Tragic events ignite gun control debate - again
To the editor:
The tragic events in Connecticut have enflamed the gun control debate once again. I have yet to hear anyone frame the debate around the real issue and the process that is defined in law to affect that issue.
America has a Constitution that provides a foundation for our civil society. That Constitution guarantees inalienable rights in perpetuity. I realize that statement is redundant. Inalienable means the right is inseverable from the individual. The right cannot be repudiated. Thus the right exists as long as the individual exists.
Rights are inalienable because rights are not derived from men. The government does not bestow rights. Every person on the planet owns these rights. Americans are lucky. We live in a country that to a certain extent recognizes these rights. Some are codified into the Constitution like the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
I continually hear that if rights come from God, he certainly would not have given us the right to possess a specific inanimate object such as a gun. I agree, how ridiculous to think given the generic nature of the other inalienable rights that the right to own a gun fits into that scheme in some way.
Here is where we have to go back 230 years to attempt to understand the reason the Second Amendment found its way into our social contract. The Founding Fathers risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to win for us the freedoms that we enjoy today. These men designed a federal government whose sole responsibility was to ensure that these freedoms would pass from generation to generation.
They were fearful that government would erode, as it has done, the very freedoms they sacrificed so much to earn. To an 18th century man, the ultimate tool against government oppression was the gun. After all, it was the gun, owned by the individual patriot that won the revolution and made this debate possible in the first place. It was the gun that, to these men, was the insurance policy that all of the other freedoms would survive. That is why the ability to keep and bear arms occupies such a sacred place in our founding document.
I also have heard that in the modern world, the gun is no longer necessary to ward off tyranny. Let us say for the sake of argument that this is valid. That we as a nation have decided that the right to keep and bear arms is an antiquated concept that no longer has a place in our society. Do we merely allow the government to pass a statute to remove or restrict a right defined in the Constitution?
Once we allow the government to prove the premise that rights are the prevue of government, we begin to race down the path towards tyranny. The only legitimate intervention Congress can exercise pertaining to our gun rights is to ensure they stay intact. By allowing the subjugation of even one of our rights, puts all of our rights in imminent jeopardy.
We obviously don't want to go there, but if it is still the will of the people, the Founders gave us a vehicle to modify the Constitution. It is the amendment process as defined in Article Five. Two thirds of both houses of Congress must vote for the change and three quarters of the states must ratify it. If repeal of the Second Amendment, or even the modification of its scope, is important enough to our citizenry, then it is imperative that we follow the rule of law and proceed through the lawful processes, not supersede the Constitution for the sake of expediency.
Allow me at this point to tie the Second Amendment to the maintenance of a specific inalienable right, the right to defend ourselves and our families. Unless the government can guarantee that the bad guys will no longer have guns with which to threaten and harm us, how can it justify eliminating or restricting our ability to fight back? The old saying, you don't bring a knife to a gun fight comes to mind. When looking down the muzzle of a gun, self-righteousness is a worthless weapon.
There is a reason why the majority of these tragedies happen in gun free zones. There is a reason why the incidence of violent crime increases when the guns are taken from law-abiding citizens. There is a reason why in ever incidence of totalitarian domination of a people, the first act of domination is the confiscation of their guns. One of the laws of physics is that objects will always follow the path of least resistance. The comparable law of criminology is, criminals will seek the defenseless to perpetrate their crimes. We as a society put up billboards saying "come shoot us here, no one has a gun to defend themselves." When people are rendered defenseless, bad things happen!
Every instance of mass murder is a violation of countless laws already on the books. Do you really think one more law is going to make a difference? When Clinton banned so-called assault weapons it didn't stop gun crime. Don't allow the tyrannous camel's nose under the tent so some politician can make political points. We must defend every one of our freedoms against every intrusion else we lose all of our freedom. As Benjamin Franklin stated, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Killing of children must prompt gun law changes
To the editor:
Once again we are greeted by the horrifying images on our television screens of another school massacre on American soil. This time the victims were 20 children ages 5 through 10 as well as the school principal and other staff members. The gunman was familiar with his killing ground because his mother was a kindergarten teacher at that school.
