published Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

'Gardens remember victims of violence' and other letters to the editors

Gardens remember victims of violence

As I watched news of the horror at the Connecticut elementary school, I was deeply saddened. My thoughts went to recent acts of Mayor Littlefield and Mayor Coppinger and the city's Multicultural Affairs Office, endorsing and implementing the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Children's Memorial Peace Gardens Project.

Last month, Chattanoogans of all walks of life, denominations, races and creeds came together to participate. Many churches, synagogues, businesses, schools, colleges, military and civilian organizations, youth and neighborhood associations joined in planting over 6,300 daffodil bulbs in memory of our community's children who died as a result of senseless acts of violence. Councilman Rico donated a granite bench for the Riverwalk's peace garden near a children's playground for citizens to use as they reflect on the irrational loss of innocence.

I am proud our community has taken a stand to remember the young victims of violence. Next fall organizations are encouraged to help plant more gardens. This coming spring when these gardens are in bloom, may they serve as a means of hope and act as a means of vigilance against future violent loss of innocent lives in our community and the nation.

SYLVIA WYGODA, creator, Chattanooga-Hamilton Children's Memorial Peace Gardens Project

Take action to stop the violent acts

Dec. 14, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut, 26 lives lost. Dec. 11, Clackamas Town Center Mall, Oregon, two lives lost. Aug. 5, Sikh Temple, Wisconsin, six lives lost. July 20, movie theater, Colorado, 12 lives lost.

In America, we often assume that schools, malls, houses of worship and movie theaters are safe. Getting out of the house to go to these places, we normally worry about the possibility of getting stuck in traffic, not the possibility of getting shot.

But this past year, Americans have witnessed a startling amount of violent crime in areas we used to assume were safe. How can we give justice to the American dream of prosperity if we must live in fear?

The answer lies in our implementation of the Second Amendment. Yes, we do have the right to bear arms, but obtaining a gun should not be as easy as our current system has made it.

As an American and a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, my heart goes out to those whose lives have been lost in recent events. I hope and pray that we all, as Americans, can take a step forward from our current system to prevent events such as this from happening in the future.

NAJIA HUMAYUN, Tunnel Hill, Ga.

People make decision to be evil

The Newtown school shooting has affected our United States. So many shootings and murders for some time now; how can anyone do this?

Everybody wants these unnecessary crimes to stop. A huge majority feel eliminating guns from our households for protection will solve this horrific crime. Fewer guns will not make it safer, if armed we are able to protect. If adults in schools and business are armed, they would be able to help prevent these attacks.

Unstable people will always find a way to harm others even if there were stricter gun laws. It is the person, not society, that makes the decision to be evil.

We hear that these horrific crimes come from somebody possibly mentally disturbed. Of course it's a no-brainer; they are not in their right mind to do these horrible acts.

Studies show 60 million Americans suffer diagnosable mental disorder in a year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Our government needs to zone into educating and helping families with disorders.

America's first mistake is taking the Bible out of schools and our community; this makes our society weak and vulnerable to wicked people.

Pray and believe!


Add anger control to our gun laws

Support for stricter firearms-control laws grows with each successive mass killing. How many more will it take before we come to our senses and do something? But gun laws alone won't stop the killings. I agree with the NRA (National Republican Association?), people, not guns, kill.

The gun lobby, the tea party bunch and the Republican right-wing claim that any gun-registration laws whatsoever will result in the government coming into our houses and arbitrarily confiscating our firearms. That's ludicrous. We have had gun-control laws since the early 19th century, even in Southern states such as Alabama and Tennessee, as well as the Firearms Control act of 1934. But we still have our guns.

Comparison of our gun homicide rates with those of other countries can be misleading. The main culprit is our casual attitude toward violence in general and our hyper-aggressive, gun-toting mentality. Look at our movies with blood splattered all over the screen and the sound cranked up to 300 decibels, the sports we watch and the video games our kids play. We're in love with violence, addicted to it.

Better gun laws? Yes; but also anti-violence programs and anger management courses.

GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville, Ga.

Society doesn't give enough help

Question? Why aren't we as a nation having a discussion on mental health. The gun did not kill, the person behind the gun pulled the trigger!

