Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Friday, March 11, 2016

Sheepdogs

I hold a Georgia weapons carry license, and occasionally carry concealed. I started doing so shortly after I turned 21, after experiencing a couple of incidents that could have gone bad, but thankfully did not. If I physically attended college, I would probably choose to NOT carry there, as I generally feel safe while on campus, but I would appreciate having the option to carry in my vehicle if I so desired.

I (like many people I presume) typically only carry concealed when I am in a situation that I or any reasonable person would perceive as being unsafe. In those situations, the reason I am not nervous or frightened is because I am carrying. I suppose carrying gave me an aura of confidence. I have not been involved in any incidents that necessitated the use of my firearms, even during times when I am not carrying. In fact, I rarely carry for this reason. Should I ever be put in a situation where responding with force would be an option, I would only do so as a last resort if my life was in imminent danger after first trying to escape or de-escalate the situation.

If regular citizens are sheep, and bad guys are wolves, I suppose myself and others who choose to carry could be likened to sheepdogs in sheep's clothing, because it would probably take the shepherd (police) too long to get there.

— David Brown

Warner Robins

With a bow to Will

Several months ago I told a number of my friends if I had the time and energy I would write an alternate future novel in which Donald Trump becomes president of the United States. Recently I have realized that to do proper justice to the story it would need the talents of Will Shakespeare, so I offer the following humble tribute to the poet.

And now is the winter of our discontent made glorious by this summer son of New York. He bestrides the continent like a colossus with the brow of Jove and the hair of a dead orange Medusa.

And who can stand against him? With a flick of his mighty wrist and small hand (thought his hands be small, they be fierce) he disposed of such losers and lightweights as Rick and Bobby and Scott. He defeated the surgeon and the woman in the power suit sent against him.

He completely vanquished the House of Bush — giving the lie to the mantra that "he kept us safe" (except for the day he didn't) and the weapons of mass destruction. Not even mommy and big brother could save poor Jeb, and he was left beaten and bloodied by his own exclamation point.

This satyr plays the pipes of Pan and like the creatures of Hamelin, the enthralled dance after him — they see not the pit before them although it be HUGE.

This hero continues to be stalked by the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy — a creature who thumps a Bible and would love to give theocracy another chance in this land. What could possibly go wrong with that? Best ask the ghost voices from Salem.

He has one last joust against Little Marco, the Florida flash in the pan. And then what happens? Oh, you citizens of the republic, beware the Ides of March.

— Charles J. Pecor

Macon

Lost appeal

"He told them that because in the first century Roman law permitted soldiers to force civilians to carry their gear for one mile and because of abuses the one mile rule was rigorously enforced. Knowing this Jesus said, "If anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second" — Matthew 5:40.

Jesus told them to keep going after one mile and force the soldiers to chase them down and wrestle their gear back to avoid punishment. When commanders started seeing their soldiers breaking formation ever mile or so to chase down peasants to retrieve their gear, I image the practice soon lost its appeal.

— Travis L. Middleton

Peach County

Women rock

Recently we have been reminded of the "gender gaps" that exist in America regarding rights, representation and pay of women. One place where there is not an under-representation of women is in our colleges. In 2014, females received 58 percent while men just 42 percent of all bachelor's degrees and master's degrees awarded by American universities. This continues a decade-long downward trend for men.

Is this troubling issue not worthy of attention or concern?

— Jack Broeils

Warner Robins

Retain Rachael

In the immortal words of someone in baseball about a baseball player named Joe, I beg, "Say it ain't so" that one of your best columnists, Rachael Mercer, who writes an intelligent column on saving, is ending her run. She is a wealth of information that I can't find anywhere else and presents her savings in an entertaining way. Please retain her column as it only adds class to your lineup of writers.

— Judy S. Veal Lawrence

Milledgeville

Concealed carry

The Georgia Senate is considering something the University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckabee has opposed: an increase in the number of concealed weapons at Georgia colleges and universities. The paper-thin pretext for House Bill 859 is concern that a rash of armed robberies on campuses has imperiled students who must take up arms.

Reported support for the bill focuses on Second Amendment rights to the exclusion of the rest of the Constitution. A minority of gun owners simply do not care if their legal gun will endanger anyone else as long as it makes them feel safe.

No other country has a level of civilian firepower comparable to America's arsenal. We have become a nation where toddlers shoot people on a regular basis. Each day more than 80 Americans are killed by a bullet. More than 50 of these Americans kill themselves. The closer people are to a gun, statistically, the more likely it is to kill them.

A state Senate committee heard from a significant number of opponents to Campus Carry last week but ignored them. To blame partisan politics and the gun lobby for this overlooks inaction by a third party: the rest of the state.

Georgians may want to consider something. If your child is going to college in Georgia next fall, are you going to feel better knowing he or she is "protected" by the stranger walking next to them with a hidden gun? Share your answer with your legislator.

— Tim Wesselman

Albany

 

Out of the loop

I heard about the Arts Alliance's new project in East Macon. My question is why artists from outside our community are being selected to work and live in Mill Hill when these people have no loyalties to our community? Also, their talents are not from this area, which means we are not showcasing the talent we have here. We have so many talented people right here who need a place to work and display their art. These people are not being discovered or recognized and probably will never be given an opportunity with this organization.

This should make our average citizens wonder, "Are we trying to include all the citizens of Macon in the new modeling of our city?" Or are we (the poor and people of color) being pushed aside because of who we are? We are just as talented and eager to show what we can do, too. Of course, if you are not able to pay or travel in certain circles, you are left out of the loop. However we should not be surprised; these people camouflage the lack of inclusion very well. Just saying.

— Dorothy Henderson

Macon

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