As in all recent national tragedies, our so-called leaders feel they have to do something. The 536 mules that run this country couldn't drag me to water if I were dying of thirst. Sept. 11 brought us one unnecessary war and one unwinnable war. The 2007 housing collapse rewarded bankers who should have been jailed, and the medicine conjured up in the kitchen sink and force-fed to us to fix the problem will eventually kill us. The Newtown, Conn., massacre will produce another unmitigated disaster of legislation targeting law-abiding gun owners.
Most of our so-called leaders have blood on their hands in regards to the most recent tragedy. With little to no regard to the founding of this country and its most basic documents, they have, in their perceived infinite wisdom, overruled the most basic tenets of a free society. Nowhere in the Second Amendment do the words except schools, college campuses and government (the people's) property appear. They have created zones in which an armed maniac is assured the maximum number of kills before any kind of response from the good guys or law enforcement. Hiding under a desk or locking one's self in a closet is not much of a plan of defense.
In this respect, NRA President Wayne LaPierre was dead-on in his post-tragedy remarks. LaPierre, however, in true neo-conservative fashion, stated the solution is to add several hundred thousand security staff to police our schools. Someone should inform him that this country, already is, by far, the world's premier police state and that government at the state and local level is just as bankrupt as at the federal level without access to a printing press. In addition, this will require a whole lot of expensive training.
Perhaps even more disappointing is the response from the public. With little to no understanding of why the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights, people are eager to jump on board with the anti-gun hysteria. I even hear hunters and sport shooters calling for the ban on assault weapons. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with the right to hunt, target shoot, collect or even defend one's self in his or her own home. The Second Amendment has everything to do with defending against tyranny. Ask a German citizen of the 1920s or a Cambodian of the 1950s about one of the first steps taken to ensure a compliant populace.
I am not saying we will head to where they ended up. A more likely scenario will be the condition of this country after what I feel is an upcoming economic collapse. Remember, we are not a nation of savers, and we don't have the social fabric that existed in the Great Depression. It could look a lot like present-day Mexico. If you think you would be safer without guns, just remember that Mexico outlaws gun possession, has only one gun shop in the entire country, yet has had more than 55,000 gun-related deaths within six years. That's more victims than there were U.S. combat fatalities during the 10-year Vietnam War. The only ones with guns are the outlaws and corrupt police. You just might want a good guy with a gun around.
I am not advocating mandatory pistol-packing teachers, but studies have shown that just the mere possibility of confronting an armed good guy is a deterrent against this type of incident. In addition to abolishing assured kill zones in our schools and campuses, I feel a battery of psychological testing for gun applicants may be of some help to filter out unbalanced individuals. As part of the package I would like all elected officials to pass a test on U.S. history, and the founding documents. A compromised political body will offer up and an uneducated public will condone the worst solutions to the worst of our problems.
It is disgraceful that Daniel Loughnane, who is accused of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and his defense are going to try to destroy the reputation of victim Becca McCallick, who I have only known as a wonderful, selfless and cheerful human being.
It makes no difference if the person was lying in the road intentionally or not. If she had tripped in the road and knocked herself out, the circumstances would be the same, but lawyers and the accused would have no defense. Shame on anyone who takes part in smearing her memory.
What if we could personally participate in research that might help determine factors that cause or prevent cancer? What if we could make it so just one family never has to hear the words you have cancer?
Residents of our community have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in cancer research this year. Enrollment for the American Cancer Society's third Cancer Prevention Study will begin in Wilkes-Barre at the Penguins Hockey Team Coal St. Ice Rink, 38 Coal St. Enrollment appointments are set for Saturday, Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 3 to 8 p.m. You can register now to enroll in the study by logging onto www.penguinsfightcancer.org. You can see all the locations and times of enrollment by visiting www.nepacps3.org. If you have any questions regarding registration, you can contact our hub office in Taylor at 562-9749 and ask to speak to a health initiatives representative.
Individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer and are willing to make a long-term commitment to the study are encouraged to enroll. Those who choose to enroll will complete a comprehensive survey about health history, provide a small blood sample (to be collected by phlebotomists) and provide a waist measurement. Participants periodically will be sent a follow-up questionnaire for the next 20 to 30 years.
The pros and cons of gun control are points well made and arguable. All the perpetrators of violence in our country have had one common, obvious denominator … insanity. That is the common ground we need to work around in order to curtail this violence.
If you Google school violence you will find some eye-opening facts. In the 1700s, a lunatic bombed a school, inflicting the most fatalities in U.S history. No video games back then!
Everyone's intentions to stop this violence are commendable, but we need to realize that guns, bombs, poisonous gas and arson are weapons of destruction used by the obviously insane. Should we pioneer an effort and take measures to control those inflicted with this sickness prior to rather than after violence?
This is the 21st century and we should enforce humane ways to deal with this problem. Taking guns away is a weak proposal. There are many forms of treatment to be considered and we need to take action now.
The foundation of American government, according to government leaders, is free elections -- and that is called democracy.
Can you call elections, such as the presidential election, free when candidates spend billions to become pubic servants? We encourage other nations to have free elections. The only difference is that other nations can't print money to solve all of the social problems that people and the government create. Israel is a democracy but receives, like other nations, billions in foreign aid. Why don't those nations become true democracies and print their own money and have free elections, and solve their own problems?
The American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic wishes everyone a Happy New Year. Many of us have resolved to improve our health and well-being. People who resolved to quit smoking this year have the chance to increase the length and quality of their lives.
Quitting works its magic the minute a person makes the choice. Only 12 hours after a person quits, the carbon monoxide level in his or her blood drops to normal. Fast-forward a year, and the risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's. Today, smoking has become increasingly expensive, with cigarette packs costing up to $10. Even $5 a pack per day adds up to $1,825 per year. Quitters can save their lives and money. for the future.
Quitting not only helps you, but also the loved ones and friends around you. Secondhand smoke affects everyone, and is especially dangerous to young children.
Visit the How to Quit resource on our website. For facts on smoking and more ways to stop it, visit the Stop Smoking page of www.lung.org
Tim Mullen Kingston Township Michael Pasquini Wilkes-Barre Jennifer Washney Health initiatives representative American Cancer Society John Mihalchik Sr. Ashley George J. Kochis Kingston Deb Brown President and CEO American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic