No reason needed to exercise rights
Regarding your Sept. 13 editorial, we can all agree that more should be done to improve the background check system so that the mentally unstable cannot buy a firearm from a licensed firearms retailer.
However, your commentary goes awry in suggesting that ownership of certain firearms, "hunters with their shotguns" is acceptable while citizens' rights to have other firearms constitutes a "strange craving" and an "obsession."
Luckily, we have a Second Amendment in this country that does not require a citizen exercising a fundamental civil liberty to provide a reason, any more then the First Amendment requires that you have a reason for printing an editorial that brushed aside the fact that even the Obama administration did not support the U.N. treaty you cited. Nor would most Americans look to Russia, with its continuing history of citizen oppression, to provide us with an example of how to do anything.
Lawrence G. Keane
Senior vice president and general counsel
National Shooting Sports Foundation
Phase out coal to prevent catastrophe
I applaud your editorial "Evidence: More warming facts," which you published on Aug. 18, and have these comments.
While coal is too ingrained in our culture to expect our state to be a leader in addressing climate change, we can hope that a core of science-based, rational opinion on the subject can grow here and accomplish two things:
First, telling fellow West Virginians the truth: that humanity, in fact almost every species, faces a difficult future coping with a progressively unstable and dangerous climate, the beginnings of which we have hardly begun to sample.
Second, advocating for the following admittedly painful changes that are necessary to avoid the worst of the long-term consequences - phasing out fossil fuel use, most especially coal, as quickly and humanely as possible.
In saying this I mean no disrespect to deep coal miners who risk their lives every workday in order to mine coal. From the beginning their labors have been heroic.
Scott Howle Thompson