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Letters to the Editor - April 27

April 27, 2013

Speed cameras immoral but profitable

To the editor:

I believe Hagerstown speed cameras are in need of serious review. I recently received a “civil penalty” for speeding outside of South Hagerstown High School. When I viewed the photos, it was very clear that the camera made an error based on the distance traveled and the size of my car, so I decided to go to court and present evidence to clear my name.

My requests concerning public documents about the legality of the speeding camera in question were completely ignored despite written and oral requests for the records. When I appeared in court, I was told by the judge that I was not allowed to present any evidence. I can’t believe I live in a society where I can be accused of a crime by a robotic machine, stripped of my right to face an accuser and told that I cannot present evidence as a defendant in court. As I shared my story with teachers and parents, I was not able to find one person who had not been given a ticket.

My morning routine now includes the possibility of false accusations by invisible, omnipotent eyes that are always watching me and hundreds of parents and teachers. I slump my head as I pull into my parking spot thinking about the kind of future we are creating for our children. I am ashamed of the immorality that is seeping into our society and the message it sends to the youth. These “civil penalties” are not just taking our money. They rob us of the trust we should have in a government to act in a manner that is morally appropriate, rings true to the American spirit and benefits us all. 

Is there no one with some power and a shred of dignity who can investigate these machines? If it is true that we are all speeding so much around schools, why not consider putting speed bumps on the road or assigning a police officer to aggressively target speeders and make the area safer? Why continue to issue ticket after ticket if the machines do not stop speeders? I think we all know why. Although these cameras are most certainly immoral, they are also most certainly profitable.

Robert Saxon
Hagerstown


Congress is ignoring the elephant in the room

To the editor:

I have watched over the last several months the evolution of this recent gun debate.

In the beginning, there were promises that mental health issues and the media would be part of the discussion. But again, Congress has chosen to ignore the elephant in the room. The guns will never be the problem without the mental health problem. Normal, law-abiding citizens don’t commit mass murder. They might explode and kill due to a perceived injustice, but they don’t commit random acts of violence normally.

Background checks will not prevent these types of crimes. They can’t get the information that would make a difference. I own firearms and I am not afraid of a background check. I am concerned over where that information goes and who has access to it or keeps it on file.

I love my country and served my country as a career military member, but I do not trust the government to do the right thing because politicians pursue their agenda and not the people’s far too often. Again, Congress will pass another worthless bill. If they need to pass one, then make it worth the cost of the printing.

As a citizen, I am tired of the nonsense. I don’t care what party people belong to. We are all Americans and it is time that the politicians start acting as Americans and restore our country to the greatness that it has had historically.

Overregulation only benefits the people who make money off of the regulations.

Teresa Spruill
Smithsburg

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