Don’t blame all gun owners

for the actions of a few

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In the wake of recent high-profile shootings, the inevitable calls for more “gun control” laws soon follow. Whatever the motivation of the killer (criminal, racial, political, etc.), loud voices demand action. Several candidates seeking our nation’s highest office are calling for gun bans, red flag laws and even confiscation of legally owned firearms by citizens with no criminal record whatsoever. Others want to outlaw certain guns based upon cosmetics alone — wrongly calling them “assault rifles” — because they look mean.

There also are calls for outlawing “high-capacity” magazines, but nobody seems to be able to define just what that means (since it varies widely by the weapon and the caliber), and many others want a so-called “universal background check” that would totally outlaw private sales or even a father handing down a gun to his own son. All of these things are problematic in their own right, but the last one is probably the most egregious. Let’s not blame all gun owners for the horrible deeds of a small number of violent criminals.

Jeff Kleb.


Identify, disarm those

who might harm others

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

A recent Opinions page included three letters admonishing us to grab any gun control legislation to do anything, just do something. What is being proposed would not have prevented the murders that occurred in Virginia Beach, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

After reading some of the draft legislation proposed for consideration by the Virginia General Assembly, there appears to be an assault on law-abiding citizens to deprive us of freedom and our personal property.

By the way, most of us cannot own military-grade firearms unless we submit to strenuous review by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, pay an exorbitant tax and be subject to audit.

It would seem that commonsense gun violence legislation would be centered at the local level to improve and facilitate real-time collective intelligence gathering concerning young men in the midst of local leaders (teachers, scout leaders, coaches) who are on the front line to observe young people who are in distress.

I think the commonsense action is to identify those who might act violently, act to neutralize their ability to harm people and get them help.

Frank Hale.

North Chesterfield.

Stop MVP construction

to protect environment

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

For the developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline to file for a land exchange with the U.S. government only shows the drastic efforts they’re willing to take to fill their pockets. They want to swap land from the Appalachian Trail to continue their project, which will only continue contributions to climate change and drastically affect future generations.

Previously, the MVP was denied permits to construct its pipelines within national forests in West Virginia and Virginia because of their inability to address erosion and sediment control. With hundreds of past violations, we cannot trust MVP to address these issues properly even with a land swap. Some might think of this pipeline as insignificant, but in reality it shows the continued contributions to the fossil fuel energy industry and the lack of urgency people have in regard to climate change.

We must completely divest from fossil fuel energy sources and invest fully into renewable clean energy. We need to fight against these pipelines and win the battle on climate change in and outside the commonwealth of Virginia. This is the only way we are going to ensure we can have a stable climate, clean air and land, and pristine water for future generations.

Caleb Foster.


Delay start on arena

until tax revenue grows

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The NH District Corp. and the city of Richmond need to stop misleading the public regarding the risk of their proposed project. In presentations by the mayor and on the website, they state that “The risk lies with the bond investors — not the City or the taxpayers.” This is simply not true. If the tax increment finance (TIF) district does not generate expected tax revenue, the city will have to pay the bondholders or risk their credit rating. If the city doesn’t pay the bondholders, then their cost of borrowing for firetrucks, schools and other needs will increase and cost taxpayers more.

According to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, TIF districts have been unsuccessful in a majority of situations when used. Furthermore, they note that schools typically receive less money because the area designated for the TIF district would continue to increase in value if no development project was done. Increased value generates more taxes, which can be used for schools.

Let’s be perfectly clear on what is happening here. Richmond City Council is deciding for you that $600 million of tax revenues should be spent on a new arena and not schools and firetrucks. As City Councilwoman Reva Trammell correctly points out to the public, millionaire bond investors will be provided protection against default on their investments. Why not hold off on the arena and see if the investors can develop the area and create enough tax revenue to afford an arena and pay for schools? Given that option, I doubt seriously that the developers would continue with the project.

Steve Winston.

Glen Allen.

Reader appreciates

changes to stock pages

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Kudos to RTD editors for their recent changes to the stock quotes pages. In days past, I zipped right by but now stop to read the brief but pithy editorial content. I also like having the Richmond-area stocks in the center of the page. Good job!

Mark Sprowl.


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