Always say thank you

To the Editor:

The letter thanking first responders from the people involved in the horrible accident with a huge buck on Phoenix Lake Road was well written and it was nice for them to acknowledge all the many people by name who helped. Many times we neglect to take time to say “thank you” or to get someone’s name. No matter how small or large their part was it has made a lasting impression on you both and all of us proud to be part of a community who cares about one another. Thank You.

Ginny Van Bolt


School should have closed

To the Editor:

On Friday when most of the county’s schools were closed due to the snow and dangerous driving conditions I called Leigh Shampain to ask him to close Summerville Elementary School. He said, “It’s not my problem you choose to live where roads aren’t maintained.” This man has decision-making power over the safety of our community’s children? I found his comment arrogant and insensitive. We all live in a rural community, we all have limited resources, including the county. Shame on you, Mr. Shampain.

Anne Clark


How much wealth?

To the Editor:

How much wealth can a nation stand? That is not a question Adam Smith addressed in his book, The Wealth of Nations (1776), when he ushered in the economic system of capitalism.

Smith reasoned that individual self-interest, if allowed to operate freely, would lead to great wealth in a nation. That has certainly proven to be true in the United States, but also in the United States we may be about to learn how much wealth is too much.

The firearms industry in the United States manufacturers about 11 million rifles, pistols and shotguns annually. Revenue from the sale of guns and ammunition is about $13.5 billion.

Jobs related to firearm manufacture and sales is about 300,000, and the overall impact to the national economy is about $43 Billion. The firearms industry is clearly an important component of our economy.

This would be very good news if it weren’t for the cost to society of maintaining this very profitable industry. In the United States total cost of gun violence, including deaths and injuries, is about $230 billion in addition to the grief, suffering, fear and clinical mental stress placed upon those affected by the violence. And we know that these costs are not borne by those in Congress that support the firearms industry, nor those in the industry, like the NRA, who tell Congress what to do, and especially what not to do.

The time has come to bring a justifiable balance between the internal profits of an industry and the external costs to society. We can take a big step in that direction in November 2018; before you vote just remember the 17 students and teachers who died at Douglas High School.

Robert Rogers


Trump is not to blame

To the Editor:

Liberals who have been so angry for over a year since Trump’s win, over the most political corruptive machine from Little Rock, Arkansas, I’ve seen in 69 years, study history.

They’re so mad, probably because he doesn’t drink or smoke, so put it in low gear, have a drink, have a toke. He’s never colluded with Russia. Aw, they’re so disappointed, but they still think he stinks so now they blame him for everything even the broken kitchen sink.

Well I know there’s a very special safe place for all of them: meet all together before their inevitable nervous breakdown at the petting zoo.

Michael T. Wood


Practicing pragmatic compassion

To the Editor:

Please consider the concept of “pragmatic compassion.” Compassion is the feeling of sympathy for the sufferings of others and a desire to help them. It’s what we feel when we see an injured child. But in a broader sense, it is also the realization that we are all in this together, and that we all depend on each other and the natural world we live in. Cooperation is necessary for survival. Even a strictly selfish understanding of “enlightened self-interest” recognizes that an individual’s efforts taken to benefit society further the self-interest of that individual. Conversely, I suggest that any discrimination by race, ethnicity or orientation that hinders an individual damages our nation as a whole. All for one, one for all. United we stand, divided we fall.

To be pragmatic is to be practical; to skillfully do what works best; to get done what needs to be done; to rely on concrete experience and factual knowledge, not fanciful speculation or wishful thinking.

“Pragmatic compassion” could help guide us toward a healthy, prosperous nation. For example, we know that proper nutrition is essential for the mental and physical development of children, so we have the National School Lunch Program to be sure that every child has a chance to grow. Being pragmatic, we recognize that this pays off in the long run, and that to finance this investment in ourselves, we should tax the wealth of those who benefit the most from society.

After giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy, the Trump administration proposes to reduce the funding for the food programs administered by the Department of Agriculture. This is the heartless, mindless, sounds-good-on-talk-radio, Republican agenda in action. Please think about “pragmatic compassion” as a better way forward.

John Watson


Guns aren’t the problem

To the Editor:

Why are some of these people who don’t know a shotgun from a shogun, but they attack assault rifles, when we know what they mean, and that is they want to outlaw all guns, and ignore the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. A deer rifle could be called an assassin rifle and what he calls an assault rifle could be called a fun rifle. Would that satisfy him?

The biggest difference in the two is that AR-15 was used in the military and the other was used for sport and hunting; and the AR-15 has a handle by the trigger. The AR-15 is a smaller caliber and therefore less lethal than a hunting rifle and is less accurate for long distances.

Fully automatic is illegal so that eliminates that difference. There are thousands of AR-15s sold and it is just used for a day at a shooting range for entertainment.

If you called a 12-inch butcher knife an assassin knife would they want to outlaw that, too? How about if they called a hammer a “Head Smasher”, or a crossbow a” silent but deadly killer?” It is the same rational thought to say that cars kill more people than anything else, so why not eliminate cars?

If fools want to have their say, they should at least do some research. Anyone with half a brain knows that it is the person behind the potential weapon that is to blame.

James Schlotthauer