Church shooting evokes memories, prayers
Watching the events around the shooting at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, S.C., I am reminded of the shooting in Atlanta at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
On June 30, 1974, I lost my uncle, Deacon Edward Boykin, when a young man visited our church with the intention to kill Martin Luther King Sr.
On that Sunday, Marcus Wayne Chenault stood up and yelled, "You are serving a false God," while Mrs. Alberta King (the mother of Martin Luther King Jr.) was playing "The Lord's Prayer" and started to fire his gun. He shot and killed Mrs. King, Deacon Boykin, and he wounded a third member of the church.
This young man from Dayton, Ohio, was dressed in a suit and was sitting in the congregation.
My prayers go out to the families and the members of Emanuel AME; also, my prayers go out to the state of South Carolina and to our country.
James M. Boykin II
Commissioners erred on funding vote
Tennessee law is clear: Formation of public policy and decisions is public business and shall not be conducted in secret.
All meetings of any governing body are subject to the Open Meetings Act.
The Hamilton County Commission is clearly subject to the Open Meetings Act. Commissioners Bankston, Boyd, Mackey, Smedley and Fields probably violated that law.
Last Wednesday, with no public discussion or debate, these commissioners voted to amend the budget and added $100,000 each for nine commissioners as discretionary funds, said funds to be taken from the rainy day reserves.
Private discussions likely took place to obtain the necessary votes to pass the amendment.
When governing bodies decide to make a decision on controversial issues — such as taking money from the rainy day fund and going against the mayor's recommendation — the public deserves to hear why.
The commissioners showed disrespect to the citizens and avoided what could have been an open and public discussion about funding.
Kudos to Commissioner Joe Graham who publicly said he didn't know the amendment was coming and voted against both the amendment and the budget.
Joan Hamner, president of League of Women Voters, Members-at-Large Unit
Precise word choice crucial to making argument
In response to the June 22 letter, "Top court called out for hypocrisy":
The ACA was very specifically written by Democrats, refusing any compromise or consultations. The specific wording was deliberately chosen by that party, which now wishes to ignore that wording.
The writer says actually enforcing the law would "deny the use of the federal exchange." It would only deny the federal subsidy if obtaining insurance via the federal exchange.
A comparison to a false definition of the meaning of a "well-regulated militia" is just ignorance. The U.S. military is not a militia.
A militia is an organization of a body of citizens for common defense. Those were not enlisted personnel.
The meaning of "well-regulated" has nothing to do with government control. It means something in proper working order.
So to have citizens form a militia, citizens must be able to have arms in order for the militia to be in proper working order.
If you wish to change the Constitution or the ACA, make that argument. Be honest. Don't lie or misstate.
Jill Hill, Harrison