Disappointing choice for Moccasin Bend and more letters to the editors

Disappointing choice for Moccasin Bend

The best interests of the mentally ill in Southeast Tennessee will not be served by constructing a new hospital anywhere on Moccasin Bend. It is isolated, inconvenient and separated from the city's other major hospitals and health care facilities.

The highest and best use for Moccasin Bend is the full development of a national park to explore and expand upon its beautifully unique configuration and history of human habitation extending back over 12,000 years.

Hopefully, the decision-makers will reconsider their disappointing choice.

Joe V.W. Gaston

Former chairman of advisory board, Moccasin Bend Hospital

Springfield, Tenn.

Gun crimes need mandatory minimums

With the special session of the Tennessee legislature coming up this week, the usual anti-Second Amendment folks are already in fantasy land. There will be no gun bans — period.

Instead, the realistic way to go is with mandatory minimum prison sentences for all gun crimes. For murder with a gun, there should either be a death penalty or life without parole. For all other gun crimes, there should be a minimum 20 years. For stealing a gun, a 20-year prison sentence. For knowingly selling a stolen gun or filing off the serial number, it should be 20 years. All of these mandatory, 20-year sentences must be served first before any other sentences are served with no credit on the mandatory time served applied to any other later sentence.

This will all be expensive. We will need to build more prisons for the criminal class, but if we do these mandatory minimum sentences, word would get out on the streets.

Do the crime. Definitely do the time.

Ronald Williams

COVID vaccines will help children

I agree that parents should vaccinate their child before elementary school.

As a current vaccinated student, I remember I was eager to get it. My family members were opposed to getting it themselves, but I got it anyway. Throughout the school year, many kids, including my brother, got COVID and were sent home. Later my dad and mom also got hit with COVID.

I fortunately did not get COVID. Even in close contact, I did not get sick. Now I am not saying that it was completely the vaccine that prevented me from getting infected, but I am sure it was not just a coincidence that I was the only one in my family not to get COVID while being vaccinated.

There are studies that support the idea that vaccinated students are less likely to get COVID at school or in public. Parents should stop being selfish and do what is best for their children. By vaccinating them, they can help themselves and others.

Christal Molina


Cherry-picking Bible can't justify abortion

When does life begin?

I take exception with a recent letter writer claiming "Abortion is sinful, but it is not murder." The Bible is replete with examples of God's care for the unborn. He "knit us in our mother's womb," Psalms 139:13. "I am fearfully and wonderfully made," Psalms 139:14. "From inception we are a human life," Psalms 139:15-16. We may not be breathing air, but that, contrary to the writer's assertion, does not define life.

Using the writer's definition is what liberals and atheists do to justify abortion until the minute of birth. The writer needs to read the full counsel of God and not cherry-pick sentences that support his narrative.

Rusty Lacy

Appreciates 'jewel' in Star Parker work

I hope you know what a jewel you have with Star Parker, commentator on the Free Press opinion page. I read her column every Sunday and would vote for her if she ran for president of our country.

Faye Eubanks

Blairsville, Ga.

Retaining Southside structures exciting

The idea of maintaining as many of the large, old buildings that are still standing on the Southside stadium project site adds a whole new dimension and excitement for this development. I think there is so much that can be done with them.

Just the sight of them in the area of the new stadium will generate tremendous excitement and dramatically increase the visual for those coming in on I-24.

Tom Quillen

Funny (not funny) health care concerns

Funny how evangelical Christians know that, in their Bible, greed is considered to be a sin, yet the vast majority of them endorse and even idealize a capitalist system in which greed is considered to be a good thing.

Funny how most Americans today know that our corporate-owned/controlled mainstream media pundits were fully on board with George W. Bush's lies about WMDs in Iraq and the urgency of declaring war and "staying the course." Yet so many of them still swallow whole the disinformation of a corporate media that always cheerleads for American wars of aggression and for spending unlimited money on war.

Funny how conservatives declare that a government-funded health care system would be a socialist disaster, and they don't want the government standing between them and their health care, yet they apparently have no problem with insurance companies denying treatment or refusing to pay for services rendered. In the 58 years of Medicare's existence, not once, to my knowledge, has anyone from the government ever denied treatment or refused to pay for services rendered for a Medicare enrollee, but insurance companies do it to their customers all the time. Funny thing.

But I'm not laughing.

Rick Armstrong


Lawmakers: Consider a risk protection order

State legislators, please consider an extreme risk protection order. I believe strongly that we must address the gun violence in our state.

You all have the power to do something about this. Act now. You must understand that these people killed by guns are more important than you think. They mattered deeply to someone. Their deaths leave lifelong emotional imprints of gun violence on their families and neighborhoods. There is a real trauma with far-reaching implications associated with gun violence that must be addressed.

Also, research safe gun storage legislation to keep firearms stored responsibly — unloaded, separated from ammunition and locked. I understand that most gun owners are not criminal, but their negligence certainly is. They must be held to a higher standard. The responsibility for the safe storage of the firearm is that of the gun owner.

We implore you: Allow people to do the hard work. Allow our communities to do all we can; empower us. Stop choosing the loud or the lucrative voices over ours, the majority of your constituents who are saddened and angry at living in a culture that would have its children hiding, huddling in classrooms for intruder drills.

Jamie Gaines

Signal Mountain

Alabama surplus going to the wrong thing

An article in last Sunday's TFP stated that Alabama is sending $300 to each taxpayer.

The funds come from the Education Trust Fund, which has a $2.7 billion surplus. Alabama ranks 44th in education. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this scenario? How about spending a billion or so on tutors?

Bill Hayes