter proof-of-citizenship requirements (Article I, Section 2, first paragraph), despite studies that show illegals are voting in increasing numbers. Amendment XV does not change this. 3. Attacks on the right to bear arms (Amendment II) have escalated under Obama. 4. Article II, Section 2 requires the Senate to consent to treaties. Obama has dodged this by arranging for the Iran nuclear "agreement" to be a U.N. agreement, which the Security Council has already approved, thus negating any Senate action. The Corker bill did not help. 5. The IRS under Obama deliberately violated Amendment XIV, Section 1, the equal protection clause, by targeting conservative groups.

Gene Rogers

Motorists, heed funeral etiquette

Regarding the funeral procession on Dupont Parkway and Highway 153 at 3 p.m. Monday: Shame on drivers who flew by on the right-hand side as the funeral procession went by on the left. Shame on drivers who cut into that funeral procession on the left-hand side. Shame on drivers who went through the red light that was for the funeral procession. How convenient for you to be able to go through the red light. Shame on you, Chattanooga drivers.

Lorraine Engel, Soddy-Daisy

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