Letters to the editor

Posted: January 30, 2013

Looking through a keyhole

Rev. Roy Menefee’s Open Forum of Jan. 23 on the Winchester Rescue Mission’s need for more room to rehabilitate men’s lives in the Winchester area brought back thoughts of the early 1970s. Six or more of us men had a ministry in that building, known as the City Jail, every Sunday.

While there, we saw dozens of men have a life-changing experience and become productive citizens once again. It cost a lot more to incarcerate a person than what it cost the Mission to do a much better job of getting a person back on the right track. A lot of people need a little help once in a while. You could be next.

You can’t see very much looking through a keyhole. I don’t know the city official Brother Menefee spoke to, but he must not have been looking at the big overall picture. If more than $4 million can be spent for a place to rescue women, which is greatly needed, the city should be glad a group like the Mission is willing to utilize a building that’s just sitting there, deteriorating and costing the taxpayers a lot of money to maintain. It would pay the city many times over to just give that building to the Rescue Mission and let them do all the improvements it needs.

I’ve been involved off and on with the Mission all the way back to Morse Whitacre, who started the Mission in the early ’70s. I’ve seen hundreds turned around and put back on their feet, and give back more than they got.

Rev. Isaac Luttrell

Gore

Gun control’s accomplishments?

After watching the news, it seems to me the cycle is always the same: Someone does something stupid with a gun, and the liberal media screams for more gun control. What about the thousands of gun laws already on the books? Don’t they work? Apparently not.

Gun control does not accomplish one thing. It makes it hard on innocent people who want to buy a gun for hunting or protection purposes. Gun control is just a bad joke going someplace to be told.

I remember reading in history that, during a rally in Nuremberg, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler spoke of “gun registration” and said that he would “make the streets of Germany safer.” This happened in 1936, and Hitler committed suicide in 1945. The reason I bring this up? I find it disturbing so many people agree with a long-dead dictator.

Merle Reid

Capon Bridge, W.Va.

Clarion call — for Wayside!

To friends and neighbors of the Board of the Wayside Foundation for the Arts:

It has been a tough realization, but The Wayside Foundation Board recognizes Wayside Theatre cannot continue without significant annual community support. We appreciate the quick replies expressing shock and concern. We hope this foretells the support we will receive in the next 90 days to raise $90,000 for short-term debt and to increase ticket sales and support.

This is a first step to achieve the needed $250,000 annually. The next production may well be the last of the 51st season. Everyone needs to see “Smoke on the Mountain: Homecoming” between Jan. 26 and March 17.

The board wishes to affirm support for Artistic Director Warner Crocker and the entire Wayside staff and crew. They are doing a tremendous job in the face of overwhelming odds.

For our crisis strategy, we applaud Warner for making the painful changes to slash expenses by $300.000. Because of uncertainty, Wayside Theatre has suspended selling subscriptions for next season. We are attempting to reach all individual and corporate donors.

The word is out through every media venue. We are seeking to uncover new and untapped sources of support. We are turning to loyal patrons to stress the importance of annual support. As a board, we are reaching out to our circle of friends to not only make contributions and buy tickets, but also to help spread the word to potential patrons.

Wayside contributes to the Valley in so many ways. Through the arts program, the theater touches hundreds of young lives. The stage is the first step toward many individual goals and is a reward of long years of work. Players have put smiles on faces and tears in eyes, and have let us escape our problems, if but for a short time. The board asks all to look deep and assess what Wayside means to their quality of life, and donate what you can and please spread the word.

Board of Directors Wayside Foundation

Middletown

Language is ‘ambiguous’? Yes!

You published a piece by Alan Johnston on Monday concerning the “ambiguous” language in the Second Amendment. One interesting argument in the piece was that because the Founders couldn’t have envisioned the types of firearms in existence today, “doesn’t common sense dictate that weapons invented after the Second Amendment was ratified should not be automatically protected under the amendment?”

I believe this makes a lot of sense, and urge that the same principle should be applied to the entire Constitution, not merely to the Second Amendment. For example, the only means for a “free press” to be exercised in colonial times was by use of quill pens or movable-type printing presses. Therefore, despite many advances over the past two centuries, including electronic publishing, the Internet, radio, and television, these newfangled techniques should not be available for news organizations in today’s world.

Similarly, freedom of speech used to be limited by how loudly you could speak from a pulpit or a soapbox on the street corner. So obviously there’s no need for modern methods like electronic sound systems or Facebook, Twitter, or blog posts for us now. We just need to go back to the ways good ol’ Sam Adams and Ben Franklin did it and be satisfied!

Phil Kelly

Frederick County

Gun control, no; Constitution, yes

In the media we are being told that the framers of the Bill of Rights would not have allowed private ownership of semi-automatic weapons. Yet at the time the Second Amendment was penned ordinary citizens were permitted to own the most modern rifle available at the time, the same type of rifle used by their military.

However, the current debate is not even about allowing citizens to own modern military weapons. We are debating the ownership of a semi-automatic rifle, a technology in use at the beginning of the last century. The same technology found in guns used by many of our grandfathers in the deer woods and at home for self-defense. Thousands of law-abiding citizens, our neighbors, family, and friends use semi-automatic rifles today for legal purposes that are protected by the Second Amendment.

Acts by evil people should not frighten us into surrendering our liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Too often people with a personal agenda are willing to take away rights they are uncomfortable with. Instead of giving into fear let us take truly meaningful action that will protect our children and families.

Brian Rae

Stephens City

Teaching our kids?

I am writing this letter to get some things straight. I don’t understand how a child can make gestures (vulgar ones, at that) at female classmates and not have to make a public apology to the girls he insulted.

If these teens can embarrass their classmates in front of everyone, shouldn’t they have to be “embarrassed” as well and apologize in front of their class? It really “burns” me up to have the school tell you it can’t call a meeting between the parents, due to “confidentiality.”

How are we to teach our children how to work things out if we, as parents, cannot do it? What the heck is happening to our society and our right to speak up and protect our children?

Something has to be done because, if this is allowed to happen in middle school, what will happen in high school? Oh wait, I know — nothing!

Chrissy Gates

Stephens City