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Letters to the editor

Could park’s hours be extended?

While I live in Lexington I am often in Salibury for business. For years I’ve been impressed with the relative progressive nature of the Salisbury/Rowan community and in this case I refer to Community Park and the development of its moutain bike/hiking/jogging trails.

However, with the park only being open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. this seems to greatly limit the use of the area. While I am aware that safety and the neighboring residential community is considered, it seems that little mischief potential would be added if the park would open as early at 6 a.m. and close slightly after dark.

With the new developments in outdoor clothing, it is easly possible for active people to enjoy these trails throughout the year here in the Piedmont. Could we change the parks hours?

— Charlie Sink
More laws won’t help

There is a lot of talk right now about tighter gun control laws, following the senseless rampage shooting in Newtown, Conn. Both sides begin with, “Now is not the time for partisan politics,” before making partisan arguments. Instead of rhetoric, I will present three facts: First: gun control laws simply do not work because, criminals do not obey the law. Second: all strict gun laws do is let the criminals know that their intended victims can’t shoot back. Third: most of these rampage killers either take their own lives or die of “suicide by cop.” This mentality cannot be stopped by more gun control laws. These killers are already breaking dozens of laws before they start shooting. One more law will not make a difference.

For proof that stricter gun laws are ineffective, simply look at Washington, D.C. It should be the safest city in the country, as it has the tightest, strictest gun laws; police officers aren’t even allowed to take their service revolvers home. Instead, it is always in the top five for handgun related homicides. Some people will argue that the guns are coming into D.C. from outside. What’s to stop the guns from coming into the United States from Mexico, as they do even now? Norway’s strict gun laws did not stop Anders Behring Breivik from killing 77 people in 2011.

That said, I do favor reasonable gun restrictions, such as background checks and waiting periods, but these laws are already on the books. We do not need more and “better” laws, we simply need to properly enforce the laws we already have. We also need better mental health care for these potential rampage killers, so they don’t slip through the cracks.

— Timothy Will
Look a little deeper

I have been laughing since I read over the two solutions offered by Delmar McDaniel in his (Dec. 22) letter. Mandate home schooling? Sure, everyone is qualified to teach all grades, all levels from kindergarten to high school. … So why do teachers go to a university and keep on getting extra training?

So every child gets home-schooled … around his or her parents’ work schedule, or better yet, let the parents stay home, too. Train teachers — undisclosed willing teachers — to carry guns? What a great solution, because we need more guns to protect us from guns. Really? Maybe we need to think a lot deeper and truly discover some solutions .

— Annick Nurisso
More school officers

I am a concerned parent that is writing to request that our county place an officer in every school every day. I know that it will be a cost, but where there is a will there is a way. This would be a small cost considering the well being of our children. We as parents are scared, but our children are terrified in lieu of what has happened in our country. Our voices must be heard, as parents, and teachers. Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect and serve so we should let them do there job. Something has to be done for our children,so they can feel protected.

— Martie Mako
An effective approach

Mass killers ignore laws and, being evil cowards, choose easy targets for their violence. Evil people are stopped by force or eminent threat of force, not feel- good laws like gun-free zones. Blame the politicians for gun-free zones, thus allowing that psychopath a safe haven to carry out his carnage in Connecticut.

Ridiculous gun-free zone laws are ineffective. The effective approach restores the right to self defense. We have an obligation to protect our children. Gun-free zones allow psychotic killers a zero risk zone until law enforcement arrives. What if the shooter had been confronted by an armed and trained person? At minimum allow tasers. The Israeli solution? In the 1970s terrorists were entering schools and causing deaths. Bu allowing some teachers and staff to be armed, terrorists were confronted and the raids ceased. Evil was confronted. Gun laws were violated in Connecticut. What if an armed faculty/staff/visitor had confronted this psychotic killer? Result: risk minimized or eliminated. Killers knowing schools are no longer gun free zones will pick easier targets.

Blame the video/movie industry for violent videos/movies that blur reality and fantasy. Blame lies with family, friends and school personnel being unwilling to report psychotic behavior. Exercise caution not to go on a “witch hunt’,” revisit privacy laws. Do not blame the innate weapon. “Assault weapons” (his was not ) or high capacity magazines have no civilian use is incorrect in defining an assault weapon and disregarding the sporting and self-defense uses of semi-autos. The law abiding firearm owner will suffer consequences if firearm laws are passed. We have a right to self defense and an obligation to protect our children from evil. It is time to quit asking the “what if the killer had been confronted by a conceal carry person” question but rather how many more dead children is it going to take before a rational (armed) approach to confront and combat evil is adopted?

— Wayne M. Cline
Reasoned debate

Regarding the shootings in Newtown, Conn., there will be much debate about how we are to stop these mass murders in our schools, malls, theaters and places of worship.

My thought is the debates will center on the fact that we need stronger gun control laws. We should have stricter laws and control on assault-style weapons. Is there a reason to have such weapons outside the military and law-enforceement? Let us keep our Second Amendment rights while using common sense. I am neither a hunter nor a gun collector, although I do own a handgun, a carry-over from my days as a law-enforcement officer.

What I believe will not be adequately discussed during these debates is what might be the real problem. First, we will not see a debate on the explosion of violent movies and video games. This will not be discussed in detail because it concerns big business. Neither political party wants to confront business that have immense lobbing power and make large political contributions.

I would hope that during these discussions there is mention of the fact that the Newtown guns were legally owned. It’s doubtful additional control would have stopped this tragedy.

I also think about the fact these recent mass killings were perpetrated by individuals with a mental disorder. In the “old days,” it was possible that some of these individuals might have been committed to an institution for their protection and the protection of others. Now, this same individual may be medicated and the family is told to deal with the problem.

My final thought is how much the doing away of God in our schools has to do with what we are experiencing. My gut feeling is that it would have a positive effect to bring God back to school.

— Vince Cerullo
Mount Gilead


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