Email letters, Dec. 26, 2012

Will mindless minority make 80 percent suffer?

If you needed further proof that the activist conservative agenda (aka the tea party) is out of control, we now have it.

According to The Daily Sentinel article, these purulent anti-tax people want to see the country go over the fiscal cliff in spite of the obvious fact that it will do precisely what they don’t want: It will raise taxes on almost everyone.

Twenty-some percent of this nation have lost their minds, and we could all be made to suffer for it.

DAVID COOPER
Clifton

Thanks to all the countries who helped the U.S. after Sandy

I think it is highly appropriate at this time of the year that we send THANKS to all of the countries that have reciprocated for our help with their disasters, misgivings, social turmoil and poverty by returning the favor and sending the United States of America monetary and physical help when Sandy ravaged our East Coast, leaving deaths, homelessness and pure disaster.

Listed below are a list of the countries and worldwide organizations that are giving us gracious assistance.

Please thank our neighbors, to whom we have given billions!

1. Israel
2.
3.
4.

http://israelnewsagency.com/israelflyingaidhurricanesandyhartfordconnecticutjewishvolunteersifadisasterrelieffemapoliceredcrossnewyorkjerseylongislandkahanaleyden48110412.html

W.T. COHAN
Grand Junction

Valley’s alcohol, meth addictions worse than use of marijuana

When will members of the general public get it through their collective heads that cannabis does not automatically mean getting drunk on marijuana? If I were you, I’d be concerned with our valley’s huge problem in alcohol and methamphetamine addiction. The recreational use of cannabis, by contrast, is nothing.

And what about our high rates of divorce, domestic abuse, child abuse, mental illness and suicide? When’s the last time you read about someone beating up his wife and kids because of marijuana? Never. How about hard liquor and even beer? All the time.

Folks, cannabis is by far and away more important as a medicinal and commercial plant than it is a recreational drug. The many medicinal uses of cannabis have been known for tens of centuries throughout the greater part of the world, and cannabis appears by various names and forms in the pharmacopoeia of every civilization. The commercial manufacture of hemp in rope, clothing and lubricants, to mention but a few among hundreds of practical uses, has been going on for several millennia.

Hemp is cannabis; cannabis is hemp. It’s a good thing.

Want an eye opener? Read about the federal government’s use of hemp during World War II. You can find it online or in our library. If I were a farmer today, I’d be growing acres and acres of hemp for commercial manufacture.

If I were a pharmaceutical company, I’d be finding ways to make cannabis a large and varied part of my inventory. If I were a tobacco company I’d switch to cannabis.

But if I were the DEA or other federal alphabet soup agencies with a vested interest in the continued illegality of cannabis, I’d fight legalization to the last man. Shucks, that’s their bread and butter. Same with drug dealers, transporters, distributors and street sellers who want it to stay illegal so they can make a criminal living. It’s a multimillion-dollar business, and it’s going in the pockets of thieves.

The laws need to change. It’s that simple. The federal government should wake up and smell the coffee: Their hoary, ill advised, deceitful and seriously damaging anti-cannabis laws are wrong, wrong, wrong! Get the facts, folks. Be informed with truth; it will free you from myths and government lies. Oh, by the way, no, I’m not a user.


T.C. STREFF
Grand Junction

When did society devolve into ‘Lord of the Flies’ mentality?

When did we become so frightened? When did self-respect become self-love?  When did charity morph into feeding your ego while feeding the hungry?  At what point did “The Lord of the Flies” manifest itself in our civilized citizenship?

It’s not just about mass killings with guns but also about young men beating babies to death and young mothers willing to allow it for love—love of what, their own needs?

Man up they say, but to what -— an armed rebellion against a black man in the White House? Or is it about a man hanging over the kitchen table with a whiskey in one hand and a gun in the other saying, “I’ll kill as many as I can before they take this gun from my cold dead hands.”

And in the doorway of that kitchen his children wonder why the bottle and the gun are his two favorite children. Does anyone look in the mirror and see anything other than the best of character?

