To the editor:
At a ripe old age of 84 years, I ponder. Over the years, I have read many books and articles on the subject of religion. This promotes my thinking: Is God a matter of conscience? I do not believe in God or the devil in the same sense as others believe.
If a God exists, why would he permit the atrocious acts that one human being places on others? If we, with our treatment of others as well as ourselves, are positive, I believe we can be part of creating heaven. Many cultures have their Gods, i.e, rain, sun, storm, flood, etc.
Is this a crutch to lean on? If we believe in ourselves and our fellow man, in lieu of wondering if there is a God that is looking over them, it is like believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
Background check failure another sad act of Congress
To the editor:
It’s another sad commentary on our Congress when extended background checks for guns cannot be passed, even after one of their own was shot, school children and teachers were killed and movie-goers lost their lives — all with assault weapons. Background checks were the least flammable part of the suggested gun control laws, but it appears that our legislators live in fear of the gun lobbyists and the NRA.
Although 90 percent of Americans polled wanted increased background investigations, our legislators chose to serve their own party lines, personal desires and fears with refusing to listen to their constituency. The shallow justification that the Second Amendment means unlimited gun rights is an argument that can’t be won. Written 222 years ago, it was not a protection for the proliferation of military-type assault weapons for the general public.
Our own local legislators support the “no compromise” stance of the NRA on new gun restrictions. I guess they work on the premise that the Old Testament “eye for eye” violence is justified rather than a more preventive approach. We can learn from the states that have already passed more rigorous gun legislation and start taking baby steps in that direction.
The Rev. Judith M. McLean
Speed cameras are against the American way
To the editor:
Commenting on the people supporting speed cameras — you are missing the main issue. Of course speed cameras work at slowing people down and are cost-efficient. But that does not make them right.
Cutting off the hands of thieves to cull stealing works. It would be cost-efficient to get rid of old, sick people. But this is not the American way. The American way is making sure that people have reasonable recourse legally to contest these fines. American law stipulates that people have a right to face their accuser in court. The camera and the police officer hiding behind a desk signing these fines do not know the circumstances behind the speeding.
I have received only one of these tickets — from December 2012. What the camera did not know was that under normal circumstances, I never would have been in the location or traveling the speed that I was. My mother was in a serious car accident in which her car was totaled. I was responding to that incident when the photo was taken. If a police officer had pulled me over, they may have let me go with a warning (I was going 37 in a 25), considering the circumstances. If they had ticketed me, the judge might have eliminated the ticket if I brought in proof of my circumstances. However, it was unreasonable for me to contest the ticket, because the fine is low enough ($35 if paid immediately) that I would lose more money taking a couple of hours off work and fuel cost to contest the fine, then if I just paid it. That is where the unreasonable recourse issue comes to bear.
If lawmakers are serious about speed camera tickets, raise the fines to $100, that way it will be worth people’s time to contest these tickets. But they won’t do that. They are too scared that the public outcry would blow up the entire program and end the flow of money.