Readers share thoughts

on gun ownership

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I own two shotguns, two rifles and two handguns. I have uses for each of them.

I would favor commonsense gun laws, except one person’s common sense is not the same as another person’s. People who oppose guns will not stop until they’ve eliminated private gun ownership.

Proponents of the Second Amendment say that gun ownership is fundamental in protecting the populace from its government. When we say this, however, people roll their eyes and say it could never happen today in America. Throughout history, governments have used force to control and oppress people in order to stay in power. If you willingly give up your means of self-defense and self-determination, you give up your freedom.

Today’s world is not for the faint of heart. The cost of living is terribly taxing and a lot of personal situations are exaggerated by social media. Pain often manifests itself as anger. Desensitized, isolated young people who lack social coping skills, have protective parents who shield them from reality, and who have access to social media that is drama- and confrontation-driven can be a real problem. I am grateful that there are a lot of good kids out there. But will the growing number who lack the skills to deal with reality be able to function as adults?

A recent news story reported that school officials in suburban Denver are considering tearing down Columbine High School to deter copycats and the curious people who come “every day and more with each passing year.” When I read that, and about two girls who killed a classmate to honor an imaginary internet character, I shook my head — just two of many stories I can’t comprehend.

There will be more mass shootings. Guns will be present, so will people who need help. In this country you can’t take an individual’s rights away without probable cause.

Roger Briggs.

Glen Allen.***

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In his letter “Preserve right to life over right to bear arms,” Richard W. Lacy missed a couple of key points.

First, the Founding Fathers absolutely included the right to bear arms for the expressed purpose of having recourse if some sort of rogue leader or group were to subvert democratic norms. It had nothing to do with hunting or self-defense. They, after all, had just fought for their independence from England.

Second, the idea that the rights of any one individual should be infringed because of the actions of another is just plain wrong. We are all born as free individuals. Our rights are not granted by the government. And no one should lose their rights until they, as an individual, infringe on the rights of another. Simply owning a gun does not rise to that level.

Joe Elliott.

South Hill.

Father’s Day columns

earn kudos from reader

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Thank you for a wonderful Father’s Day front page. The columns by Paul Woody and Bill Lohman were greatly appreciated, verses the normal political and human carnage.

Doug Keadle.


Trying to get Pulse ticket can make your pulse race

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

No wonder riders are cheating on Pulse fares. The fare system is pretty close to completely dysfunctional.

I took my first ride with my new senior card Friday. When I got to the Science Museum station, a maintenance guy was working on the fare box. His advice was that if a bus arrived, I should just board without a ticket. Apparently that’s a universally accepted low-risk approach. But he finished in time so I availed myself of his expertise on how to use the system. It took him five tries to finally manage to get my single-trip discount ticket, and then without ever tapping my senior card. And he’s the expert!

He mentioned that in his experience, the touch screens didn’t work well on windy days. After my visit to the Valentine (a must-see venue), I attempted to board the westbound bus at the VCU Medical Center station. After about a dozen tries, I still couldn’t get a ticket issued. I tapped my senior card when instructed, and got a reassuring click, but the only screen choices were “Go Back” and “Cancel.” So I took the low-risk approach and rode for free.

The buses with their A/V destination signs are very helpful to this part-time Richmonder, but the ride is terrible. Hard seats and stiff suspension transmit every bump and pothole, though most of my fellow passengers appear to have been beefier-rumped than I. The air-conditioning system is way loud, exceeded only by the full-volume radio chatter between the driver and dispatcher. He should be given a headset.

Now that I know the system, I’m glad I didn’t ante up for an unlimited 30-day pass. I still prefer Uber.

Don Pomplun.

South Prince George.

Free speech right doesn’t mean what we say is right

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Reading my Sunday paper usually is relaxing and something I look forward to doing.

After reading the comments made by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe at the Democratic fundraiser Saturday night, it was anything but a good start to the day. To think people actually applauded what he said was even more disturbing. I am not a politician and do not aspire to be one, but the words chosen by our former governor about President Trump were not kind nor necessary to make his point.

Maybe I stand alone in my reaction to his comments, and yes, I know we all have the right to freedom of speech, but that doesn’t necessarily mean what we say is right.

Maryanne Liscio.


Global warming affects generation of storms

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Friday’s Letters to the Editor featured a reader who expressed discontent with a report in “Today in History” section. The report in question spoke of a heavy rain storm in 1972 that resulted in flooding, the deaths of 238 people and $164 million in damage. The reader cited a series of ice age predictions that took place in the 1970s as a reason to be skeptical about current reports on climate change. The 1970s ice age predictions that the reader is referring to were largely media-based. A majority of peer-reviewed research during that time period supported global warming due to an increase in CO2.

Climate change is a system that affects and includes all forms of weather. Tornadoes are a result of changes in temperature and humidity. Hurricanes form when air from warm water meets with cooler higher air in the atmosphere. Both of these storms result from warmer temperature; this leaves little room for doubt that the incident increase of these storms is a direct result from the rising temperatures of the decade or so.

The reader’s concern for our “future energy needs” prompts me to bring up carbon pricing. Pricing carbon can help us through a transition into renewable energy options. We have 12 years left to curb the effects of climate change before the damage we’ve already done becomes irreversible. The rise in these disasters is a part of man-made climate change and it is critical that we keep that in mind when discussing our future in energy consumption.

Sky N. Kincaid.

South Chesterfield.

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