Using two hand guns he started his shooting agenda at home with his mother then went to her school and continued the killing. We've all heard all the rhetoric about our "right to own and bear arms."
My father was a hunter and owned several guns. I was raised in a home with guns present but our Dad taught his five daughters to safely handle them. I do not advocate banning all gun ownership, but its time we stop expressing our sympathy with each new massacre and address the problems.
First: Longer application periods for gun purchases which should include screening for mental and emotional problems.
Second: Absolutely no sales of assault weapons to the general population. Those weapons should be accessible only to active members of law enforcement and military.
Third: The politicians in Washington and the individual states need to stop knuckling under to the NRA and its lobbyists. These are our children, wives, husbands, families and friends dying in these tragedies. It is, sadly, way past time to take a stand for those who have died needlessly and say enough is enough.
I know I'm going to ruffle a lot of feathers with this letter but I do not care. It's time people to stand firm for humanity. This wasn't passengers on planes being flown into buildings or soldiers in Afghanistan dying. Those were and are horrible tragedies. But they were carried out by terrorists against us as a nation. This was small innocent children killed by one of their own country.
Their parents will have to deal with their sorrow of identifying their sons and daughters bodies, then dealing with the gifts they bought that will never be opened and exclaimed over Christmas morning. There is a verse in the Bible that says "Jesus wept." I know He had to be weeping as he welcomed those souls to heaven.
JENNY L. SMITH,
Our country has lost the art of quality parenting
To the editor:
Whether it is in a school in Connecticut, Chardon, Cleveland, or in a public place where we should feel safe eating, or watching a movie, our actions, good or bad, have consequences.
We "reap" the consequences of the deeds we have done as a nation. We are reaping what our country has sowed for the past 50-70 years. Our children are our most valuable asset in this country. The parent of a child is the most important fabric in their lives. We are seeing the violent product of a lost art.
It is more common in our society to see someone outside the family spending more time with a child, more so than parents. Whether this is sports, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, band, school, or just sending them to a friend's house to play. Children are spending more waking hours away from their parents.
Most parents have an unconditional love for their children. Our children are being pawned onto others, while the parents absorb themselves in the desires of this world.
Children are being taught morals other than that of their parents. Most parents would agree they would give their lives to save their child, contrary to parents refusing to die to themselves and spending time with their children.
For a parent to die to themselves, they need to put away there selfish ways. Parents need to continually be the primary example of proper moral ethics. We are obligated to identify to our children, bad examples of behavior and to teach them there are selfish and immoral people in our world.
We will do our children a disservice if we cover up someone else's immoral behavior and not show the consequences of such behavior. The art of striving hard to instill moral ethics into our children has been lost through the past generations. This is the result of parent's inner selfish desires, political correctness, idolization of sports and people, and the continued efforts of pushing Christian values out of our lives. A perfect example of this, public schools facilitating sporting events on a day originally set aside for religious reflection and worship.
If we take away an education plan where Christ is not mentioned, and in some cases oppressed, teach children to idolize sports, teach children not to righteously challenge wrong doers, are we not sowing the product of a failed child, a mature wrong doer?
Moral ethics come from the Old and New Testament in the books of the Bible. How can "religious free schools" teach ethics classes, while the content of the ethics being taught originated from the Christian Bible? This country was founded on moral ethics and freedom from religious oppression. Parents need to wake-up, stop chasing the dollar, invest time into their children, and teach the divine truth rather than the relative truth of manmade morals. We have lost this art as a nation, and now we are reaping the consequences of pushing God out of this country.
MICHAEL W. GURLEA,
Love and prayers always make for a perfect gift
To the editor:
Love and prayers.
I must have read that over 300 times growing up. Handwriting that never changed over 40 years said the same message, "Love and Prayers." It was the way my Grandma Mid signed every card ever sent. A sweet and simple message that carried with it a gift that can never be measured in its importance, comfort, and most of all, power.
