Printed letters, May 14, 2013
NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre recently asked, “How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?” Did his light bulb burn out just before he thought of that?
No doubt violent thoughts abounded that day, but if anyone there had a gun, whom would they have shot? And people with guns were there. They’re called policemen.
Meanwhile, up on his dais, LaPierre continues to incite crazy thinking, while saying the only thing we need to do is lock up crazy people. The background- check bill would have helped without leading to registering guns, but he shot that down. How do we stop crazy?
What about the dad who recently gave a .22 rifle to his son for his birthday? The kid was five years old, and he promptly killed his little sister by accident. Wasn’t that dad crazy?
LaPierre’s solution would deprive crazy people and possibly not-crazy people of their First Amendment rights. How many crazy people think they’re crazy? Anyone who mutters out loud, “I’d like to kill that so-and-so” might be deemed crazy enough to arrest.
Once again, we’ll get back to the argument about Second Amendment rights being the premier, No. 1 right of all rights that can’t be reasoned with. Around and around we go, with “me” always being more important than “we.”
The entire Bill of Rights has been through more than 200 years of defining just how far rights can go before all that’s left to reason with is our reptile brain.
No one has or should have unlimited rights. LaPierre should be careful what he says. Someone might think he’s crazy and take away his guns.
Don’t expect other people to meekly relinquish rights
The Bill of Rights and the Constitution were written by citizens for the citizens of the United States of America. We are the only country with these specific rights.
Some people think that they are subject to change or to be done away with entirely. I do not think this way. A lot of people have died protecting these rights, whether they are in wars or just simply murdered outright. We can’t stop people from being stupid or doing stupid things.
And if you want to give up your rights, that is your decision. But when you start infringing on the rights of other people and expect them to roll over and do nothing, then who’s being stupid? The people who gave up their rights or the people who are fighting to keep their rights?
I, for one, will fight to keep my rights.
School District 51 merits applause for reading scores
School District 51 greatly deserves our applause for the third-grade reading scores reported in The Daily Sentinel last week. The district beat the state by one percentile point and has continued a several-year trend of improvement, somehow accomplished at a time with fewer available resources than ever.
One thing missing from the article is a teacher’s truism that the public needs to learn. The saying goes: “From kindergarten to third grade, kids learn to read. After that they read to learn.” That means a kid who is below proficiency in reading at third grade is going to have a much harder time in school. Everything we can do to get kids reading proficiently pays off over the rest of their school years and, of course, in their lives.
As parents, grandparents and community members, we need to pay attention to this measurement of local education.
You should know your child’s proficiency and work to get him or her above reading level.
If you don’t have a child in schools, a volunteer reading mentor program at School District 51 has a documented record for improving individual students’ reading. Every bit of effort to help kids with reading pays off later. It saves money and improves lives.
Benghazi heroes abandoned by the people in command
Wow! You watch one news agency and hear its account direct from people who were in Benghazi, on the ground or in the state agency the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and you hear sincere concern.
You also hear more questions as to why soldiers loaded and ready to deploy were told to stand down.
You hear accounts of heroes who were frustrated, wanting to do more, begging for help and told, “Uh, nope, don’t think so. We can’t help you.” Those are the last words a soldier in desperate circumstances wants to hear from officials all the way up the chain.
Then you switch channels and hear, “Oh, it’s all political, made to make the president look bad” and “Hillary was a hero — she did what she could.”
My, oh my, it seems it does matter, and somebody in office screwed up big time.
“Oh, but we are going to fix it!” Cowardice, tyranny, ignorance, lack of common sense and absolutely no accounting for their whereabouts, while good men died in defense of an American consulate under terrorist attack.
Sure glad two more big, breaking stories are out the same day to take some of the spotlight off the cowards in office. How did you sleep, Mr. President?