Maybe we should follow Japan on guns
Editor:Has the NRA or any gun owner in West Virginia read the U.S. Constitution? Where is the army attacking our state?The Constitution says we have the right to bear arms in defense of our state. What it doesn't include in its wording, the right to bear arms to feed our families. Nor, does the Constitution give us the right to keep the firearm on our person or in our homes.
Do you think America needs to take a page out of Japan's gun-ownership rules? Japan allows residents the right to own a rifle for hunting. In gaining that privilege, it has to be stored at a law enforcement facility. When hunting season is open, they give you your gun. When the season is over, you have to return it to that facility for safekeeping. Only 2 percent of the Japanese population loses their lives to gun violence. Now, what is America's percentage?Instead of grown people moaning about gun ownership, we should be on our knees thanking God our children sit at our dinner table each night.If I need a gun to protect my family and, of all things, material things, it is because a gun is an easy way to say "gimme" or "I hate you."No matter what laws our country's president and Congress enact to curb gun violence, we will follow the rules. If not, included in jail time and fines, violators should be tattooed on the forehead. Rules are rules.Donna WillisInstitute Here's some advice for chickenhawks
Editor:Are you a neocon chickenhawk? Are you eager to entangle the U.S. in another foreign war -- with Iran this time, perhaps? Are you frustrated by the growing reluctance of Americans to send their sons and daughters off to fight yet another of your wars? Here is some advice from an expert on the subject."Naturally, the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. . . . [V]oice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." -- Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg Trials
For further information about how to instill xenophobia and war-fever in a reluctant populace, please purchase the companion volume, "Mein Kampf." Available at major booksellers everywhere.David N. RyanSpencer Most support ending sex-orientation bias
I couldn't agree more with Dr. Coy Flowers' Feb. 8 op-ed about ending discrimination in the work place against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender West Virginians. It's time -- past time, really -- to add LGBT individuals to those groups already protected by the state's Human Rights Act.As Flowers noted, the majority of West Virginians support the protection of our LGBT friends, co-workers and family members against job and housing discrimination - 61 percent, according to a 2010 poll. And all but four of the state's top 25 employers already protect LGBT workers in their workplace policies.Passing the proposed Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act is the right thing to do on every level. It protects individual rights. It helps counter the negative stereotypes of West Virginia as ignorant and backwards. And it boosts our chances of recruiting talented people to work and live here. We all win.Julie PrattCharleston