Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - February 18, 2008

Don't try to take away guns

In response to Mr. Dys recent column on gun deaths, he was deploring the fact that people are being killed by guns. A Winthrop student helped organize a forum to discuss the killing of people by guns. This forum was hosted by the school's political science honor society.

I gather from Dys' article that he's opposed to anyone having a firearm to defend his family and his property.

A few facts I dug up show that automobiles killed 52,212 in 2006. Guns killed 29,569 people, and of these, 16,750 were suicides, 11,624 homicides, 649 unintended shootings, 311 legal intervention and 233 from undetermined reason.

So, I wonder if Mr. Dys thinks we should get rid of automobiles also. It seems it's always easy to blame guns. It takes a bad person to pull the trigger most of the time.

I hope some of the people scheduled to speak had level heads and defend the people's right to keep and bear arms for their family's protection.

Rembert Howell

York

Spend money on 'green' projects

The irony of the juxtaposed articles in Tuesday's Herald stung me like a bee whose clover has been mown. One story informed us that the the city has OK'd a $3 million infusion of cash for a new road to shops behind the Galleria; the other that deer caused damage at a local restaurant and were later killed (one by a vehicle and one by a DNR official.)

Reading these disturbing articles led me to seriously question the city's priorities and ponder questions we should all be asking of ourselves as well as our leaders and representatives.

Where is the wisdom in building more retail stores in the midst of a recession when one has only to drive down Cherry Road to find endless empty retail boxes and half-full strip malls? Where is our stewardship of creation when we hardly blink at razing 175 acres of woodlands? Where is our sense of economic justice when we have the audacity to spend more and more money for the wealthy to live and shop, while communities such as Blackmon Road resemble that of Third World nations?

Where is the sanity in spending millions of dollars on businesses when we're darned near last in the country in education? What are we thinking by spending tax dollars on consumerism instead of any number of urgent social ills afflicting us, including gang activity, teen pregnancies, the rise in domestic violence, our illiteracy rate, the alarming increase in carjackings and home invasions, etc? Where is the levity in panicked deer whose home territory has been all but abolished by the eroding and raping of the land?

I can think of 3 million reasons to spend that money elsewhere: On sustainable development, educational grants, a community garden, a solar power plant and development of alternate fuels, more law enforcement officials, natural wildlife habitats and greenspaces, walking trails and campsites, funding for local charities, etc. ... and still have money left over to bring utilities to areas that still rely on outhouses, to learn symbiotic living with nature, to preserve endangered and threatened species of plants and animals.

Implementing such actions would have the same net result of drawing tourists -- especially those who are finding ways to spend their "green" in more eco-friendly places.

Perhaps the headlines should have been: "Two deer die horrific deaths while RH spends $3M to ensure more wildlife endangerment." Maybe they'll hang one of the deer heads proudly on the front of the new mall. God (of the sparrow) help us.

Lynn Cooler

Rock Hill

University chose a strange mascot

I have been reading in the Herald about the recent cockfighting busts, and Andrew Dys' column about the same. Most of us will agree that cockfighting is an inhumane, cruel activity. In fact, it is illegal in every state in the nation, and some states are even pushing to make it a felony.

But what do we do here in the great state of South Carolina? We choose cockfighting to represent our state university. Good call, USC.

According to Wkipedia, "a gamecock is a strong, territorial type of rooster bred for cockfighting. Today, cockfighting, like most blood sports, is illegal in most of the developed world."

Did you get that, USC?

I sometimes wonder how the founders of USC could have possibly decided to choose the gamecock as the school mascot. Even back in those days, though it may have been legal in may areas, cockfighting had to be viewed negatively by most educated people. USC must certainly be the only institution in the nation that proudly promotes an illegal activity to represent itself.

People all across the country are ready to imprison Michael Vick for life for being involved in dog fighting. Maybe he should move down here to South Carolina; he could probably get a job at USC as the promotions director.

Pat McMurray

Rock Hill

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