Sunday, February 17, 2013
Your Feb. 11 newspaper carried an interesting juxtaposition between the front-page article "LaPierre keeps NRA members fired up" and a letter on your Opinion page, "The NRA stonewalls debate" - written by a veteran and gun owner (like myself). Both articles were worth reading.
My opinion toward the National Rifle Association is that it has contributed a bit more in value to this country than has the Ku Klux Klan. Would that both could be relegated to the dustbin of history.
FRANK D. WILLIAMSON
One day, NRA will mean Not Relevant Anymore
At some point, firearms will evolve into a broad class of nonlethal devices suited to any circumstance to defend family and home. These gadgets will be more reliable than traditional sidearms, be they some type of "stunner," pepper-spray, hot-foot or disorientation delivery system - a kind of "don't tread on me" aggression deterrent that may even be smart enough to sense impending danger.
The operative word here is defense. No rational person could then stretch the Second Amendment to support the sale of devastatingly lethal semi-automatic weaponry to the public, then presumably needed only by law enforcement and the armed services, excepting firearms and ammunition appropriate to sport hunting, Skeet shooting, etc. It's the offensive potential of weaponry that's so offensive.
The great majority of responsible gun owners do not subscribe to the paranoid NRA hokum that our government conspires to abridge the sale of firearms until none are to be had. Whatever its original mission, the NRA now exists primarily to intimidate and bribe Congress into preserving its interests.
Nonlethal self-defense systems may be years away, but must they actually materialize before we can engage in rational discourse to stem the recurrent tide of gun violence?
The death march of a great parade
I am happy to see that Roanoke's fastest-growing parade and celebration will begin its slow death this year.
It makes perfect sense to take a beloved event and broaden its appeal by offering pop, rock, country and rap groups, while cutting back on Celtic music.
Having one of the top Celtic bands play at another location while the parade is going on speaks volumes about Downtown Roanoke Inc.'s ability to run anything. Someone with a little common sense would think it is a better plan to have this band play both in the parade and later, in a prime-time stage slot.
If Mayor David Bowers and city council care about Roanoke, they need to get this celebration away from this organization ASAP.
What really bothers me about DRI's attempt to offer something for everyone is the fact that we have the same event it is trying to force on us nine weeks later, under the name Festival in the Park.
A return to prosperity... uh, wait
Once again, House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and that ilk are touting low taxes and weakened regulation as the key to a prosperous future.
That must be why, from the day of George W. Bush's inauguration until the end of his presidency, unemployment plummeted from 4.2 percent to 7.3 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average skyrocketed from 10,587 to a stratospheric 7,949.