Not a Haslam Fan
I condemn Republican governor Bill Haslam for everything Tim Sampson did in his latest Rant (July 26th issue), plus one more thing: He signed that voter photo-ID bill into law, making it difficult for students, the elderly, and minorities to vote. I'd always thought public officials were supposed to encourage voting, not discourage it.
As soon as Haslam signed that bill, I went directly to the DMV and had my photo put on my driver's license. Though I had no trouble with the poll workers and I was still able to early vote for Steve Cohen and Beverly Marrero, they told me Jeanne Richardson had been redistricted out of 89 into 90 and I had been redistricted out of 89 into 98. I understand the election commissioner, who just happens also to be Republican and whose duty it is to notify us of such things, failed to send notifications to many people that they had been redistricted, much less what their new district was. I was not notified.
Long ago, my father advised me to vote early (meaning, in the morning) lest I get run over by a truck and be disenfranchised. Well, I've been voting since 1956 and have no intention of stopping now. But I do think that henceforth I will update his advice to me and wait until the polls open on the actual election day. I might have better luck with the whole process since principle appears as nonexistent as voter fraud. In the meantime, maybe we need a new election commissioner.
I am upset about the child abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky and the coverup by Coach Paterno and three other university officials (City Beat, July 19th issue). The lives of many young children have been adversely impacted by these men. But these were the five individuals to blame for these tragic events — not the assistant football coaches, not the football players, not the faculty, and not the student body.
If the leaders of a corporation — e.g., the CEO, vice president, etc. — commit a crime, are the junior-level managers and hourly workers punished? If a parent commits a crime, are his/her children punished for the crime? The NCAA decided to use Penn State as a scapegoat example to thwart other university leaders from going astray. I think the NCAA should have stayed out of it and let the criminal and civil proceedings run their course. The NCAA is persecuting innocent people.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire
The gun-fetish writers are at it again, telling us the Aurora tragedy would have been averted if only someone in the theater had been packing heat (Letter from the Editor, July 26th issue). Of course, this gun-toting moviegoer's weapon would have to have had armor-piercing bullets, since the suspect wore body armor. And, like the shooter, he would have also needed a gas mask. And, since hitting a moving target with a handgun across a panicked, darkened, tear-gas-filled theater is a bit challenging, he also would have had to be a world-class marksman.
The Second Amendment of the Constitution states: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Obviously, the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded.
The only two reasons for a citizen to own a firearm are for hunting or defense of his or her household. In either case, ownership of a handgun, shotgun, or rifle is more than adequate. All handguns, shotguns, and rifles should be licensed and registered to the degree necessary to match weapon to owner at the click of a computer key.
Could the media please give us a break with endless grisly accounts of the Aurora killings?
I understand it was a tragedy, and our sympathies lie with the 71 innocent victims. But we also need to appreciate that 86 Americans are killed by firearms every day, while nearly 4,000 a day die prematurely from chronic diseases linked to consumption of animal products and lack of exercise.
So, let's replace the vacuous hand-wringing over the Aurora tragedy with constructive personal steps to lessen the greater tragedies facing us every day.