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Letters to the editor

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 12:01 am

Is an armed school staff really the answer?

I am a 1986 graduate of Central Noble High School. Until 2011, I had children that attended Central Noble Community Schools. I believe in the Second Amendment, own handguns and have a concealed carry permit. I question the idea and motives of Central Noble Community School system considering arming teachers.

CN Superintendent Chris Daughtry says, “It would act as deterrent for somebody thinking about entering a school.” If four guns would be a deterrent, wouldn’t 400 guns be an even bigger deterrent? Why just four teachers? Within that community are many kids raised around guns. They know how to correctly use and handle guns. If staff “special deputies” are a good idea, why not student “special deputies” too?

How much safer would the students be with armed staff? Attackers are showing up in armor protection, brandishing spray-and-pray weapons, and bringing several handguns for backup. Really, how much is an armed teacher going to slow down one of these assaults? If this idea is we would slow down an attacker, why wait until he gets into the school? Make it so a would-be attacker can’t even see a student, and students could never see a possible attacker. We don’t see these attacks happening on prisons. Wouldn’t the students be even safer fenced and locked in? Is protecting students really the goal? Is armed school staff really the answer?

After graduating from Central Noble, one of my first employers was an old school-guy who ran a service station. He interacted with the public over 40 years. He always told me, “People would treat each other better if we all carried guns on our hips.” Being a young kid right out of Central Noble I always thought, “Maybe, but who would want to live in a world like that?”

Steven Weber

Congress needs to view true picture of tragedy

I worked in the criminal justice system for more than 30 years. I saw crime scene photographs of violent crimes and read hundreds of police incident reports describing violence in great detail. In several homicide cases I read coroner autopsy reports. Some of those graphic images are still in my memory.

The one-month anniversary of the illegal execution of 20 children and six teachers in Connecticut (has passed). Today our flags no longer fly at half-staff and the memory candles have burned out across the nation. Our feelings of shock, sadness and anger have begun to fade a little bit. The sanitized photographs, taken outside the Newtown school, have been widely viewed around the globe. One of those images, I think, is particularly poignant. The photograph shows a line of young children with their hands on the shoulders of the child in front in them. The children apparently had been told by the police and their teachers to “close” their eyes as they were being evacuated from their school. This action was intended to prevent them from seeing the “messy” business of gun violence at their school.

It occurred to me that this single photograph is symbolic of America’s “closed eyes” reaction to gun violence in the United States. The citizens of this nation are censured from seeing the true human costs of gun violence. The 24/7 news media, the newspapers, the radio stations and our social media sources all choose not to upset the delicate sensibilities of our citizenry by showing images or describing violent gun death.

I doubt our societal attitudes regarding guns will change until our citizens can see the images of a 6-year-old child’s body after it has been shot 11 times.

It is unlikely that you or I will have an opportunity to view the crime scene photographs taken at the Newtown school. It is, however, possible to request that members of our congressional delegation look at the crime scene images, to read the graphic reports and to interview the first responders who where at the Newtown school. Maybe our elected representatives will get a true picture of gun violence in our country and hopefully some attitudes about violence and guns maybe changed.

James Seely

Why do we blame objects for actions?

It’s started again. A push to ban so-called assault weapons. Blame the object, not society. However, I am amazed at the absolute stupidity of the mass media pertaining to firearms.

The “assault weapons” misnomer was invented by them and the politicians. Before these purveyors of “the facts,” an assault rifle was a military-issue weapon capable of selective fire that is either semi-automatic or fully automatic. Simply stated, a private citizen cannot own a fully automatic firearm legally because of a federal law enacted in 1934 when Chicago gangs used submachine guns to commit murders.

As a Korean War veteran approaching 85 years of age, the moral guidance existing back in 1942 is now in the process of being replaced. The government has grown larger, much larger, and believes that it has become the new moral guidance.

As proof of this, legislation is everywhere, enacting the “new” moral code against objects but not against the person. Personal responsibility is becoming obsolete, replaced by the government “we will take care of you” philosophy.

It is no wonder to me that murder of innocent children and all types of killings, robberies, home invasions, and other signs of moral decay have become commonplace. It is no wonder to me that the person is no longer responsible for his (her) action. It is no wonder to me that, since we are not responsible for our actions, that something else must be blamed.

Wayne A. Doenges

New Haven

Gun control is a joke

It seems very silly to me that all these lawmakers want to jump on the bandwagon to pass gun control laws. I, for one think guns are terrible for society; I am not a big Second Amendment proponent. But it is much too late now to control them. Have we not learned anything from the war on drugs?

Lawmakers also want to make stiffer penalties for gun crimes. That’s fine, but do you really think a person whose intent is to murder bothers looking up what the possible penalty for the gun crime he is going to commit? One year or a million years, it’s all the same. Most times the cowards who commit these heinous crimes end up killing themselves before they get caught anyway. Let’s face it, bad guys are always going to have guns and the legislature is not going to put a dent in it , if anything it is going to make the problem worse.

What’s important is keeping our children safe. Schools need to be the safest places in our country. If our government could spend a trillion dollars on a war protecting us from an enemy that posed no threat to us, then they have the money to protect our children from an enemy that does pose a threat. Let’s get real and start protecting our children from the real clear and present danger.

Nick Giant

Protect our rights

I have just finished reading the Julie Pace article in the Jan. 8 News-Sentinel. In that article she has this statement: “ President Obama has called the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown the worst moment of his presidency.”

Yes, this was a horrendous event. But, what thought has President Obama given to the report that was published by one of the Internet news agencies that almost 500 youth, from age 6 to age 18, were shot with 66 of them having been murdered, in his hometown of Chicago during 2012?

This figure was up by 15 percent over the number killed during 2011. Chicago, the city with the strictest gun laws in the nation. The city where it is next to impossible for a person to legally own a weapon, especially a handgun, as well as almost impossible to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Yet, apparently those with crime in mind have no problem obtaining and owning a weapon, with which to perform acts of violence, including the killing of children.

It is alarming that President Obama and his ilk in Washington are intent on making it more difficult for persons who may own handguns legally to purchase them. In fact, they want to restrict what type of handguns may be owned. But these new laws will not have any effect upon the criminal element, for they are not law-abiding citizens. They do not buy their guns legally.

It is time that we, the honest citizens who have the legal right to own weapons, make our voices heard by contacting our representatives and our senators, and demand they bring a halt to the attempt to invalidate the Second Amendment of our Constitution.

Ronald G. Ross1SG US Army (ret)

Saint Joe