Why we stand out
Regarding “Adding to list” (Your Views, Feb. 19): My response to Ann Leavine, who wrote, “When our laws are written by scared white men with guns, we should not be surprised that it protects scared white men who use their guns to shoot unarmed men who frighten them”: Really, madam! This is about the most inappropriate statement I have ever heard. Throwing in race is totally off base.
We have laws that are passed for “we the people.” There also is a judicial system that is not perfect but has stood the test of time. If you are convicted, you can appeal. If you are found not guilty, you are free to go. This is why we are a republic.
Whining will get you nowhere, but actively participating in the process to change something is why we stand out from other countries — because of the Constitution. This is why you get out of America what you put into it.
Picking on wrong ages
Regarding “Adding to list:” I object to the trifecta of bigotry in this letter. Racism, ageism and sexism all in one letter — wow. Using the adjective “scared” repetitively is an attempt to further demean the whole demographic that the writer refers to as “scared old white men.”
To justify her bigotry against “scared old white men,” the writer uses three men as examples: George Zimmerman, 30 and Hispanic ( and found not guilty by a jury, if that matters to the writer); Michael Dunn, 47 and facing several decades in prison; and Curtis Reeves, 71 and awaiting trial.
Given the writer’s apparent confusion (based on her examples) as to what constitutes “scared old white men, ” I decided to develop my own definition for “scared old white men” to test the validity of the writer’s dire warning to her son to stay clear of said old white men.
To that end I looked at the 2011 FBI statistics breaking down murders by age, arbitrarily identifying those younger than 39 as “young” and those older than 59 as “old” ( sorry, everyone!). Based on those parameters, murders in the “young” category totaled more than 7,700 while the white oldsters totaled about 300.
Although the old guys may be armed to the teeth, they are not out gunning down innocents in the streets as the writer’s hysteria would suggest. On the contrary, that dishonor belongs to an entirely different demographic. The writer should revise her advice to her son that he avoid oldsters and suggest instead that he avoid folks his own age.
The power of guns
Even though the jury in the Florida “loud music” murder trial was racially imbalanced, Michael Dunn was found guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder when, in my opinion, he murdered 17-year-old Jordan Davis, an unarmed black teen, I’m pleased Dunn was found guilty of something. He did not walk free as did George Zimmerman. Dunn is facing 60 years in prison for his conviction, and he also faces a retrial, due to the hung jury on the first-degree murder charge.
Folks should not be shooting at one another simply because music is too loud. Davis’ death is a direct result of our loosened gun laws. If no gun had been present, the dispute between Dunn and Davis would have probably remained verbal. At worst, the two would have duked it out. But then again, if Dunn hadn’t had a gun, there is the possibility that he would have kept his mouth shut about the music. No doubt, the gun gave Dunn power.
JoAnn Lee Frank
An addicted society
How much more highway carnage, spousal and child abuse, robberies and shootings, etc., caused by drunks and drug users must we endure before the media — which makes big money off liquor and beer — and the public in general begin to thoroughly address this basic question: Why is America such an addicted society?
Why do such a high percentage of people need to alter their brains with some chemical substance — alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth or other drugs, etc. — to feel good about themselves and their lives?
President Obama says marijuana is no worse than alcohol. And advocates of legalizing recreational pot stress how much tax money the sale of pot would provide to government. Researchers say alcohol taxes produce $35 billion a year for our government.
Sounds pretty good until you read the rest of the story — which states problems created by alcohol cost our society $350 billion a year.
Want to get high? Teach someone to read, give blood, build a house for Habitat for Humanity, do kindnesses for your neighbors, coach a sports league team for kids, raise money for a charity, work at a food bank serving food to the homeless, or perform some other worthwhile activity using your many talents.