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Letters to the Editor - Jan. 3

January 03, 2013

Krauthammer paints gun control as hopeless

To the editor:

On Sunday, Dec. 23, I sent a letter to the editor advocating gun control. My wife asked if the paper would give more space to a subject that had already been addressed. Evidently they would, because later I saw they ran an op-ed Dec. 23 by Charles Krauthammer well over twice as long as my piece that basically said gun control won’t work. If a person is what he/she eats, a newspaper is what it publishes.

My letter imagined what the slain children at Newtown might say about gun control if they could speak. I said that children were reasonable and would know that gun control could be a useful tool even if it was not perfect. Children, I thought, would value the life of even one child saved in the future over any inconvenience to adults now.

Krauthammer says almost exactly the opposite of what I imagined the children at Newtown would say. He argues that it would take more than 100 years to “draw down” the 25 million large-capacity magazines in existence now. He paints a difficult task as entirely hopeless.

It is Krauthammer himself who is hopeless when he ignores the children and ends his op-ed with the question, “How much are we prepared to trade away after Newtown?”

Ken Hollar
Hagerstown



Who benefits if  ‘mortgage tax exemption’  is dropped?

To the editor:

I think the talk of eliminating “mortgage tax exemption,” as noted in Tim Rowland’s recent column, will deal only with owner-owned residences. Tim supports this idea, but admits he owns two houses (one that I assume is rented).

Owners’ personal residences and landlords’ rental homes fall into different tax categories. I doubt, and sincerely hope, the mortgage tax exemption will drop only for residences, not investment property. That might really subvert the rental housing industry.

David L. Woods
Hedgesville, W.Va.


Writer offers suggestion on gun control

To the editor:

After this horrible tragedy and senseless killing of all those children and staff in the school, this is my suggestion on gun control.

My son, who has a 4-year-old daughter, suggested having our National Guard with full body armor and weapons inside schools, installing bulletproof glass at all entrances of buildings and having doors locked at all times. Unlocked doors were an ongoing problem that I dealt with when I was a custodian for the Washington County school system for five years. Many times during special events, doors were open or unlocked without anyone watching the doors most of the time.

On gun control itself, I believe people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness by a physician should not be allowed to have guns in their homes, and if a family wants to have guns, they must be kept in a safe — locked away from such people. And, of course, anyone convicted of having a violent act against another person, such as a threat to cause evil or harm to people with a gun or otherwise, should have their guns taken out of the home.

The answer to gun control is not taking away our guns from innocent people or families, because they do need to protect themselves from harm. I own guns and would not think of hurting another person, unless it was for my family’s protection.

Joseph W. Imes
Hagerstown



Letter regarding property sale raises many questions

To the editor:

The Jason Divelbiss letter of Sept. 23 left me wanting to ask a few simple questions: Is a piece of property a bargain simply because it is purchased $900,000 less than the asking price? Is it possible the asking price is ridiculously inflated to begin with? Why was the negotiated sale price so much higher than the assessed value and the seller’s purchase price? How much higher?

How much did the intervening reapproval of a 240-unit multifamily housing project cost? Isn’t the developer the same one who sold the county the bank building for about $2 million more than he paid in 2006? How much do entitlements to build cost? How dramatically do these entitlements routinely increase this property value?

In today’s economy, why is the county purchasing property wherein the sellers are making huge, quick profits? Is the real estate market noncompetitive? Why isn’t the county shopping around? Is the county government incapable of doing this legal red-tape zoning and subdividing work to obtain a better price on these properties?

Mr. Divelbiss’ letter implies that one partner influenced the other to sell, against the partner’s better judgement, out of devotion to the community. Why not demonstrate this devotion to the community by selling this ground, for a school, to the county for a short profit? Why isn’t The Herald-Mail asking some of these questions?

Don Cushwa
Hagerstown

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