Just the facts on crane hunting
The public discussion of a proposed sandhill crane hunting season has, so far, been emotionally charged and largely uninformed. In making policy recommendations regarding a public resource, state and federal experts rely on scientific studies that are indisputable. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service actually counted 87,796 sandhill cranes in the eastern U.S. in 2012 and professional biologists estimate that the population is today more than 100,000.
Modern day, regulated crane hunting has existed in the U.S. since 1961 and it has never impacted crane numbers. If permitted, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will issue a very limited number of permits with the season being a maximum of 60 days.
Every effort has been made to accommodate all the stakeholders, including the bird watchers, the farmers, the conservationists and the hunters. The sandhill crane migration is a resource extensive enough to support all the different uses. We have a big tent here, and I think we can all fit under it.
Put assault rifles only in war zones
Dr. David Lauter, a Doctors Without Borders surgeon, in the group's 2013 newsletter explained the significant difference between the wounds of a handgun and of a military rifle. The speed of a bullet as it leaves the barrel of a typical 9mm handgun is 300 meters/second compared to 900 meters/second for a military assault rifle. The force behind the bullet is in direct proportion to the speed of the bullet, squared. If a bullet from a Kalasnikov rifle is traveling three times faster than a bullet from a Glock 9mm handgun, it carries nine times the impact.
Dr. Lauter, operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, writes of a patient hit with an assault rifle leaving a 2-inch diameter hole through his mid-upper arm. "I could see straight through to the other side. It is indisputable that bigger guns make bigger holes."
"Civilian" assault rifles discharge one bullet each time and as fast as the trigger can be pulled. Following the Newtown, Conn., massacre of children, 80 percent of Americans realize assault rifles belong only in war zones. Yet Congress refuses to enact sensible gun regulation. Please remember this in the 2014 congressional elections.
FRANCIS X. WALTER, Sewanee, Tenn.
Don't blame unions for companies' ills
It would seem that the authors of a Sunday Perspective column criticizing unions would at least try to get some of the facts in their story correct. Yes, Detroit is in bad shape just like the steel town Pittsburgh. More from companies not putting monies back into the businesses to upgrade and improve the factories.
General Motors has been bankrupt three different times since they started making cars, all because they felt that their way was the only way and would not change with the times or do what the customers wanted, not because of the unions. Like still making big gas guzzlers when people were buying more fuel efficient cars. The government pulled them out all three times.
GM let Saturn do their thing until Saturn started doing a lot better than them and then they moved in and started changing things until GM shut them down.
I'm not in a union nor do I have a horse in the Union of VW race. Most of the items that unions get surprisingly are offered from the companies themselves. Nobody ever says anything about the big bloated salaries that a lot of the upper management gets or when they run a company into the ground and people lose their living.
DAVID RATCLIFF, Cleveland, Tenn.
Justice was done in Zimmerman case
I understand the sense of outrage felt by some due to the not-guilty Zimmerman verdict. I felt the same outrage about the O.J. verdict. However, under the American legal system, justice has been done. We must accept the verdict.
The verdict is polarizing largely along racial lines because we see life through our own cultural lens based on our values and upbringing. Black and white people often view the same event differently based on their respective cultural milieus.
It appears all the furor is that a black man was shot by a non-black man. Had George Zimmerman been a black man it wouldn't even be a local news story. It seems no one is really troubled by the deaths of thousands of black men murdered by other black men. Where is the outrage within the community about the senseless shootings?
If the verdict was based on racial bias then we should all be troubled. It looks from outward appearances that race had nothing to do with the verdict. The law is clear - you have the right to "stand your ground" and defend yourself against malicious attack regardless of the race of the perpetrator.
Companies, unions work together now
After reading the letters and editorials against unionizing the Volkswagen plant, they all have one thing in common - the opposing view.
The adversarial relationship between the company and union is gone. They now work together with a mutual fiduciary responsibility for a viable company. The wildcat strikes and work stoppages are moot issues now. What happened with Jimmy Hoffa is no different than the corporate greed. There has been no mention of workers killed on the jobs with union safety committee, and that is how unions got started.
The union negotiates for all employees to receive wage increases, benefits, safety issues and representation for disciplinary issues. Non-union members accept this for free.
My union does not use local money for PAC funds. I give a separate amount specifically that goes for Political Action Committee.
All the letters say the unions killed Detroit. Check management salaries, raises, bonuses and pension packages. Look at the companies that went bankrupt; check the severance for upper management versus the unemployment checks for lower-level employees.
I will always choose to be a union member. Volkswagen workers, make your own decision without influence from the right-to-work (you to death) forces. If you do not believe me, ask the Dupont workers who did not unionize when they had a chance.
ANNETTE EVANS, Recording Secretary, ATU Local 1212
Blame the press in Zimmerman case
It is time to put the blame where it belongs in the George Zimmerman case: On the liberal press run by the liberal government. I was brought up to believe the press had to report the truth. I was duped. They print their slanted version of the truth. They edit the story to suit themselves.
Our politicians are so busy chasing votes they don't care what happens to their constituents. We are all Americans, not to be defined by race or religion. The press dubbed George Zimmerman as a "white Latino." Why then, is President Obama not dubbed a "white African-American"?
Let's not fight amongst ourselves but against those who would incite violence for their own political reasons. It's time to force the politicians and the press to speak and print the unedited news. Wake up, people, and stand up for the truth.
Natale Varman, Hixson
Where are the cries in Georgia killing?
We all know how the national media ran with the story of a "white Hispanic," George Zimmerman, "murdering" a 17-year-old child, Trayvon Martin. Well, you probably didn't hear about a murder case that happened earlier this month in Mableton, Ga., where four 18-19-year-old black teenagers attacked and killed a white man. Authorities said Joshua Heath Chellew, 36, did not know his attackers. A friend of Chellew said that the two had gone to a gas station when several men jumped Chellew. "They started punching him. They starting beating on him," said the woman, who asked not to be identified. The four suspects are charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and violation of the Georgia Street Gang Act. They are currently being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.
Why haven't we heard from the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Jr., President Obama, members of the Black Congressional Caucus, and others who demanded investigations of civil rights violations or wrongful death charges in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case to do similar investigations into this murder?
GARY HAYES, Ooltewah, Tenn.