Slaughter can't go on without deadly weapons
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jefferson said, "A democracy can not be both ignorant and free."
There are 30,000 gun deaths a year in the USA, including 16,000 murders. NRA members I hunted with were fond of that egregious statement: "Guns don't kill, people kill." Numerous times I asked, "Could all those people at Virginia Tech, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma have been killed without weapons?" How did that man in Finland kill 75 people? Did he use a knife? There are countless millions of weapons awash in this country. If a government agency tried to confiscate arms here there would be a revolt worse than in Syria. The Whiskey Insurrection of 1794 would be minor in comparison.
The Russian SA-Grails can be changed into a rocket launcher. Any enterprising criminal can get one online. Just think. We could have our own Lockerbie! The NRA could defend the killer saying the court is violating his Second Amendment rights. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is contributing to fighting the proliferation of weapons. Much to my chagrin I can't kick in millions for this cause, but I can urge "to end this slaughter there must be restrictions on the accomplices to murder -- sidearms!"
East Liverpool, Ohio
Return to spirit of Christmas
Christmas is here and everyone was in a rush to find that perfect gift. As I think back to Christmas times past, things have really changed. Crowded checkout lines are always the same. Of course, there are always those "favorite" gifts people are willing to fight over. Remember the year of "Tickle Me Elmo"?
What has changed is Christmas seems to be losing the magic that it had to bring people together. I realize this has much to do with the economy and technology, but oh how I miss the magic.
It seemed every day leading up to Christmas, the mailbox was full of cards. They were proudly displayed around the house. My family times as a child do not hold many fond memories of being raised by my grandparents. Like most children I looked forward to Christmas, but for different reasons. Every Christmas Eve was my favorite night of the year. It wasn't about the gifts. That evening my two aunts, uncles and cousins would come to our house. We would visit, eat, play, eat. Oh, did I mention eat? My aunts and uncles were great. The greatest gift they brought was love. There were always enough hugs to last me until the next Christmas. They always made me feel special. For that one night each year, I had a family.
Christmas cards don't come in the mail much anymore. Family gatherings still happen, but now are scheduled around other events. Deciding which in-law to visit at what time is often a pain-staking chore. The holiday becomes more of a marathon trying to get everywhere rather than spending quality time together. Would it really be too much to ask for everyone to spend the day together?
In light of all of the recent tragedies, hurricanes, shootings, and just loss, I would like to challenge everyone to send someone a card this holiday, an old-fashioned card in the mail. Then, visit someone you haven't seen in a while. People drive 50 miles to shop at a mall, but may not drive across town to visit a loved one. Merry Christmas!