Time to get a grip, maybe? It’s not a bad idea to put armed policemen in our schools but just think — each will cost more than a teacher. And just think—those dead teachers in Newtown were far braver than the policemen at Columbine.

How about required ethics classes in K-12? Ethics are about human civilization trying to be civilized. When children are taken to a gun range with human figure targets, they’re learning it’s a kick to kill people.

There’s also a book called “Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.” It’s a history of gun control including the founding fathers views of the gun rights they created.

EILEEN O’TOOLE
Grand Junction

No gun control legislation could have deterred Lanza

Two weeks ago tragedy once again struck the hearts and souls of the American people. Young lives were lost, and heroic teachers that nobody knew came to light. There are now calls from the left for gun control legislation in response to Adam Lanza’s unconscionable mass killing of innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary.

However, very few people seem to be asking the most basic question of all before getting started: What gun control legislation could have stopped Lanza?

The answer is none. This catastrophe happened in the heart of one of the most strict gun states in America. The background check process and wait time did absolutely nothing to stop this inhumane murderer. In fact, they can be seen as the cause for the death of Nancy Lanza, Lanza’s mother. Had he found a firearm easier, then Nancy might still be alive to help shed light on a past that has so many people begging questions and answers.

Let us step back a bit from the devastation and look at how the outcry for “act now and think later” approach that is being stirred up by the mainstream Media and activists around the country. They say that nobody but the police and military should have semi-automatic weapons. They say that none of this would have happened if there were no weapons available to him. They want it all gone and they want it NOW.

So, while thinking on that, lets consider a few alternatives: 

1) The school was already a “gun-free zone,” so obviously that wasn’t effective. Of course, the sort of people who would respect a “gun-free zone” in the first place are the very ones you wouldn’t have to worry about carrying a gun; so it’s an almost useless designation.

2) What about closing the supposed gun show loophole? Well, since Lanza killed his own mother and used her legally acquired guns for his rampage, making it harder for googly-eyed loners to acquire weapons wouldn’t have changed a thing.

3) Some people are calling for a ban on automatic weapons. Setting aside the fact that the regulation of fully automatic weapons is already tighter than Spandex, Lanza didn’t use a fully automatic weapon.

4) Then there are calls for the assault weapons ban to be reinstated. One problem: The semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle that Lanza supposedly used wasn’t covered by the bill. So, his mother could have bought that exact same gun with a sheriff looking over her shoulder while the ban was in place.

5) We could, of course, pass a newly updated assault weapons ban that covers the semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle. Then, gun manufacturers would try to create weapons that can get around the ban. They would probably be successful. Even if they weren’t, it’s not as if Lanza was battling Marines. When you’re a coward who’s attacking unarmed children, any gun will work.

6) We could also ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, but given the 3-5 second reload time, that would have been a minor inconvenience to Lanza at worst. After all, it’s not as if a group of small children were going to be able to scamper away or gang up on him during a four-second window.

So, what now? Well, let’s step into the realm of fantasy and assume that there’s no such thing as a 2nd Amendment that provides the public with a Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.” that is every bit as important as the right to free speech and freedom of religion. Let’s also pretend that the American public would go along with the following laws and attempts to implement them wouldn’t lead to wide scale violence and unrest.

7) Congress could ban the manufacture and sale of bullets and magazines. Given the massive number of bullets and magazines already owned by the public and readily available instructions for making them, this wouldn’t stop any determined killer such as Adam Lanza. On the other hand, it would lead to a massive black market with tens of millions of previously law abiding Americans buying bullets by the bucketful from back rooms across the country.

8) Congress could also ban the manufacture and sale of guns. Again, that would lead to the creation of a massive black market, but it would also leave roughly 300 million guns in the hands of the American people. In other words, if Lanza had decided to wait until AFTER that law was passed to go on his killing spree, it would have been the same sad story.

