A number of people’s “common sense” about gun control is that a well-armed militia will soon be coming to their houses to “pry” their guns from their “cold, dead hands.” The people who share this view, which I don’t share, are not planning to use their guns, including assault weapons and magazines of 30 bullets, to feed their families. They could kill a herd of deer in a matter of seconds.
Their “common sense” tells them they need to protect themselves and their guns from others by being prepared to use them to fight back. No wonder they want no restrictions on dangerous weapons. Perhaps even a notable number of people, including some politicians, share this “common sense,” but I don’t believe everyone, even gun owners, does.
Another viewpoint considers that if a situation is an extreme or lethal problem for a few, I and mine might be willing to take some lessening of our privileges if it might reduce the lethal effect on others.
This is the kind of give-and-take that those living in common, in a democracy, should understand and conform to. There is freedom of speech granted under the First Amendment, but it does not include yelling “fire” in a crowded auditorium. There is freedom of speech, but some words can, under some circumstances, be considered assault and have legal consequences.
Freedom of religion does not extend to polygamy or (yet) smoking marijuana. Freedom of the press does not cover libel.
Freedom of assembly does not allow rioting or mob rule.
To all freedoms, even those granted in the Constitution, there are, and must be, some limitations.
If we determine that a small percentage of violent video-game users prepare for massacres, building up what they might call “courage” and “skill” to propel themselves into lethal actions, and if we determine that the pervasive use of violence in cinema is also used or perhaps misunderstood by a few to extol violence or even make violent actions appear redemptive, is there no action we will take?
These types of decisions sound to me like a weighing of the freedoms of many versus the dangerous and lethal misuse of freedom by the few. If the danger becomes great enough, then common sense suggests that many may have to budge on some of their unlimited behavior to protect all.
Another phrasing of this concern is, do we care enough about what happens to others to personally, and with self-control, apply limitations in our own lives? If we don’t care enough to take actions for the common good, those we empower may, on reflection, take those steps for the same common good. When considering these principles, remember, it’s “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Life comes first, then liberty, and, finally, the pursuit of happiness.
No guarantee with more money
In the Jan. 29 editorial, “Unfunded guarantee,” the newspaper questioned requiring third graders to be able to read at the third-grade level before being passed to the fourth grade without the state providing additional funding for that goal.
That makes no sense. Since when were students passed to the fourth grade when they could not read at the third-grade level?
Haven’t parents and our state government already paid the bill for third-grade students to learn to read at the third-grade level?
Aren’t teachers and parents responsible for this goal, which is only common sense?
What has happened to our public school system in the past 30 years that has caused this mess, and why haven’t people stopped this stupidity and the attitude that the answer is always more money?
I will celebrate my 60th birthday this February, and this is not the elementary school system that educated me or my wife, who attended Akron city schools.
It is time for the people to stand up, say “enough” and hold those who always argue the answer is more money accountable for the sorry state of our schools.
The United States spends more on education than any other nation in the world, and we do not get positive results. It is time for a change.
John F. Kline Jr.
More dangerous than a drunken driver
I would strongly suggest that any and all of those who oppose the newly proposed law making texting while driving a primary versus a secondary driving offense in Akron reconsider their opposition.
As reported, their’s is a most specious and indefensible position, having nothing whatsoever to do with the overall safety and well-being of the community (“Texting ban gets mixed responses,” Jan. 29).
Opponents of the proposed law would do well to review the findings of two separate, independent studies that were sponsored by the Pew Research Group and Car & Driver magazine, respectively.
Both concluded unequivocally that texting while driving is easily as, or more dangerous than, driving while intoxicated.
There was even one particular Car & Driver substudy which actually showed the reaction time of a texting driver to be some 23 percent worse than that of a drunken driver.
The researchers also found there to be a significantly greater inability on the part of those texting, as compared to those in an impaired state, in keeping a safe driving distance between vehicles.
Taking one’s eye off the road while driving a vehicle is both an irresponsibly reckless and mindlessly dangerous act.
By definition, in order to text, one must do just that, divert his or her eyes from the road, and, in doing so, reduce all-important reaction time.
Given any reasonable measure, therefore, such conduct is easily deserving of being a primary, versus a secondary, driving offense.
The saying “drinking and driving kills” is statistically supported; now, we have the results of the two texting while driving studies.
How opponents of the proposal could look a man like Akron police Det. Alan Jones (given his own particular tragic experience and recent testimony before the Akron City Council) directly in the face, all the while keeping a collective straight one themselves, is beyond me.