Letters to the editors

Letters to the editors

June 14th, 2009 in Opinion Letters

Council short-sighted on recycling denial

Our church, wanting to be good stewards of God's earth and resources, has operated a recycling program for the last five years. In our attempt to enlarge this endeavor, we sought to put recycling bins on church property. We were told by the city of Ringgold that we would need a zoning variance, which we were able to secure through the zoning board. The church also prepared the property so as not to cause an eyesore.

On Monday night, June 8, some of the leaders of the church went before the Ringgold City Council. Our request to place recycling containers on church property was denied. This decision was short-sighted and small-town politics at is worst.

Points of clarifications for the members of the City Council:

Recyclable materials are not referred to as trash.

Recycle containers are not called Dumpsters.

GARY KNOWLES

Ringgold, Ga.

Ask for yourself on assessments

Just a word to those who think their property assessment was high. I was one also.

After visiting the office in person I asked, based on this assessment, what does this mean I could list the house for if I wanted to sell?

Their listing price would not start to buy my property. Ask for yourself.

JIM ELLIS

Brainerd

Gun lobby shooting itself in the foot

People who doubt that more guns could result in less violence are generally more cautious about upsetting people who feel otherwise, so I posit this scenario incautiously.

Jack, a law-abiding, permit-owning citizen, goes to a tavern with Mary and takes his handgun (conscious decision No. 1). Because he is armed, he does not drink (conscious decision No. 2). Returning from the restroom, Mary encounters a drunk who wants to take her picture. She ignores him, but he stumbles after her anyway, tapping her shoulder as he fumbles for his cell phone. Thinking the man has a gun, Jack fires in haste, killing him instantly.

There are two victims here: the drunk, who is dead, and Jack, who has murdered an unarmed man. Moreover, the two conscious decisions he made earlier suggest that his action was actually premeditated. Whether it was or not will be decided, not by well-lobbied politicians, but by 12 nervous citizens.

The gun lobby, which should know better than to shoot itself in the foot, is on the verge of doing for gun owners what the tobacco lobby did for smokers. When parks and restaurants everywhere prominently display "No Guns Allowed" signs, their well-known prophecy will finally come true: Only outlaws will have guns.

DAN KENNEDY

Compliance checks construct infraction

Riverbend compliance checks: This is simply a case of the police manufacturing an infraction and then busting someone else for committing it. They sent an 18-year-old to purchase beer - an act which is in and of itself illegal unless the police do it - and then cited someone else for falling for their scam.

The news isn't all bad, though. We can all sleep more soundly because all 47 Chattanooga gang members were arrested a few days ago. The streets are finally clear of the Crips and the Bloods and the dreaded Knights of Columbus.

JIM COSTELLO

Harrison

Gun control leads to more crime

Gun control was enacted in the 20th century by Russia, Turkey, Germany, China, Guatemala, Uganda and Cambodia, leading to 56 million deaths of defenseless people.

In the year since Australia gun owners were forced to surrender 640,000 personal firearms, homicides are up 3.2 percent, assault 8.6 percent, armed robberies 44 percent. Criminals did not turn in their guns! Now, there is a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults on the elderly. Gun control laws affect only law-abiding citizens.

With guns, we are "citizens." Without them, we are "subjects." Switzerland issues every household a gun and trains every adult to whom they issue a rifle. Switzerland has the lowest gun-related crimes of any civilized country in the world.

Draw your own conclusions.

JACK L. PARNELL

Collegedale

Lawmakers show trust in 'good' people

My thanks go to the state lawmakers who showed they trust the "good" people of Tennessee by voting for the two gun bills, then to override Gov. Bredesen's veto. It was a very bold and patriotic thing they did.

Bredesen and a handful of police officers don't trust us to bear arms. They want to tell us when and where we can do so. Our Second Amendment forbids such an infringement. Bredesen has armed guards. The police carry guns on and off duty.

Post signs on restaurant doors and park entrances banning guns and the only people obeying the signs will be the honest permit holders. You would have to search each person and vehicle to stop the criminals from having their guns.

If I meet another person in an isolated park I hope they are permit holders and have their pistol on them. How many of the 220,000 permit holders have you seen displaying their weapons in public? How many do you know of getting in big shootouts in bars, taverns, restaurants or parks? It just doesn't. Yes, you could feel safe in any restaurant if the person at the next table is a permit holder.

OSCAR L. NEELEY

Those for gun bill don't deserve votes

I am a retired military man. I have shot many types of guns during my career. I have nothing against guns that are used in the right way, such as protecting your home. I am yet trying to figure out what Nashville is thinking. Without a doubt, their gun bill is the dumbest I've ever heard. Guns in bars, parks, stores - what are they thinking? We are going back to the Wyatt Earp days. Watch out, there will be another showdown at the OK Corral. Those who voted for the gun bill will not get my vote the next election.

JIM L. WILSON

Gun death rate same as casualties in Iraq

I am a retired Army officer with 26 years of military service. I have owned and lived with guns virtually all my life. I have been in combat and know personally and up close what bullets do to the human body.

I have watched in bewildered amazement as Tennessee legislators have passed and overridden the veto of a bill to allow concealed handguns in restaurants and parks. How many of these legislators are combat veterans or retired police officers? I would guess not many. Has anyone tabulated the contributions made to these legislators by the NRA?

I do not live in Tennessee, but I have children and grandchildren who do. I will never take any of them into a restaurant or park where concealed weapons are permitted.

Are these people aware that something on the order of 10 times as many people in this country (many of them children) have been killed by guns as all the casualties we have suffered in Iraq - in essentially the same time frame?

In this what I fought for - to turn this country back into the Wild West?

Are these people insane or just plain stupid?

GEORGE WINTON

LaFayette, Ga.

Pervasive greed destroying nation

Like a lot of other people, I have been hit hard by the greed that seems to be pervasive throughout this once great and honorable nation. I had no control over the pyramid and Ponzi schemes, hedge funds and others that caused the market to tank, taking our retirement savings with it. Now it has cost me a job I enjoyed, and the greed hasn't stopped there.

Even the employment opportunities on the Internet have been affected by greed with the legitimate jobs being buried by the scams designed to give us hope of a job when they are just trying to separate us from what little bit we have left. I am scared, out of work, with no medical coverage, a sick husband and little hope left. I am in mourning for the past when honesty, ethics, good morals and hard work were what made the USA so revered. God help us.

BRENDA RESH