This is Viewpoints for Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014 

More than faith

Wednesday’s editorial on the new concealed carry statute claims that the Legislature has saddled counties and municipalities with an unfunded mandate and that the “cost of compliance” with the law will be overwhelming. The truth is that the cost of compliance with the law is exactly zero. The costs mentioned by the editors only materialize when county and city officials choose to fear ordinary citizens who have obtained a permit to carry a handgun after having been scrutinized by federal authorities. Such people have, as a group, proven themselves among society’s most law-abiding citizens. Perhaps the Legislature is actually trying to inoculate our citizens against those for whom fear is the chosen weapon of control. Once everyone gets adequate exposure to peaceful citizens who carry, the purveyors of fear lose more control.

Every time restrictions on the carry of firearms have been loosened, there has been an outpouring of grandiose verbiage about blood running in the streets (or as recently noted by a writer to this paper, running down the church steps). Someone always mentions the “Wild West.” Yet, a review of the facts shows that these dire prophecies never come to pass. The editors apparently believe the prohibition on guns in City Hall has caused every gang member who has walked in to pay a traffic ticket to leave his gun in the car. That belief takes far more faith than the editors are willing to place in those who are properly licensed to carry.

-- Michael L. Chidester

Byron

Great runaround

Of course you see their ads saying call us, but in reality they only help those who offer the prospects of a big payday. Recently I had the misfortune to be severally injured by a rented piece of equipment.

Upon contacting them to get my bills paid, they started having adjusters call me. Five in total. Seven months later after not being able to get legal help, they denied my claim. It was apparent this was a common tactic for this multi-billion dollar company. They then offered me $500. My losses including medical and loss of income had reached $7,000-plus.

I finally contacted our insurance commissioner and filed a formal complaint. Hey, this is about playing fair not money. I began to see the futility of all of my efforts when they refused to call me back from the insuring company.

Folks less fortunate than I are subjected to this daily. I only hope they would seek legal aid.

-- Joe Hubbard

Macon

In what context?

In his published response to my “everyone lost” comment previously published in these pages, Keith Ryals is correct. My comments, specifically directed at a small group of Southern Civil War protestors, were too narrow, obviously a bit too pithy. Though I grow tired of the constant harping from some that 150 years cannot seem to quell, viewing the Civil War in the context in which Lincoln put it, the only reasonable context for continued comment. “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” I apologize.

In light of the original reason for the recent Memorial Day observance, it is fitting to see Lincoln’s closing remarks at Gettysburg, ably paraphrased by Ryals: “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

-- Bob Carnot

Warner Robins

Sad day

It is sad to know that our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will never know the America we grew up in. It’s even sadder to know that our grandfathers, father and brothers fought and died to protect America from communism now to have our politicians embrace and implement communistic ideas and platforms by getting the people dependent on the government for their every need.

-- R. Phillips

Lizella

Make it stop

Tonight I watched a distraught grief stricken father on television whose son was killed in the recent mass shooting in California, May 27. It happens over and over with these rampages by the disturbed or delusional and people just full of hate. We all grieve with those families whose lives are torn apart, but we don’t insist on changes in the law that can help to reduce the chances of more and more of the same.

While we must respect a person’s privacy, professionals involved in mental health should collaborate on better ways to legally intervene with those disturbed individuals that may be on the verge of violence.

Sensible people should also agree that while the right to own guns for protection or sport will never change in this country, nobody but law enforcement or our military needs guns that can fire hundreds of rounds a minute. The arguments that the government is going to “come after my guns” are not close to logical.

Nothing will stop these senseless acts entirely, but for us to do nothing but feel sorry for the next group of victims and their families is a dereliction of duty.

A sense of outrage has to start with us. If Sandy Hook caused no real change, is there hope? Not unless reasonable people get off their rear ends and demand it. Pray to God that we are not the next distraught mother or father on television after some other violent episode.

-- Murray Calhoun III

Columbus

Prayer for Today

Dear God, I thank you profusely for instant wisdom. Recently, in talking to a neighbor, I mentioned that we need to go easy on ourselves and apply lessons learned and not “rail” ourselves over and over again. You made me realize that in forgiving myself for my sins and mistakes I can forgive others. The resentment, unforgiveness, grudges and bitterness that I harbored seem to be gone. Christ commanded us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Amen.

-- Chris Westbrook Macon

Readers -- ministers, rabbis, priests and laypersons alike are invited to contribute prayers to this weekly feature. Mail them to “Prayer,” The Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, GA 31213; or fax to (478) 744-4385; or e-mail letters@macon.com.

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