Last Word, Sept. 12: Medications and guns

The Virginia Gazette

Good deed

Today, when I was traveling on the road from McLaws Circle to Route 60, I'd stopped at the traffic light when I noticed an elderly gentleman walking in the road using a walker with an unsteady gait. A young man in a van in front of me changed lanes suddenly and stopped his vehicle. He got out of the van and headed over to the man and inquired if he might help him. Though I didn't hear the conversation, the man seemed grateful for the assistance and the young man helped him all the way across the intersection to the other side. What an inspiration of hope for the next generation amidst all the violence, evil, and bad news abounding. Thank you, young man, whoever you are — you are a very good Samaritan!

Bag checks, etc.

Of all of the things that people have had to do for their countries and selves during a war, the Transportation Security Administration's security measures, bag checks and the like are some of the smallest, most convenient and least-sacrificing of these. Our lives in this country are fortunately extremely enjoyable and free. Please try to put things in perspective, or at least think of the suicide bombs and beheadings every time your bag is checked.

Medications

About getting rid of outdated meds — the dates are there because they are mandated by law, but not all those meds are useless. Many are viable beyond the expiration dates. I've experienced this personally after reading an article to that effect printed in the AARP Bulletin a few years back. Case in point, I needed a medication my husband was on temporarily. I Googled it and discovered it still usable at the time I needed it. Many drugs that could be used are sadly discarded by pharmacies as well as potential users. What a waste.

In response to the individual seeking information on disposing of old medications. I unsuccessfully went through the same round robin of potential takers as she did until I sent James City County Waste Disposal Office an email requesting help. In response, the office replied with what Food and Drug Administration suggests: Mix the unused pills with coffee grounds or some greasy substance, delete the personal and medicinal info shown on each empty container and place everything in the trash.

Pharmacies don't take back expired medicines because they have nowhere to put them. The Drug Enforcement Administration sets up drug-take-back days twice a year. The next one is Sept. 27. That's when you can take expired meds to the James City County Rec Center and the police coordinate the take back. If you cannot get to the take back, you should mix your meds with something unpalatable like used coffee grounds or kitty litter and dispose in the trash. Do not put any meds down the drain or toilet. (From a pharmacist)

Guns

Putting it as politely as I can, it is just plain naive to believe that by passing a law prohibiting gun ownership gun deaths would be a thing of the past. We have more than 600 federal laws now that pertain to gun ownership and use.

The National Rife Association's mission statement includes a statement about the safe use of guns. With that in mind, the NRA should be more proactive in that behalf. They could spend some of their money on setting up a certification process including safe-use training for individuals to obtain a gun of their choice. With that certificate, individuals could purchase their gun of choice. This does not need to be a government requirement but a requirement of an independent organization such as the NRA to encourage the safe use of guns. There are other industries that are self-regulating. Wouldn't this be a positive for the NRA to spend their money on instead of a negative lobbying to prevent government laws?

In response to Saturday's "Handguns" posting, agreed, the country certainly seems to have gone crazy with the number of guns. However, never has a gun injured anyone. Only in the hands of a person do firearms injure or kill. The 150,000 deaths by handguns cited, if that figure is accurate, were all the result of human beings using a firearm as a weapon, rather than some other weapon to injure or kill. Handguns are not the problem. Rather, people are. It comes with the decline of ethics and morals in our society; that is at the root of this problem. Part of that decline in ethics and morals is the lack of respect for life that exists in our society today, and could it be that much of the lack of respect for human life can be tracked right back to these days since Roe v. Wade?

Even if legally owning a gun was revoked, most of the criminals who commit violent crimes would purchase their guns illegally, as they do now because they can't pass the background checks. The legal owners carry their guns as a defense against such criminals, not the other way around.

You should really understand numbers before you start quoting them. Your number of 150,000 is roughly correct for the number of murders by gun. Death by gun is much higher, suicide, accidental or other. But where are most of the murders occurring? 400 plus a year each in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and many others. All the larger cities run by Democrats. Did you know that in that same time frame there were roughly 450,000 deaths in automobile accidents, which does not include the horrifying injuries? This year in particular and to a certain extent last year, the rate of auto deaths is up 28 percent.

How naive is the person who stated, "All you have to do is reduce the number of guns and then there will be fewer deaths." What is really needed is for more law-abiding citizens to legally carry guns, then criminals would think twice about pulling their guns. Criminals will always find a way to get a gun; therefore, I will exercise my Constitutional right to carry one for my protection.