9) Then, there’s the most extreme step of all: Congress could ban the ownership of guns. One problem: In the vast majority of cases, the government has no record of who owns guns and who doesn’t. In most places, those records are kept at the gun store level and are not updated. If the gun is lost, stolen, given away or sold by the individual, there is no record of it. This is a feature, not a bug, and it’s designed to prevent exactly the sort of confiscation we’re discussing here. So, even if all guns were made illegal, it would be very difficult to enforce, most people wouldn’t turn their weapons in and there would probably be two hundred million guns left in the hands of the American public. Would a man such as Lanza still be able to acquire a weapon in that situation? Come on, he KILLED HIS OWN MOTHER for a gun; so you can be sure he’d have gotten one elsewhere.

10) Let’s go Steven Spielberg on this problem and assume space aliens show up and use some bizarre technology to get rid of all guns. Well, even so, fire and explosives would still exist and as Brian Palmer has noted in Slate, those can be even more effective killers than guns.

Guns aren’t even the most lethal mass murder weapons. According to data compiled by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, guns killed an average of 4.92 victims per mass murder in the United States during the 20th century, just edging out knives, blunt objects and bare hands, which killed 4.52 people per incident. Fire killed 6.82 people per mass murder, while explosives far outpaced the other options at 20.82. Of the 25 deadliest mass murders in the 20th century, only 52 percent involved guns.

If gun control advocates such as Barack Obama, Michael Bloomberg and Michael Moore, all of whom have armed guards protecting their safety, succeed in making guns less available for law-abiding citizens, it wouldn’t stop another Newtown massacre, but ironically it would make it easier for rapists, gangs or even the next Adam Lanza to hurt innocent people.

We must always think of others in our day-to-day lives, but at the same time we must always protect ourselves. If we no longer have that option then this country will go completely into chaos. The numbers do not lie. The cities that have the highest crimes and murders ARE the cities with the strictest gun control laws and regulations. It should not be that hard for this country to see the pattern that we are setting our selves up to. Let the people protect themselves.

CHRIS ROINESTAD
Clifton

After Sandy Hooks tragedy, ACLU, NRA must become more reasonable

Let’s put it all together.. We need to listen to each other and to modify the extremes. Questionable mental health needs to be tracked, and firearms kept from any with the acknowledged problem symptoms. The ACLU must understand that the public safety and protection overrides the individual rights. My rights cease when they THREATEN yours. Curtail mindless violence in movies and rewarding same in video games. If the creators feel no moral responsibility here, then force (legislation) may be needed. If you don’t believe our innocents are more important than your almighty dollar, it’s time for you to get off the train. Where are the mothers who successfully fought drunk driving? 

The NRA must also be reasonable and less fanatical. I agree to train and arm the maximum number of citizens (voluntarily). You can maintain armories with the serious stuff, but there is no logical place in society for armor-penetrating bullets, large-capacity magazines or assault weapons. Murder may still occur, but the factor of weapon type and capacity must be considered a factor in the sheer, absurd numbers we have seen.

The new idea is to allow teachers or staff to voluntarily arm themselves (there are SECURE gun-safes that take five seconds to have a loaded handgun—AIMED with a laser site to avoid hitting the wrong person). I believe is superior to uniformed officers.

The NRA could easily facilitate (and pay for) this training and excessive increases in personnel would be avoided. They already do a good job of training those who follow the old Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” Don’t fight a waiting period for firearm ownership—this with a background check (including a check of that mental roster) should be accomplished without question.

There are good things to be said for trained volunteer community observers—defensive action is appropriate, but vigilante moves (such as aggressively following) almost always turn out bad. As an aside, I believe that any one of our protectors (firefighter, law enforcement, military) who loses his/her life in the line of duty should reasonably expect his/her family to be supported and the children put through a state-supported college.

Yes, the word “fanatical” above could describe someone trying to make money off others’ misery, or it could be translated to “paranoid.” (I’m one who will have cold, dead fingers, etc. It WON’T happen.)

Folks, I for one believe it is time to put it all together. What do you think? Say something, please.

CAPT. FRANK C. DORMAN
Bristol, Tenn.



COMMENTS

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So W. T. plagiarizes the internet posting of aid to the U.S. (verbatim):
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.co.il/2012/12/an-american-thanks-all-countries-that.html for example.
Many countries offered, some sent unsolicited, but most offers were turned down.
Grade: F- which is really bad for an ‘opinion forum”.

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