Why did a single mom even have that many guns in the house? One for protection would not be a question ... but more than one?... and all registered in her name.

The families who have children who struggle in our society are often hidden, not spoken out-loud because what would be the answer?

Well, no one knows, because we don't talk about that child who struggles and the family with no solutions!

The mother needed help, and our society does not give enough help or support!

Yes! We can take the assault guns off the market. But will that help the families who will still struggle with mentally unstable children?

Let the news media take up real discussions on the fate of children who do not function in our world and how the government could help these families.

SHARON SMITH, Birchwood, Tenn.

Ban sale of assault, rapid-fire weapons

Here's a pledge that every politician needs to take: "Do not accept one bloody dollar from the National Rifle Association." Then get off their duffs and pass legislation to ban all sale of assault and rapid-fire weapons and the ammo that fills them.

Our society is so saturated with violence on the TV, movies, video games, etc. that people actually believe that ownership of these types of war-like weapons are acceptable. These weapons were developed to be used by the military and law enforcement, not the public. No one is suggesting that our citizens cannot own hunting weapons or small target guns. We are awash in weapons in the U.S., but has that made us feel safer?

If we start by changing the laws that make absolutely no common sense, it will be a beginning. Also, if you refuse to buy your children these violent video games depicting such butchery and monitor the type of movies or entertainment they engage in, it will show them you actually care about them.

Call your legislators and show your support for banning these weapons from our society and also tell them to tell the NRA to take a hike!

MS. PAT TABOR, Estill Springs, Tenn.

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'Take action to stop the violent acts'

Every state named above is a state with the 'BIG TWO'.

Jesus Christ>>>John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life..."

THE BIG #ONE: Most lax drug laws among states.

THE BIG #TWO: Most liberal regarding homosexual behavior. Supporting homosexual behavior, including homosexual unions (so-called). kwo

What would one expect?

December 26, 2012 at 12:54 a.m.

Hey, I've got an idea on how to stop the stuff going on in states like: Connecticut, Oregon, Wisconsin, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, California...You know, states with the 'BIG TWO'? Why don't we just take prayer/Christianity out of the classrooms, and, instead give all the students condoms! Yeah, that would put an end to all this violence. Hey, just thought of something else. We could tell them all that they are monkeys and can be immoral with immunity! Evolutionary theory rocks. What a faith to embrace. kwo

December 26, 2012 at 1:06 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Ken Orr,

How come the most crime is in Southern (Red) states? They don't have the most lax drug laws and they don't have gay marriage. Explain that, moron.

Connecticut has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the US.

Oregon has a lower violent crime rate than Connecticut.

Wisconsin's violent crime rate is only slightly higher than Oregon's.

New York has a lower violent crime rate than TN, SC, NC, AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, and TX.

Massachusetts' violent crime rate is lower than AR, FL, GA, LA, NC, TN, SC, TX.

Colorado's violent crime rate is lower than Massachusetts.

California's violent crime rate is lower than AR, FL, LA, SC, TN, and TX

Have a look for yourself:

It seems like the states without the "Big Two" have much higher violent crime rates than those with the "Big Two". Your whole premise was just debunked. You are the most ignorant human being I have ever come across. Nothing you say is factual. No one should take you seriously.

"Why don't we just take prayer/Christianity out of the classrooms, and, instead give all the students condoms!"

Great idea.

"Yeah, that would put an end to all this violence."

Those things have nothing to do with violence in this country i.e. non sequitur. Saying so is evil. Your god has killed more human beings than every serial killer combined. Your god is the most notorious abortionist of all time. Your god invented AIDS, cancer, etc. Should I go on?

"We could tell them all that they are monkeys and can be immoral with immunity!"

No one is telling any student that they are monkeys. That isn't evolution, you ignorant bastard. Also, evolution has nothing to say about morals. Morals are relative. Your argument is fallacious. It's called non sequitur. IT DOES NOT FOLLOW. Your conclusion does not follow from your premise. Not to mention, IT IS PATENTLY FALSE! You know nothing of evolution. You don't understand it. You are scientifically illiterate and markedly so.

"Evolutionary theory rocks."

You're damn right. It's a lot better than that "Creation" myth you and your ilk cling to.

"What a faith to embrace."

