A Summit County Public Health District program coordinator told readers that guns are the second-leading cause of injury deaths in Ohio and nationally, which causes a huge financial burden on taxpayers (“Guns and public health”).
Nationally, homicides, whether caused by accident, by self-defense or by suicide or terrorism, are not among the top 15 causes of death in the United States.
The leading killers, heart disease and cancer, cause the greatest amount of violence to a person’s health, which is death.
The program coordinator beats up guns, inanimate tools. So are kitchen or garden tools, vehicles and other items.
Americans who respect the Second Amendment do not want the federal or state governments to infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Ownership of arms is protected; misuse of arms is not. Key is the right to keep and bear arms.
A gun may be used for good or evil, determined by the state of mind of the user.
Defective mental health or the criminal intent of users of guns should not be used to abrogate the right to keep and bear arms, just as defective mental health or the criminal intent of an operator of a motor vehicle should not be used to abrogate the privilege of operating a motor vehicle.
Despite the uncertainty of statistics, the number of deaths by guns is inflated by gang-bangers and merchants and users of illegal drugs.
Racing duo sets example
Just when you think there is no end to the violence and horrible people in this world, you run across two angels on earth. Their names are Zeke and Andre.
I read this very touching story in the Beacon Journal (“Push-chair duo completes race as crowd cheers,” Sept. 29). How many of us think we have problems? Then, along comes Andre Travis.
This wonderful man, who has severe cerebral palsy, dreamed of competing in the Akron Marathon. Enter Zeke Petrie, his devoted friend and health aide.
These two worked together and trained to make Travis’ dream come true. What a test of the human spirit.
Travis is a man who has never been able to walk and has no use of his arms.
Yet he finds the strength and courage to compete. How many of us would do this?
Then, there is Petrie. What another wonderful man. He gave of himself to help his friend achieve his dream.
He is such a hero to devote all of his time and energy to help his dear friend. What a selfless act.
This was such a wonderful story and testament that you can do anything.
God bless both Zeke and Andre.
Patti Van Doros
Support for mental health levy
Thanks to the generosity of the residents of Summit County, those with mental illness have one of the best mental health systems in the area.
The mental health levy is up for renewal again, and I cannot overstate how important it is in helping to fund treatment and services for our mentally ill residents.
There are no longer any facilities for long-term care of those with very serious mental illness.
The caseworkers are among the most dedicated people I know in their desire to help both the clients and relatives.
If it was not for the services my family has been able to access, I can truly say that we would not have the peace of mind that we do because our seriously ill relative would be unstable and unpredictable.
We are totally aware how tight things are now, but please continue to support the mental health system.
Pope Francis brings welcome message
I am so thrilled with Pope Francis, as is Les Johnson, who wrote the Sept. 29 letter “Focus of Pope Francis.”
Francis reminds me of Pope John XXIII, who set a tone for the Second Vatican Council when he said, “The Church has always opposed ... errors. Nowadays, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.”
Pope Francis has brought life back into the church, which for so many years remained worlds away from us and our lives.
He spoke so well when he said that the church has got to let go some of its hang-ups and bring Jesus Christ to those who seem farthest away, either fallen away, unbelieving or indifferent. It’s another reminder or John XXIII, who on his deathbed said: “It is not that the gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better.”
Sister Kathy McIntyre
Isn’t it interesting how many millions of dollars, how much political posturing and how much misinformation the Republicans are expending in an effort to stop the Affordable Care Act?
If they really thought it was a bad law, they would just sit back and watch it disintegrate.
Don L. McHugh
Predictable patterns in gun violence
Our country has experienced many mass shootings in the past few years.
After some of these shootings, President Obama has held a news conference to discuss the incident.
His purpose typically has been to offer prayers and condolences to the victims and their families and friends. I think he is sincere in his message.
Also, he typically calls for increased legislation to control the sale and ownership of what he calls “assault” weapons.
He blames the gun rather than the action of the person behind the gun.
This is like blaming the skis when Sonny Bono tragically was killed when he crashed into a tree.
In most of these mass shootings that have grabbed the headlines, the perpetrator has had mental problems or was driven by extremist viewpoints, as in the Fort Hood murders.
Lastly, in a recent anti-gun rally, Vice President Biden told the audience that no American civilian needs an assault weapon.
He said if you think you need a gun, just go buy a shotgun. In the recent murder of 12 people at the Navy yard in Washington, Aaron Alexis used a shotgun.
Is it the man, or the policy?
To all those against Obamacare, I ask this question: Is it because you think it is socialism, or is it that the idea behind it comes from a black man?
The reason I ask is because the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, put forth some similar ideas for national health care a while back.
Also, Mitt Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, implemented some of the same ideas in that state. So the question I’m asking is very valid.
Washington T. Ray
Frustration not new at VA
I am writing in response to Bob Dyer’s column on the Purple Heart vet who is facing financial ruin because of the incompetence of the Veterans Affairs office, which improperly processed his entitlement for benefits (“Paperwork clearly isn’t the forte of VA”).
I was reminded of a situation I faced years ago as a Realtor trying to get a vet’s loan approved after weeks of delay.
I drove to Cleveland and managed to get into the VA loan processing department.
What did I see? The loan processors were sitting around talking and laughing with open desk drawers filled with potato chips and candy. After some words on my part, the loan was soon approved.
I saw laziness, incompetence and workers who must have believed that they were entitled to be paid just by showing up.
And what does that say about the department heads, who are either incompetent themselves or are powerless to fire them?
With Jim Pewton’s experience, it appears Veterans Affairs may need an overhaul. Maybe the office should only have vets employed there.
In regards to the Republican parties’ “conscience clause” to allow employers to refuse women coverage for contraceptive services, I don’t have a problem with that as long as said employers also deny coverage for Viagra and all other male sexual “help.”