Down and Out
Thanks to Bianca Phillips and the Flyer for the story on homeless gay youth ("Down and Out," April 1st issue). Those — such as the MGLCC and the host families — who are working to alleviate this problem are truly following Jesus' admonition to minister to "the least of these." Too often these days, Christianity is exemplified by those who strive to use their religion to oppress and condemn rather than to serve all of our brothers and sisters, even the downtrodden and those who are different.
Blaming the Firearm?
Why is it that seemingly intelligent people blame the firearm for what the user does (Editor's Note, March 18th issue)? No matter how it was acquired — whether through a police auction, along with the getaway car, purchased from a licensed dealer or private citizen who is legally selling off unwanted guns, or if the gun in question was stolen — a firearm cannot commit a crime without a human holding it and deciding where to aim it and when to pull the trigger.
Though I am all for the police selling off firearms from their property rooms to licensed dealers, I would like more assurance that they have exhausted every means of locating the rightful owner in the case of stolen firearms. Those crime victims have just as much right to get their property back as the people who lost jewelry and artworks.
I want to express my gratitude to the Memphis Flyer for continuing to publish the art reviews written by Carol Knowles. They are widely read and respected by artists and non-artists alike. Her reviews are well-written and create wonderful word-images of the art she describes. I was particularly pleased to see my work reviewed by Knowles in her column "Top Form" (February 18th issue). Thank you again for offering Knowles' insightful commentary.
In his column (City Beat, April 1st issue), John Branston postulates that "there are still lots of ways to make it." I agree. There are lots of ways, even if you're not a man. Judging from the list he compiled, he considers gender a prerequisite for success. Either that or he's lazy with his research.
The Health-Care Decision
Tennessee has a decision to make: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land. According to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, his state innovation amendment allows "states to apply for a waiver from the individual mandate or any other requirement of the bill if they can demonstrate that they have another way of meeting federal coverage requirements."
So, do we want our health insurance options regulated by Washington or Nashville? In preserving state rights, Wyden's amendment gives us a choice.
With the establishment of Tea Parties and the emergence of Coffee Parties, maybe it is time we came together to have a reasonable conversation. Thomas Jefferson said: "In a republican nation, whose citizens are to be led by reason and persuasion, and not by force, the art of reasoning becomes of first importance."
Who will be the "game changers"? The 2010 elections take on another level of importance. Can "we the people" of Tennessee develop a better health-care solution? We have an opportunity to turn Tennessee into an example for the nation.
Brandon Chase Goldsmith
I find it humorous to read about the Tea Party movement and its members' cry to return to core conservative values. Why the outcry now?
Where was the Tea Party crowd when conservative Republicans and former President George Bush were exploding the size of our federal government and spending money like drunken sailors?
A photo of Tea Party protesters caught my attention: I noticed a large "No Socialized Medicine" sign and a "Hands Off My Health Care" sign held by a senior citizen. I assume she, along with many others in the Tea Party, have Medicare as their primary health insurance. If they dislike government-run programs so much, let them opt out of Medicare.
Nevada City, California