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Letters to the editor 1-25-2013

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Smoke and mirrors
Conservatives and liberals maintain an ongoing dialogue. Their ideas and opinions often differ - sometimes greatly - but they keep exchanging thoughts and ideas which allow them to reasonably debate one another’s views.
But, when a proposal is made that will benefit most people — conservative, liberal, independent — extremist-loons scurry to find ways to muddy the waters by making disparaging statements that have nothing to do with the proposal. And, God forbid, they should make an effort to suggest ways to make the proposal even more beneficial.
Another extremist ploy is to perpetuate myths such as: “Republican policies benefit only the very wealthy”; “Conservatives oppose healthcare reform”. But don’t ask them to back up these myths ... they can’t.
It’s apparent that one of their goals is to facilitate chaos by spreading deception and misinformation. This chaos is magnified even more because the culture we live in is a liberally top-heavy one. Some examples:
Our system of education can deprive kids of the balanced ideas they are entitled to. Most educators are dedicated to giving our kids the very best education. Many, however, are liberally inclined. They tend to feed young people liberal ideas and opinions instead of presenting both liberal and conservative views. If they did, young people would get the necessary information to evaluate each view and make their own informed decisions.
Entertainment industries (music, movies, TV) are controlled by left-leaning studios, producers, performers. We idolize popular singers and actors and most of these performers provide us great pleasure in return. Many performers, however, say and do outrageous things that some off us interpret as being true and acceptable.
Media (newspapers, TV and radio news) are mostly dominated by left-leaning writers and newscasters who present the liberal side and play-down or ignore the conservative one. Uninformed and impressionable people believe whatever they are told by the media ... they assume that media people are experts; that they must be telling the truth.
Religious ideas aren’t consistent with liberal policies — abortion being one. These policies are driving Americans further from God. Family-values are gradually deteriorating; our young people are not always given religious direction: either from their parents and/or — because legislation in many instances prohibits it — by their educators.
And the list goes on: the unions; the courts; our Constitution which - while not a liberal doctrine - is being largely bypassed by the current administration. Some far-lefters say that the Constitution is obsolete; that it no longer meets America’s needs. What they are really saying is: “The Constitution restricts our ability to freely implement our socialist agenda.”
This “smoke and mirrors” environment is not healthy for America. Thankfully, we have God and righteousness on our side. If we continue to pray, actively defend our beliefs, and continue doing and saying virtuous things we will prevail.
Joe O’Hara
Ocala

Sensible gun laws
Common sense can win a discussion if you think through the issue of who can and who should be able to won a gun.
The Second Amendment is as strong as ever and our government supports the rights of its citizens to own and use firearms.
The far right and the NRA are shouting as loud as they can to whoever will listen that the president wants to eliminate the Second Amendment and take away all guns from its citizens
. A thinking person can understand that the government is not trying to take guns away from responsible gun owners as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and most of the Republicans in Congress are claiming.
There are those in responsible positions in our government who are saying that the gun problem is complex and multi-faceted but they are just clouding the issue to win support for their position.
The truth is that the president is proposing a ban on assault weapons and gun clips that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Who needs a military style assault weapon strapped on their shoulder to show how tough they are? These people are promoting actions against the safety of our children.
There are those on the right who believe that suggesting gun control is an impeachable offense.
There should be no place in America that these politicians can hide who will not vote to protect Americans.
There are some things that Congress can do to safeguard our country such a background checks on anyone before they can purchase any kind of weapon.
We should not be afraid to go shopping, walk the streets, go to ball games and in other words to be free to live our lives the way we want to.
Our children should be safe to attend school with minimal care such keeping all doors and windows locked from the inside and possibly cameras on the buildings the same as super markets and shopping malls have.
The government can pass laws to buy back these assault weapons and large ammo clips for those willing to turn in these weapons to proper authorities. The time has come to be serious about this man made problem that we face in today’s world.
Jerry Segovis
Ocala

Sensible Gun Control
It is time to apply a comprehensive approach to reduce if not end the gun-related violence that we all agree is killing our families and friends and making us feel unsafe.
It’s true that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” but people with guns can kill people - including themselves - more effectively.
We know that states with low gun ownership rates and strong gun laws (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts) have the lowest rates of firearm-related deaths, and that states with higher rates of gun ownership and weak gun laws (Louisiana, Wyoming, Mississippi) rank first in the nation for gun deaths.
We need to recognize that guns are weapons, and unrestricted access to them undermines public safety. We also need to recognize that a tiny minority of people are responsible for the vast majority of gun violence, and so we must seek realistic ways to reduce access to firearms for those at risk of harming themselves or others. We must provide appropriate mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services.
Finally, we need to recognize that the current violence and suffering are largely preventable. With sustained effort, we can shape our policies to better balance individual rights with our collective interest in public safety.
Gerard Chapdelaine
Oak Run

Gun control
Starting with and including the 1991 Luby’s massacre in Killeen, Texas, through the one in Connecticut last month, almost all of the mass shootings have one common characteristic. They were done in “gun-free zones,” where law-abiding citizens are not allowed to carry firearms. Criminals and crazies, who don’t give a hoot about gun laws, know to go there to perform their murderous acts.
One goal of the “New World Order” movement, including Obama, is to take guns away from all private citizens. They realize they can’t do it in one fell swoop, so they take baby steps toward their goal.
 Obama’s latest proposals are part of that.
Al Shumard
Pine Run