Sunday, February 10, 2013
Counseling might prevent school attacks
The litany of gun violence chronicled in your paper over the last two months is heartbreaking. The connecting thread through most of it is that of young males who believe they were bullied or rejected by mainstream society and thus have a right to strike with vengeance against society.
Everyone wishes to see the slaughter stopped. Many see arming teachers and patrolling school hallways with armed policemen as the answer. I respectfully disagree. This would only disturb students and disrupt education. It would not prepare us for a madman breaking through windows and killing innocents.
Why not hire and train an additional guidance counselor for each school? Their primary job would be to counsel students instead of administering standardized tests and filing endless paperwork. Such counselors would be trained to recognize and reach out to bullied or shunned students and, if need be, find them professional help.
I do not propose this as a save-all, just a less expensive, more proactive approach than those proposed. If any of the previous tragedies could have been prevented thusly, it would have been worth the effort. If any future shootings can be prevented, it would be a start toward solving this national nightmare.
Free to take up arms against the government
I've read a lot on the Second Amendment in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. One writer who thought the Second Amendment needed to be updated stated there were only muskets and revolvers in 1791, when Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights.
A quick historical point: Revolvers weren't invented until 1814. I point that out because in the aftermath of traumatic events, knee-jerk tendencies impair historical perspective.
Have we considered that, in the phrase "security of a free state," "state" is used as a noun? That by arming the citizenry, it would remain in a free condition? Muskets, the assault rifle of 1791, were used by soldiers on both sides of the Revolutionary War when the colonists rose up and dissolved "the political bonds that connected them to another."
Our framers were not talking about hunting, but about a citizenry armed and capable of overthrowing a government that was "destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government."
So if you're ready to modify the Second Amendment, are we also ready to surrender our freedom to decide if a government needs to be abolished?
Refuse to buy or sell military-grade weapons
This is a call to arms, or rather a call to feet. My husband is a hunter and former member of the National Rifle Association. He canceled his membership when that organization began promoting the right to own military-grade assault weapons.
If you are frustrated by the foot-dragging in Congress, it is time for us to take our country back. We do not need to wait for politicians to make decisions for us. We have a responsibility to our children. As consumers, we have a powerful tool. We can vote with our feet. We have the power to change things through commerce.
I appeal to the good conscience of all gun dealers: Refuse to sell military-grade weapons and high-count ammunition clips.
You don't need a law to tell you to do the right thing.
Gun enthusiasts, tell your gun merchant you will purchase supplies only from dealers who refuse to sell military-grade weapons.
Money talks; politicians just bluster stuff about.
If I'm wrong, and the majority really does want access to military-grade weapons, can someone suggest a good discount arms-dealer? I'm considering the purchase of a Patriot missile.
'No Parking' in Salem is student unfriendly
Salem has erected "No Parking" signs on streets around Roanoke College neighborhoods to deter students from parking on residential streets when attending classes.
The city that welcomes students in the fall, and their money spent in our stores and restaurants, doesn't like it when just a few park on the streets to better their education, their purpose for being in Salem.
I know the problem started with parking on High Street, but the city erected signs on all streets in and around the college area.
Never in 30 years have I noticed students parking in the 300 and 400block of North Broad to attend classes. The signs are ugly.
In regard to their message: Will the parking restrictions be enforced during Olde Salem Days or the Christmas parade to those not visiting residents on the streets? Will those violators be ticketed?
This is definitely overkill.
Since the city will not let real estate agents or others who wish to advertise yard sales or lost pets place their signs on the median (which is temporary), what gives it the right to pollute our streets with its signs?
SEAN C. PEEKLER