Printed letters, January 7, 2014
Two contiguous letters to the editor published in the Jan. 2 edition of The Daily Sentinel expressed a tragic irony.
The first recounted the killing of an 14-year-old child by an irresponsible adult parent. The other advocated freedom to shoot down unidentified aircraft.
Cultural paranoia? Perhaps. Frightening? Certainly.
Research indicates millions use firearms for self-defense
In his letter to the editor of Jan. 2, Jim Ciha decried the “sick gun culture” of this country. He asked, “How many people actually have to defend themselves in their own homes ... each year?” The short answer: thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.
Gary Kleck, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. His book, “Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America,” documents his analysis that citizens use firearms to defend against criminal attack about 2.5 million times a year. Handguns account for about 1.9 million defenses a year. Not all incidents involve the discharge of a firearm, nor do all occur in the home.
Also of note: Gun ownership in our “sick gun culture” is at an all-time high while gun violence of all types is at an all-time low. (Source: Department of Justice)
Incidentally, Kleck is a member of the ACLU and Amnesty International, is not now and never has been a member or contributor to the NRA, Gun Control, Inc. or any other pro- or anti-gun organization. He is a lifelong Democrat.
Our lascivious culture promotes the sex trade
Tom McGhee’s article in the Dec. 29 edition of The Daily Sentinel was a poignant reminder of the repulsive sex trade in Colorado and elsewhere. He wrote: “Flesh biz alive, well just under our noses,” citing “chilling statistics” of underage teen prostitution and the pimp trade.
However, McGhee’s article only dealt with the backside of the sex industry. The front side of the sex trade is the chic, sophisticated flesh biz that struts about like an emperor jostled by his adoring subjects: our mesmerized, pornified mainstream society.
“Chilling statistics?” Check mall fashion-store racks hanging with trendy pimp and prostitute clothing styles. Chart-busting music videos, albums and singles come with the warning, “explicit.” It’s no warning. It is a code word for marketable prurience.
At the theater, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is rated R for “sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout.” It’s but a clone of other films, many targeting younger generations, spinning immoral sewage as moral cuisine for the mind. Is all that explicitness necessary to tell the story? Apparently, the market so demands.
The great hypocrisy of our culture is acting “chilled” over monstrous stories from the backside of the flesh trade, while on the front side we fawn at the feet of the monster feeding our insatiable appetites for more flesh. It’s a not-so-merry go-round.
One positive note: There are ministries and groups reaching out to rescue troubled, homeless youth and the victims of underage prostitution. The House is a local safe place that deserves our support, financially and otherwise. It is reported that about 80 percent of the teens there in 2013 moved to stable housing. Many progress in rehab programs and find work in the community. A tremendous percentage of teens now have stability and employment.
Whose side are we on?
When will we say ‘enough’ to overbearing government
President Barack Obama promised numerous times that if we liked our health insurance policies and/or doctors, we could keep them. Yet the administration has known since 2010 that is not true. Obama said that health insurance premiums would go down by about $2,500 per family per year. That is not happening.
Under Obamacare, insurers are offering less choice — more than 29 percent fewer policies. Most people are finding that new policies have higher deductibles and higher premiums.
More people will be dumped into the broken Medicaid program. One-third of doctors will not accept new Medicaid patients because of the low payment levels.
Expansion of that freebie program is in part being funded by cuts to Medicare, which hard-working people paid into for 40 or so years. Unfortunately, there is no Social Security fund or Medicare fund. Those monies got dumped into the general fund, which Congress has been raiding for decades to buy votes.
Since the $600-million Obamacare website was a disaster, Obama said that insurance companies could reissue original policies for another year. A provision in the Affordable Care Act forbids companies from doing so, however, so they are understandably refusing, leaving millions of responsible, formerly insured people without health insurance.
If Obama can change, cancel and delay parts of laws passed by Congress, what’s to keep him from doing the same thing with other laws, such as immigration?
Now the federal government is moving to ban trans fats. When government can control what you eat and can force you to buy a product (health insurance), there is no aspect of your life that it cannot control.
When will we say “Enough!”?