Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, March 24, 2019

This undated engraving shows the scene on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pa.
This undated engraving shows the scene on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pa. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Different document

A pet peeve of mine is when people confuse rights found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Following the murder of 50 innocent people in New Zealand, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, did a smart and courageous thing. She announced immediate changes to gun laws, banning all semi-automatic weapons within weeks. (Our feckless Congress can’t even pass a universal background check bill, despite the fact that about 90 percent of Americans support it.)

So what was the NRA response? Dana Loesch, their spokesperson, tweeted, “The US isn’t NZ. While they do not have an inalienable right to bear arms and to self-defense, we do.”

I hate to break this to you, Ms. Loesch, but neither you nor any Americans have “an inalienable right to bear arms.” You see, the inalienable rights our Founding Fathers alluded to are in the Declaration of Independence. They include “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I don’t see the right to bear arms in there anywhere.

On the other hand, none of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution (including the amendments) are mentioned as “inalienable.” What does this say about the NRA, whose primary reason for existence is supposedly to protect the Second Amendment, when their spokesperson doesn’t even understand the nature of the amendment?

Stephen Capista,


What are facts on Social Security?

I must take issue with Carl Pirkle’s claim that President Trump, in his 2020 Budget proposal, requested a $25 billion cut in Social Security spending.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe that Social Security is a budget item. Isn’t it funded by payroll taxes which go into a trust fund? Not sure about Medicare and Medicaid, but Congress doesn’t pay any attention to the president’s budget proposals anyway. Please refrain from publishing letters in the future which contain such obvious factual errors, or is your Trump Derangement Syndrome getting in your way?

Jerry Norris,

Warner Robins

Let’s make walking less deadly

Last year, 6,227 pedestrians were killed in car crashes, an increase of 46 percent since 2008. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety said in a report that the rise can be mostly attributed to street and road infrastructure that favors high speeds in urban and suburban areas. Georgia, by the way, now ranks 6th in the nation in number of walking deaths, up from last year’s ranking of No. 10.

Florida has ranked No. 1 for a number of years and to find out why, it began an in depth study thinking it would validate its belief suggesting enhanced education of the pedestrian to solve the problem. Much to their surprise, the results showed something entirely different. To their credit the Florida Department of Transportation swallowed their hubris and accepted the findings of their study that showed the real problem was unsafe street and road design and they have now embarked on a plan to design, retrofit and build their streets to be safe for walkers, bicyclists and cars.

I can only hope that Bibb County and the Georgia Department of Transportation will find the insight and political will to do the same.

Lee Martin,


Get rid of time change

I agree with Philip Grace about Daylight Saving Time. DST does nothing good at all whatsoever, all it does is use more energy, mess things up and cause problems. There’s no reason at all whatsoever for DST. By law a state can opt out of DST. It’s time to get rid of DST and be on standard time all year round. Space is limited on here so there’s no way to list all the problems DST causes.

Bobby Adams,