published Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

'Confessions of gang member' and other letters to the editor

Confessions of gang member

I will begin by confessing to being a gang member for most of my life.

I first joined an organized gang at the age of 11 with many of my friends and fellow students from Soddy Elementary School. An outsider from Chattanooga was responsible for our being tempted to join his gang. We were offered free attendance at sporting events and other enticements.

During the summer months, we would meet on rival gangs' turf and conduct battle. Frequently we would meet on a neutral site for our "warfare." We proudly wore our "colors."

Some of my gang members had recognizable names such as Varner, McGill, Smith, Murphy, Rose, etc. Some escaped the influence of the gangs to become responsible members of the community.

I have noticed an upswing in gang membership in the area now, with most activity at night around the lake area of Soddy-Daisy. Some members are no more than 5 years old.

There is a common thread between these youngsters and the gang members of my time. I hope they will all be able to survive as we did.

Our "neutral site" was Engel Stadium. Our leader was Joe Engel. We were Knotholers!

RANDALL CARD, Soddy-Daisy


Live by Scout laws to solve problems

The verbal assault against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) by the Chattanooga Times editors continues.

There have been incidents in the past that no one connected with the BSA should even think of condoning. The editorial (Sept. 21) details the steps that have been taken to ensure these incidents are less likely to occur.

The BSA could release every record of every kind that it possesses and not regain its reputation as a role model with the Times editors. The Times editors will only be supportive of the BSA if the Scout leadership compromises their principles and condones allowing homosexuals as members and leaders.

The liberal side of our local paper supports abortion, taking prayer out of schools and public places, not making people responsible for their own welfare, etc. They then wring their hands and bemoan the fact we have gang members gunning people down in the streets, a large percentage of our students can't do math or read and write, crime and drugs are rampant, etc.

Immorality is the root cause of a large number of the ills of society that we face today. Every boy and man living his life according to Scout law would go far in ameliorating these ills.

JOHNNY HENRY, Ooltewah


Pruitt deserves East Ridge vote

The citizens of East Ridge will elect new City Council members in November. I will vote for Ann Pruitt.

Ann has been extremely active in our city for many years. She has been a pillar of our community library and was very active in helping our city as the wife of our beloved mayor, Fred Pruitt.

Ann loves East Ridge and seeks the best for our people. She is a smart and savvy woman who sees beyond projected images. This senior citizen represents the "with it" seniors who truly care about East Ridge. She deserves our vote.

SHARAN PERRY, East Ridge

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ToHoldNothing said...

Fiscal and social liberals do not always align. I support a woman's right to get an abortion as much as a woman's choice to not do so. Libertarian principles of self determination and self preservation are key to defending this position.

As many continue to try to communicate, secularists are NOT against prayer in public schools in itself, but only when it is done under the authority or suggests the school, and the government by association, supports that prayer and the associated religious sentiments. My marching band did prayers led by students, which is remotely protected by the first amendment's free exercise clause. I didn't have a problem with it, since my teacher wasn't the one to do it and he knew better that he shouldn't

I highly doubt including homosexuals in the boy scouts would be any more dangerous if they followed the tenets of the Boy Scouts than letting homosexuals into the Catholic Church would have hurt anyone if they actually conformed to the standards that are supposedly crystal clear in their minds (homosexuality's bad, etc). Any concerns of pedophiles overlapping with homosexuals are blowing the isolated incidents out of proportion to most homosexual males being non pederastic and pedophilic in nature.

September 26, 2012 at 12:46 a.m.
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