Thankful we're not an actual democracy
The recent expulsion of two representatives from the Tennessee House has unleashed yet another round of shrill cries of threats to "our democracy" — the loudest protests from those who ought to know better.
Article IV of our federal Constitution guarantees to each state a republican form of government, a form of government predicated on elected representatives and the rule of law (i.e., a constitution). The strength of such a government rests on the ability and integrity of those representatives, and it fails when those representatives gaslight the issues and grandstand their performances (whether Democrats in Nashville or a Republican from North Georgia).
The Founders specifically did not create a democracy in 1787. They knew from history that democracy inevitably devolves into mob rule and the tyranny of the 51%. They knew that "the people" are easily swayed and that wise decisions are more likely to come from a deliberative process (no bullhorns, please!) among a group of people representing a range of opinions but removed physically from the din of the crowd and the clamor of enraged speakers.
To blatantly ignore that we are a democratic republic is to jeopardize not only our form of government but indeed our way of life.
Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Sexton's Jan. 6 comparison hollow
To House Speaker Cameron Sexton: Your reprehensible comparison of parents and children to the Jan. 6 rioters disqualifies you to sit in any seat of power in our government. Answer these: Were windows and doors broken to gain entry? Did any parent or child defecate on the House floor? Did any weaponize American flags to attack police? Were gallows built and threats of death made?
Quick to stand with law enforcement when attacked by others, you turn a deaf ear to them when they beg you to pass common-sense gun regulations for their safety. The majority of Tennesseans also stand with those parents who protested. Yet you keep making it easier for guns to freely flow throughout our state. This begs another question. Who are you representing? Police? The majority of Tennesseans? Who? I think we deserve an answer because it is obvious you are not listening to the majority of Tennesseans.
Common-sense gun regulations do not scare me. I have owned guns for 52 years, and never once were they taken from me. But your attack on free speech sends chills through me. Your defense of the Second Amendment and not the First reeks of hypocrisy.
Seniors seek freestanding center
I'm writing to voice my concern about the need for a new, much-needed facility for the seniors in Chattanooga.
I know when you Google senior centers in Chattanooga, it looks like there are a lot. But only one center solely caters to seniors (ages 50 and up), and that is Eastgate Senior Activity Center. We have sought a freestanding facility for years, and the city has not heard us.
So, I turn to you. We are limited on space (rooms for activities) and times that are adequate for participants. The handicap parking, restrooms and safety doors are inadequate. We need a kitchen for participants like other cities in Tennessee have.
I love this Chattanooga senior center. We need room to grow and to be recognized as the elders in the community. We are the baby boomers, and right now we are booming. Help us expand because seniors live healthier lives in a community, and the Eastgate Senior Activity Center is the community for seniors in Chattanooga.
Legislators thanked for meeting students
The Student Government Association and SkillsUSA team of Chattanooga State would like to express our gratitude to the three state representatives who took the time out of their busy schedules to meet with our student leaders in Nashville.
Reps. Yusuf Hakeem, Esther Helton and Greg Vital were attentive, approachable and engaged with our students in a meaningful way. It is truly heartening to see our elected officials making an effort to connect with college and vocational students to understand the issues facing them in our ever-changing world. We believe that the importance of youth civic participation cannot be overstated, and we thank these three leaders for helping to foster a connection between the state legislature and the youth that they represent.
Chattanooga State Student Government Association
Thankful for 'good trouble' in Nashville
I applaud Pam Sohn's commentary in last Saturday's paper. I've no doubt there's been discussion in the state legislature about gun laws and protection for our students. However, little impactful legislation has occurred. And there's little hope this will change anytime soon.
The NRA, gun owners' rights advocates and gun manufacturers have outsized influence over this body's actions. Our students are more vulnerable because of this imbalance. They deserve courageous actions by our lawmakers, not cowardice and continuing the "low bar" standard.
I've taught for 43 years in Chattanooga. Students are brave and resourceful and wonderful. But they're not getting the love and respect due them from their lawmakers.
MLK's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" has implications here when he wrote: "Direct actions are never well timed." Change usually grinds against the slow moving hand of time.
I thank the "Tennessee Three" for standing up for students, for being their advocates.
The GOP resolution to expel these three lawmakers states, in part, that they brought "disorder and dishonor" to the state House of Representatives. Disorder, yes. Dishonor? Quite the opposite, I'd argue. Instead, they brought what civil rights icon John Lewis called "good trouble." I give them my thanks.
Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Paper makes 'worst mistake in 50 years'
I think it was a horrible mistake to put a huge article about a man who fights in a cage as your top story on Easter, of all days. I can't imagine that this story would have mass appeal, and it certainly is not front-page news, or news at all. Very disappointed in this choice. Worst mistake I have seen this paper make in the 50 years I have been a reader.