Last Word on Florida shootings, Feb. 21

Florida shootings

A question for Congress: Why is the possession of assault weapons more important than school children's lives? Don't those children have a right, under the Constitution, to live full lives, in liberty and in the pursuit of happiness?

I’m in high school and I’m scared to go to school. Adults need to stop messing around and start protecting our lives. This isn’t a partisan issue.

During a week when 17 people were gunned down in Florida, the Republicans on a Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee rejected 15 bills intended to increase firearm safety. Common-sense gun laws that were rejected included laws to: ban bump stocks; require a minor to get parental permission before keeping guns in the home; require licensed home day care centers to lock up guns; require universal background checks. Why would anyone be against these reasonable restrictions? Vote them out.

A few years back, we visited a relative in Tucson. He took my husband and me to a restaurant in South Tucson, not in the safest of neighborhoods, but a restaurant he highly recommended. A DJ was setting up to provide music. We immediately noticed that he was wearing a classic western holster with an Army Colt .45 on his hip (right out of the old West). My husband turned to me and said, “There’ll be no trouble here.” It’s that simple people.

Expelled from three schools for violent behavior. Crickets. More than 30 calls to police for violent behavior. Crickets. See something say something calls to FBI. Crickets. Legal purchase of firearm with clear background check. Crickets. School shooter with legally purchased firearm with 17 dead. Its all the NRA and Donald Trump's fault.

With all the rhetoric about the terrible shootings in Florida, I have yet to see any mention of the actual responsible party to this massacre: the FBI. The FBI had plenty of notice and warnings about this murderer and they, in their own words, “failed to act on the information.” Had the FBI not been so incompetent and had actually done the job it is paid to do, this horrid event would never had occurred and the 17 people would still be alive. We can lay this event squarely at the feet of our FBI and the blood of this event is on their hands.

I think students need to stay safely in school to study, discuss and propose solutions to local, state and federal government workers about the issues of mental health care and treatment, plus responsible gun ownership, background checks and gun control. I wish we did not have any guns or violence of any kind, but since we are facing daily challenges of mental health and violence in our society, we need to initiate effective legislation and laws to protect all equally.

Trump hides behind the dead bodies of 17 children and teachers killed while at school to protect himself. He has no conscience.

Thank you to the attentive grandmother in Washington State who turned her grandson in to the police when she found out he was planning a school shooting. I hope each and every one of us would be as vigilant and brave as she was, putting others before her own love for the boy.

To those who suggest it is crazy to let teachers, if they so desire, arm themselves, what is the alternative? To die like sheep led to slaughter? Because that’s exactly what happened. To say it wouldn’t help makes no sense, the hero teacher who stood in front of those trying to get away could have had a fighting chance if he was armed and properly trained. The fact that there was an armed police officer on school property didn’t prevent deaths, as there would need to be an officer at every entrance to the building.

Our Williamsburg-area congressmen, Rob Wittman and Scott Taylor, are both A-rated by the NRA. So, they offer nothing more than “thoughts and prayers” for the victims of the latest shooting. Instead of standing up for needed fixes to our laws to prevent these tragedies from happening almost daily. Let’s keep this in mind in this year’s election, and instead select adult representatives who will “do something” about this, as the surviving Florida high school students have rightly demanded. Are these men's modest contributions from the NRA, and their fear of the NRA’s retribution really that important?

The Constitution provides certain rights to us Americans. But, civilized citizens also have an obligation to look after each other’s well being. Clearly this applies to how we implement the Second Amendment. Let’s get these rights and obligations in balance, save many lives and not look so foolish to the rest of the world.

Isn’t wanting to own assault weapons a big enough mental health red flag?

Maybe it is time for the electorate of this country to do something that will get progress on guns being available to those people who should not be able to buy them, by filing law suits against the top corporate individuals of the NRA. If we were to do this, it might finally get something done. Don't take this as any sort of opinion of trying to remove guns, I don't own one but I will never give up my right to own one if I want to. However, the people who are killing our citizens and our children would not be able to purchase them if the laws of this country were enforced. This means Congress needs to provide the law enforcement personnel for enforcing those laws. If the NRA is so busy fighting lawsuits, perhaps they won't be able to control Congress like they have for so many years.