What a gift! To have her on your side was a good thing because she brought with her a slew of others, all little gray-haired ladies of our church, you know the ones, they've looked old your whole life, but have never seemed to age. But never ever underestimate the power of gray hair and prayer! They don't know the meaning of "quit," "do it later," and "lost cause." I am so grateful they didn't know those things. It made all the difference.
In this time of year we focus on giving and let our minds dreams of receiving that incredible unexpected gift. We hope for miracles and remember the magic and glory of past Christmases.
I would like to offer you a gift suggestion. Love and prayers. Giving it takes just a bit of time, some patience, listening without lecturing, and confidence that it will be done. Not expecting and demanding only one result, but allowing it to simply happen. The thing is when you give this gift get ready to receive a gift as well. The receiving comes at a much different time and manner we can ever predict and should never try to guess its impact on us.
Recently I learned this lesson from those simple words. A strange virus in this world decided to attack my heart. And the love and prayers started. Family, old friends and strangers, that became new friends, continually entered our lives and made all the difference during these times. We were astounded at the cards and notifications of being added to prayer lists, prayer chains, and prayer circles.
Every time when things became dark and we felt trapped by this illness, a door would open and answers poured from it, help was provided, gifts arrived just as they were needed, kind acts brought tears to our eyes, and a conversation with other patients showed just how small our problem was compared to theirs. It was then we gave the same simple gift to them.
It's easy to re-gift love and prayers! People actually like it!
Humbled by this incredible attention my family and I have received we say thank you, to all who sent their love and prayers. We are so grateful for having such wonderful people in our world!
For those looking for that perfect gift, here it is: love and prayers. Fits all sizes, fun for the family, even great for those on the naughty list, it truly is the best gift of all.
After all, it was the first Christmas gift ever given!
Love and prayers,
Salem Community Food Pantry staff is grateful
To the editor:
The Salem Community Food Pantry staff would like to thank the following individuals and local merchants who donated to the fund raiser held last weekend.
The Dollar store, Freshmark, John Deastro, Farm & Dairy, BB Rooners, NAPA Auto, Family Video, Josie's Pizza, McMillan's, Salem Computer Center, Auto Zone, Lease Drug, Troll's Jewelry, Quaker Village, Rasul's Super USA, Giant Eagle, Fred's Pharmacy, Heggy's, Suburban Food Mart, Busy Beaver, Tractor Supply; Adele's Place, Yuhanick's Dry Cleaners, East of Chicago Pizza, Bahama Bay Tanning, The Good Look, Ricky's English Pub, Herron Foods; Chrystal Skidmore, Dawn Humphreys, Kim Williams, Bob Hammond, Jim and Anita Bowers and family, Terri and Doug Riley, Yvonne Jones, Dottie Miller, Josh Cox, Jean Snow, Mr. and Mrs. John Yuhaniak, Tim Callahan, Ed Baird, Douglas Riley, Tom Levik-Mark Thomas Ford, Emily and Kelly May, and to all the volunteers behind the scene at the food pantry.
Feels students should wear uniforms to school
To the editor:
I strongly believe that schools should have their students wear uniforms to school.
First of all, school uniforms are quick to put on in the morning, preventing student tardiness.
A second reason is that with school uniforms there is a lesser need for a dress code. There would be no need to worry about camisoles, flip-flops, and the like. The most important reason is that school uniforms would take the "name brand" out of school. In conclusion, I strongly believe schools should have their students wear uniforms.
Youngster offers a good definition of a good friend
To the editor:
A good friend should be helpful, encouraging and honest. A good friend should be helpful because if you get hurt they would help you.
For example, one time I was tripped and my best friend helped me up. Another thing a good friend should be is encouraging so that if you don't do your homework they encourage you to do it so you don't get a bad grade. I know my friend Kennedy did that to me before! Most importantly a good friend should be honest. In conclusion a good friend should be like my friends because they are all of these things and I love them all. So look around do you have a good friend?