It doesn't require faith to believe scientific facts. You're the one with the faith. You believe something on zero evidence. You're a gullible, misguided, ignorant myth-believer. Keep your faith. I'll take truth, facts, logic, and reason.

December 26, 2012 at 2:15 a.m.
Ozzy87 said...

Orr is a perfect example of devolution of the spieces. Either that, or he was allowed to play with lead-based paint chips as a child that resulted in permanent developmental damage.

December 26, 2012 at 6:40 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

"America's first mistake is taking the Bible out of schools and our community; this makes our society weak and vulnerable to wicked people."

Pray and believe!


Yes, should have left the Bibles in schools. The real big ones that weigh 25 pounds with the autographed picture of Jesus in the front. Could have used them as weapons to throw at those evil non-belivers, to beat children in the name of love, and as an example of violence, subjugation, and immorality as practiced by religious sects and power-hungry politicians. Use the Bible as an example of fairy-tales believed by literalists and what should not be repeated by sane and rational people seeking to better themselves and humanity.

Yes, teach the Bible as the manuscript of a mythological tribal deity and how followers of this book have used it to persecute non-believers, used it to to stop rational thought, and to hold back intellectual development and science.

And small children can use it as a booster seat.

December 26, 2012 at 8:34 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Orr should be on a watch-list of mentally-ill fanatics, not to be trusted around guns, children, pets, or farm animals.

December 26, 2012 at 8:36 a.m.

Hi Dayton's~

Hey I did an addendum to my video that You are in, along with many others on this site. I added the following:

"The two 'Cowboys' are my Brother and me. He was my hero on earth, he was my very best friend, mentor, consultant. May he have, always, all the best of heaven. This picture was taken by Gwen, my little Sister. We were in the cold, snowy Colorado mountains above Bear Lake."

Also, that picture of my deceased Brother is annotated. Ken

Following is link to updated video:

December 26, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

I don't care about your video. I'm watching George Carlin, laughing, eating ham sandwiches, drinking Bailey's Irish Cream, and celebrating Boxing Day.

No gods, bibles, psychics, preachers, or politicians allowed to intrude on my tranquility and pleasures. That's my only household rule.

Dogs, freethinkers, and decent people are always welcome.

December 26, 2012 at 10:58 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Ken Orr, I watched your video. I'm truly sorry for the loss of your brother. But my condolences and civility end there. Everything else you included in your video is pure BS. You are the very definition of the word hypocrite. You talk about civility and love but you know nothing about the true meaning of either word. You Christians like to say how you love the sinner but hate the sin but you have no business calling out anyone for their sins in the first place. What two people do in private between themselves is no skin off anybody's noses but their own. Even if they are "sinning," it is between them and their God or conscience and you need to just butt out. To call anyone out for what you and your make-believe maniacal Old Testament God deem to be sinning is the height of self righteousness. And to pick out the one "sin" (homosexuality) that you are obviously obsessed with and keep cackling like a mad hen about it only shows you to be the nut-job that you are.

You are funny and at the same time pathetic. You speak of love and civility, yet you are as uncivil, vile, and arrogant as anyone can be. Just because you refrain from cursing, that doesn't make you civil. Actually, the best part of your video were the quotes you included from daytonsdarwin and others. They do indeed speak the truth about your silly Bible and your insane fairy tale God.

The truth will always appear to be "uncivil" to people like you who are so blind and arrogant that they cannot see it.

December 26, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Wow, Ken that video was pretty gay.... and by gay I don't mean homosexual or old-school cheerful.. I mean silly, stupid, and completely embarrassingly "un-cool".

The music was total commercial crap. Who was that? Some Cademons Call/J. Bales style fake-emotional whiny christian-industry trash?

Oh, and wake up, it's almost 2013, nobody who's anybody misrepresents a slide-show as a video.

In fact, slide-shows are pretty stupid if you ask.. well, anyone except the thirteen year old girls that do them. Yeah, adults don't do slide-shows.

One more thing, sorry about your bro. We've all lost someone close to us, many of them we're way too young to go the way they did.

But here again, it's never cool to use a dear personal memory as bait, while fishing for public sympathy from random strangers.

December 26, 2012 at 3:14 p.m.
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