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March 21, 2013: Guns; solar panels; schools; street lights; Troop 31

Getting to the truth on gun controlEditor:The issue of gun control continues to be a contentious subject. At present, the right to personally own firearms remains extrant. That right, or modification of that right, will inexorably be an editorial topic on an ongoing basis.It is important, and in my opinion vital, that there be access to the press (The Fourth Estate) for an intellectual exchange of accurate information and thoughtful, impartial analysis to arrive, hopefully, at the truth. What I find, however, is often an angry exchange of accusations (often ad-hominem) and competing statistics to gain support for one side or the other.In interpreting what we hear or read, it might be of benefit to keep in mind the following categories of everyday parlance and communications.My interpretation of a discussion is that it represents an intelligent exchange of opinions and understanding with others in order to achieve increased knowledge and information to arrive at a conclusion and possible solution.An argument currently conveys an angry or snarky exchange that never results in a solution or increase of knowledge and always results in hurt feelings or possible loss of friendship.A debate is a presentation of slanted material in order to gain support for a specific issue or cause.I suppose what I am trying to say is that the gun control issue should be discussed in order to arrive at the truth.James M. Gibbons, Jr., M.D.Charleston BOE should consider solar panels nowEditor:Regarding the article in the Gazette: "Nine Kanawha County schools to get new roofs."Wouldn't it be a good time for the BOE to consider the installation of solar panels?
James DotsonCharleston Schools no longer teach cursive writingEditor:West Virginia is one of the majority of states which are eliminating the teaching of cursive writing in public elementary schools.
Fortunately there are states which are not making what I believe is a mistake. Those states will continue teaching both cursive and electronic methods.
I believe they will not regret that decision.Consider for a moment:A note of sympathy for the passing of a friend. A note of celebration for another's success. A letter of encouragement to a seriously ill relative.The list simply has no ending.With regret,Jim RowleyCharleston Street lights need to be replacedEditor:From the Kanawha City Bridge to the Kanawha Mall, there are approximately 80 street lights burnt out on MacCorkle Avenue. There are more burnt out than burning.It is dark and it is dangerous. Will it take a pedestrian fatality to remedy this situation? Let's hope not.William J. AnselCharleston Troop 31 worked hard on Hope Cemetery Editor:I commend Boy Scout Troop 31, located at Baptist Temple, for a job well done on March 10 at the Hope Cemetery on Charleston's West Side.Approximately 40 Scouts and 10 parents helped to clear weeds, limbs, leaves and brush from the cemetery, which had been neglected and made worse by last summer's derecho. They worked more than five hours on a glorious day, and workers from the city of Charleston's Street Department made numerous trips and truckloads to remove all of the debris that the Scouts carried to the road. Courtland Smith, who is working on his Eagle Scout requirements, spearheaded the effort and worked diligently from the conception of the project until its fruition. He, along with the other Scouts of Troop 31, are hardworking and diligent boys and young men who are learning through community service the important life lesson that giving to others and their community make us better individuals and citizens.Thanks to Troop 31, the Hope Cemetery is now a place of serenity, reverence and dignity for all the souls resting on that hillside. On behalf of them and their families, I would like to give a heartfelt thank you for your time and effort.Dottie HessCharleston 
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