The Second Amendment
As a Second Amendment purist, I have to admit finding absurd those gun lovers who are stockpiling food, ammo, and first-aid supplies in the event of a possible confrontation with the government. One only has to look at the relative ease with which law enforcement caught the Boston Marathon bombers. I was amazed at the technologies of night vision, thermal vision, confusion grenades, and a canopy-removing robot. Remind me again just what the hell I would use to defeat these kinds of tools? Sorry, but if the government decides to go to war with me, let them know that I have stockpiled nice, big, white surrender flags.
Equally absurd in this mess is our president and those who think that we who don't trust government are a fringe minority. Never mind that the new gun legislation wouldn't have saved one life, legislators must understand that people like me see the government failing to enforce the gun laws already on the books, and, as a result, we simply don't see a correlation between spending more tax dollars and lowering gun violence.
Until prisons for severe criminals literally become living hell, until judges stop worrying about being called racist for handing out stiff judgments, until people are called out publicly for poor, irresponsible behavior, gun violence, as well as every other social ill in America, will continue to rise.
Gun advocates keep saying "guns don't kill people." So, who or what is killing 30,000 people in the U.S. every year? Will everyone at least admit that bullets fired from guns are killing Americans deader than a doornail?
And how about a rousing cheer for the Republicans and their concubine, the NRA, who continually reassure us that guns and bullets have nothing to do with the killing of all those people?
Memphis is Unsafe?
We have billboards saying this city isn't safe. Well, guess what. It isn't. The mayor says he is fighting to get the money back for the police force. First clue: He shouldn't have taken it away!
Our tax dollars are languishing in city government. Do we really need all these employees while we take police officers off the street who are out-gunned, out-manned, and underpaid? I challenge anyone to be a police officer in this city for an hour. I certainly wouldn't do it. They should be honored for putting their lives on the line instead of being forced to take pay cuts and treated like second-class citizens. Maybe we could get more quality officers if they received a decent paycheck, sufficient health insurance coverage, and adequate pensions.
Citizens pay absolutely no attention to or respect them. How many times do you turn on the news to hear another cruiser has been wrecked? Get out of their way! There's a reason there are flashing blue lights and sirens on those cars. What if they were trying to get to you or your family? Would you get out of the way then? Memphians need to get their priorities straight. Let's put our money in the police force and the fire department. That's where the value will come from a decent way of life and will result in safe, secure neighborhoods.
Debbie Carter Walton
The Keystone pipeline is back on the front burners. Supporters would have us think this is the best way to transport the toxic and corrosive tar sands. The truth is Canadians do not want a tar-sands pipeline in their country. The Canadian pipeline companies have a terrible record of keeping the environment safe. Right now, a 1,900-mile pipeline is shut down due to a break in the line. Exxon is cleaning up a massive pipeline oil spill in Arkansas that damaged a water supply and destroyed private and public property.
Pipeline supporters claim it's about national security and jobs. It's a Canadian company's pipeline. The refineries in Texas are mostly foreign-owned. Unlike the original bill that ensured Alaska crude would only be sold in the U.S.A., there is no call for that in the Keystone pipeline. The refineries have been built in a tax-free zone for exports.
America has two trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Let's produce a new generation of cars and trucks that burn America's fuel. That would produce an untold number of new jobs in many different industries.