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Letters to the Editor - Dec. 21

December 20, 2012

Marines Corps League thanks ball attendees

To the editor:

The Antietam Detachment of the Marine Corps League, Hagerstown, Md., wishes to thank all the attendees, Marines, associates and friends of Marines for their attendance at the 237th Marine Corps Ball on Nov. 10.

We, as you, had a great and memorable time. We all enjoyed the camaraderie and esprit de corps. Please make plans to join us again next year for this formal event and military ceremony.

Clark Mayer
Hagerstown


Remember, stadium is for more than just baseball

To the editor:

Regarding the encouraging article, “New stadium idea pitched,” I’d like to remind Washington Countians that it will be a new multi-use complex. It is to be used not only as a sports stadium, but for concerts and other events as well. 

I’ll admit to being a huge Suns fan since 1981, but I look forward to more than baseball in that wonderful new complex in the not-too-distant-future.

Babs Savitt
Myersville, Md.


Speaking up could help reduce number of tragedies

To the editor:

The hearts of many are broken as we hear of a person who chose to kill others and himself. He did so by taking a firearm and using it to hurt others. He could have just as easily used a car, a knife or some other tool to do this. His choice was a firearm. And, yes, he could have killed just as many using one of these other tools as he did with a firearm. We cannot legislate people into not breaking laws, it doesn’t work.

We, as a society, need to wake up and realize that people who choose to do these types of acts will do so no matter what the laws are. 

We need to become aware and responsible for what we see.  There is rarely a case when some tragedy like this happens that we don’t hear comments from people who knew the killer but didn’t talk about their unusual behavior prior to the tragedy.  Too often, we excuse the behavior and move on. We need to stop this. We need to develop ways where we can report these behaviors to someone who can evaluate them. This needs to be done in a way that doesn’t violate anyone’s rights but that protects society. And the system must be able to react promptly.

We must also learn to be more aware of our environment and surroundings. Too many of us spend our life hurrying from place to place and we don’t see what is around us. We create environments where we are more easily preyed upon by people who want to hurt others. We must learn how to protect ourselves from the unexpected. This training, be it mental or physical, could make a difference on how we handle ourselves in a crisis.

We must stop spending hours of media time telling the story of these tragedies. There are people who will repeat these events just for that fame. We are creating a reason for them to do a horrible act.

Finally, we must pray for the victims, for their families, for the first responders who witnessed this tragedy and for our nation.  When we pray and care for others, we make this world a better place, and maybe we can help some of those who feel the need to harm others think before they act.

Teresa Spruill
Smithsburg


Gun-control laws need closer scrutiny

To the editor:

It apparently takes the slaughter of our nation’s innocents before the United States decides to take another look at its lack of gun-control laws. Earlier in the year, I contacted my local and state politicians about more gun control, but they seem to be card-carrying members of the NRA and were not interested in more controls. I hope they are sitting up and taking notice now.

The appalling statistics about guns, according to the latest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report from Aug. 1, 2012, are that there are more than 129,817 licensed firearms dealers in the United States. Currently, you can purchase a gun if you don’t have a criminal record and have not been adjudicated as mentally incompetent.  According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report between 2006 and 2010, 47,856 people were killed in the U.S. by firearms.

Are you not convinced yet? The International Action Network on Small Arms of the United Nations has statistics that Japan has fewer than 50 homicides per year; Germany, Italy and France fall into the category of fewer than 150 annually;  and Canada fewer than 200 (and it’s a hunting country); while the United States has more than 10,000 annually.

Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, one is used 11 times for a completed or attempted suicide; seven times for a criminal assault or homicide; and four times in an unintentional shooting death or injury. (From the Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care.)

It behooves every U.S. citizen to contact their legislators on all levels to express their concern about the tightening of gun-control laws. Those who are members of the NRA could especially help this situation by telling the NRA that assault weapons are not needed outside of the battlefield. Members of the clergy everywhere should talk to their parishioners about taking a moral stand to end the unrestrained violence through the selling and use of guns in the United States.

The Rev. Judith McLean
Waynesboro, Pa.

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