Should encourage it
Recently, a decision was made in a lower court which resulted in a conviction against an individual for a violation of the open carry of a firearm. Perhaps this will be overturned in a higher court or perhaps not. In being prudent, simply look at the issue on a world scale.
I believe there is a reason no other country has dared an invasion of our great nation. You simply do not attack a country that has a well-armed civilian population. By the same reason, we have never been attacked by the use of nuclear force. It is called mutually assured destruction.
If anything, open carry should be encouraged by our state government. What would have happened if everyone in that theater was packing a P1911, and the perpetrator knew it? Same thing in the recent deaths of two Virginia reporters--what if everyone was packing a hogleg?
I find it very disturbing that there is a seeming disagreement in what open carry is, and what it is intended for. I understand we still have the right to bear arms by the Constitution of the United States. To bear is defined as to have in your immediate possession, not tucked away in a closet or in a gun safe.
I myself would never promote gun violence. I own sport firearms used for the purpose of hunting. I do not own a handgun. But I feel I should have the right to not only own as many handguns as I want, but also the right to open carry one anywhere I go.
Perhaps the individual charged was out of line, or made a gesture. I don't know; I was not there. I do stress this: If you open carry and are asked to surrender your firearm by law enforcement, above all, comply. There is a reason a law enforcement officer wears the badge and has the duty.
FRED D. HEATH
Once again we see another act of self-destruction. Again the person destroying his life takes the life of innocent people, his co-workers. What we don't see is the lack of effort to improve upon this attitude toward other people. This person could not see his future or the effects of his destructive behavior on other people.
Not only did he destroy the lives of others, he destroyed his own in such a way that he was punishing people for making his life miserable. His goal was to destroy the people who are successful.
Some people think that people are too screwed up, that it would be impossible to identify self-destructive people and prevent them from owning a firearm or weapon. The truth is that, in this country, nothing substantive has been done to identify those who don't measure up to society's expectations.
What we expect of a person has yet to be defined, and even if it was, how would you enforce it? We could determine the mental capability of every child in grades one-12 in public schools, and the possibility of self-destructive behavior. The problem is that the American people are not receptive to behavioral control measures by the government.
Considering all this to be an actual fact, it should not be surprising to see people toting firearms and making an effort to protect themselves. Obviously there are more people out there who will kill innocent people.
I am a gun owner and am upset with the ease and amount and types of weapons available for sale. Apparently it is impossible to restrict types of weapons or sizes of clips.
What if we treated owning a gun like driving a car? What if we had to show proficiency to get a license similar to concealed-carry? What if we had to carry a gun license like a driver's license and have it renewed every so often? Background checks would be done at each renewal. That way individual gun sales could be done as they are now without a background check other than a license. All private sales should be recorded and sent to some sort of registry to be legal. People change over time--this way if an issue arose such as a felony conviction or a stay in a mental hospital, a license renewal and background check would catch it.
Maybe there are better ideas out there that still let individuals own guns; I hope someone has one. We need to work on individual restrictions since gun restrictions are not going to work.
Strikes right balance
Now is a pivotal moment for Fayetteville. The results of the Sept. 8 election will send a strong message about who we are and what we stand for. From local equality ordinances to policies like those of Wal-Mart and the University of Arkansas, communities, businesses and institutions have increasingly chosen to clearly state that they don't tolerate discrimination of any kind. It's time for Fayetteville to do the same.
Ordinance 5781 protects all Fayetteville citizens against discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. As the lead organization for LGBTQ residents in Washington and Benton counties, we know the real fear of thinking that you will lose your job, be denied a home, or refused service in a restaurant or store simply because of who you are. It's just plain wrong for some neighbors to have their rights fully protected while others live in fear of unfair discrimination.
This ordinance is by Fayetteville, for Fayetteville, written with input from local businesses, community leaders, organizations like ours and people just like you. It finds the right balance for our city, correcting criticisms of last year's ordinance, including fully exempting religious organizations. That's why the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, religious leaders and elected officials are proud to stand beside us in urging support for Ordinance 5781.
We've left too many people at risk for far too long. We can show the world how to balance religious freedom and equal protection for everyone; how to grow local businesses while fighting discrimination; and how to bring a community together for a brighter future. Fayetteville, let's take this step forward. Please vote for Ordinance 5781.
Editor's note: Chaz Allen is the president of the NWA Center for Equality board of directors.
Prosperity is fleeting
Just as I predicted. This future is so bright I have to wear shades. Gas prices are down, unemployment is low, durable goods are up and the economy is stoked. This has been a sweet summer, indeed.
Unfortunately, our nation's prosperity will not last much longer. Republicans are about to take the White House. I say this based on the fact that Mitt Romney, probably the most unlikely Republican presidential nominee ever, won 24 of the U.S. states back in 2012. The next Republican nominee will surely win more states and the White House. Republicans will be in complete control of our nation's government, except for the judicial branch. "Hope and change" will give way to trickle-down economics in which poor folks get trickled upon under pretense of rain.
So, basically we have two more prosperous summers left before the next Republican presidential administration turns this nation completely around in the opposite direction, back to the Bush-Cheney era.
Fortunately, when the new president takes the White House in January of 2017, our nation will still be operating on an Obama-era budget until September of 2017. That gives us at least two more years of prosperity, but by the summer of 2018, there will be lots of change, very little hope, and I will no longer need my shades.
Editorial on 09/03/2015
Print Headline: Letters