History

I recall seeing what was left of the Berlin Wall after the German people tore it down. Although the government could have used bulldozers and cleared it all and planted a garden, they left it alone because it became a piece of history that nobody should ever forget. In years to come, a kid on a field trip somewhere will ask what the Confederate flag represented. His teacher will respond it is not to honor what went on, but rather a reminder of what went on. Removing the flag from W&M or anywhere else won't erase history nor change it.

The Confederate flag now, as always, represents the Southern people, including every part of their culture and lives, just as the American flag does for Americans. To take all of the lives of the rich, poor, young and old of a certain time and say that the whole of them is about slavery is one-sided and ridiculous. Also, millions died for it in defending their homes and families; should the deaths of a dozen or so reverse all of that?

I was dismayed with William and Mary's recent purging of Confederate artifacts from their collection in an effort to be "politically correct." We learn from history by discussing the good and the bad, not by erasing what is now uncomfortable to discuss. Why study history if you can't learn from it?

To those of us who see the Confederate Battle Flag as an appropriate symbol of a proud heritage, please imagine this scenario: You are a German Jew who sees a display of a flag with a swastika on it. You ask the owner to remove it, as it is a very painful reminder of the Holocaust. The owner replies that, while the Holocaust may have been a regrettable incident, to him the flag simply represents what was good about the Third Reich. The Autobahn was built, the trains ran on time and there were those wonderful nights in the beer hall singing of the glorious Fatherland. Would this explanation satisfy you, or would it deepen your anger? If you get the point, take down the Stars and Bars. Fold it reverently, take it inside and keep it where the sun will shine on it no longer.

No-child tax

Religions believe there is not a way to beat gay marriages. Make them pay a childless tax to get marriage benefits they claim they want. Marriage was designed in "stone ages" to ensure continuation of the human race. Marriage is expected to produce and support raising children. When you give marriage benefits to a couple without children, you benefit an empty nest. Childless marriages do not benefit society and should pay a tax to get marriage benefits.

Cheers and jeers

My Missouri brother and sister-in-law sent flowers from Morrison's Flowers and Gifts as a surprise for my birthday. They were not aware, however, that we were out of town for the week. Because we were not at home, Morrison's left a note and left the flowers with a neighbor. When my brother realized we weren't going to be home for another week, he called Morrison's and asked what could be done. Morrison's said they would re-deliver the same arrangement after we returned at no additional charge. The flowers are beautiful. Thank you.

Kudos to Dominion Virginia Power workers from Williamsburg and outside of Williamsburg who worked from 5 p.m. on Saturday until 8 a.m. on Sunday to restore service to the Village of Westminster. Thank you.

Jeers to a certain boutique in Williamsburg for rude customer service. Although the clerk barely acknowledged us when we walked in, when my daughter went to the dressing room, the clerk ran over, pounded on the door and demanded that my daughter open it. Instead of apologizing, she said she was just doing her job. They lost my business, though I doubt any shop that would allow its employees to talk to customers that way would care.

We commend Steve Tolley, 757-634-5789, an independent contractor, for his superior work in tiling two bathroom floors and replacing the vinyl flooring in our laundry room and pantry. We recommend Steve for his consummate professionalism, efficiency, honesty and integrity. It is gratifying to find someone who is so completely service oriented. Steve places the customer as his No. 1 priority. His estimate was also well below the competition.

Wonderful Labor Day weekend concert performed by Soundworks at the Kimball. Hats off to the James City County Rotary for another fine performance in their annual Charity Concert series.

Sirius mistake

SiriusXM made a terrible mistake when it decided to remove Escape from channel 69. If you want to register a complaint, phone Listener Care at 1-800-967-2346 or send an email to Listenercare@siriusxm.com.

Q&A

To the "Guidance needed": You might reach out to SCORE At 757-229-6511. This is a local organization that provides free consulting for those wishing to start a small business or an existing business that needs assistance such as your request.

I'm restoring a vintage camper, and I am in need of a recommendation or someone willing to sew new cushion covers with a zipper for 10 cushions (some are sewn together to unfold). The fabric I am looking at would be striped, and I am also looking to have piping installed on edges. Not looking to spend top dollar but need some direction on where I can go. Email Mhumby123@gmail.com.

A nonprofit needs Microsoft Access Database help on a project. Database is set up and about 90 percent done. Just need a boost over the top. 757-870-1100.

Lost dog

She is 10 years old, all-white Jack Russell and loves everyone. She was lost Aug. 25 near Powhatan Secondary and News Road and was last seen at St. Georges Hundred about a week ago. Her name is Lilly. We are new to Williamsburg, and we believe she went outside and became disoriented. Anyone with information can call 757-262-6976 any time day or night. If there is a cost, please let me know — we are desperate to find her! Thank you.

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