As a high school teacher, while I know not your usual liberal one, I would like the choice to carry a permitted concealed handgun. I’m not saying all teachers should carry a gun, but the choice to defend oneself should be mine.

People are insisting on banning "assault weapons." These same guns were available 30, 40 years ago. Actually, prior to 1986, you could buy machine guns, full automatic, which with proper permits you still can, yet we didn't have this problem. What's different now? Liberalism. The more liberal this country becomes, the worse it gets. The liberals have taken prayer out of school, made the single-parent home normal, given us abortion on demand and an "illness" for every transgression. You can no longer discipline your child or profess your faith without being punished. The moral decline of this country parallels the increase in violence.

Sales tax hike

Tommy Norment, it is wrong to place the burden on the locals in the community to pay for tourism related costs via a "surcharge" in the greater Historic Triangle area. Call it what it is: a 1 percent added sales tax on locals to pay for the benefit of the tourism industry, of which you are affiliated directly (so it is a clear conflict of interest, as others have already rightly pointed out). If it is passed, I will hereafter buy more items online and out of the immediate area so I can avoid this sales tax increase when I have big ticket purchases. I will also remember who and what party came up with the idea.

Thank you, Editor Bellows. You laid out the arguments for/against various taxes to assist in attracting tourists to the 'Burg, but more powerfully you reminded our elected representatives that they are elected by thoughtful, caring people devoted to the 'Burg. We are literate. We are experienced. We — many of us — have lived a long time in different cities, states and countries. We want to be involved in the heavy lifting. We expect to be in on the discussions and decisions that will impact our lives and our wallets. Didn't the last election tell you to pay attention to "we the people"? It is really a shock and crashing disappointment that you didn't get it.

Outrageous! How can Tommy Norment and his secret working group get away with increasing our sales taxes behind closed doors? Norment sits on the Colonial Williamsburg board, so this action is a clear conflict of interest. Further, we don't agree that a short-term marketing campaign (of course, details are vague and TBD) has the same value as building long-term roads and bridges. This is bad government, we are outraged and we will vote them out. Thank you to the Gazette for shining a light on this important issue so that we do not become a high-tax community.

Looking for …

Does anyone know how to restore an old Sony Beta video cassette? It is a family treasure, and we know that they often had problems being restored. Thank you.

Has anybody heard where Captain Tex is? He used to be the captain aboard the ferry boats at Jamestown that crossed the James River. Certainly would be interested to know what happened to this fine gentleman. Have a good day.

I am interested in the Colonial Circle, a potential local CHKD group that would help raise funds and makes donations for CHKD. The email address listed in the Feb. 14 edition of the Last Word (ReplytoJUK@aol.com) was returned as undeliverable. So was a shortened version of the email address: JUK@aol.com. Would the individual that made the post please respond with valid contact information? Thank you.

Litter problems

Response to "litter problems" in James City County. The Clean County Commission is doing everything possible to spread the word but we need help. These and others are great ideas, but we need more volunteers to get on board to help us with these. Not meaning you have to be out there on the roadside picking up, that can help, but help us turn these ideas into action. We have the Spring Clean up coming on April 14, anyone can register to clean up a road or disposal area that has illegal dumping. We are now a part of Keep America Beautiful/Keep James City County Beautiful initiative that includes many things other than out-on-the road cleaning up. For more information, call 757-259-5375. Let's all work together to educate and prevent litter from happening so that we can make James City the cleanest county in the Commonwealth.

Burden of age

My father would say, “No medicine is the best medicine.” I think he was a wise person. He never had to live in an old folks’ home like me.

Let’s work together

It's time for everyone to take off the red or blue glasses, drop party-line politics and work on fixing the issues that needs to be fixed. As long as we continue to take positions just because of party politics, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of inaction and ineffectiveness. Let's make positive comments in the Last Word to fix an issue, not run down the other party.

Train accident

I would like to say I’m grieved at the tragedy of a woman — 28 years old — who was killed by the Amtrak train. However, when these people go around with ear buds near a train track, they should know better. And after thinking it over more, I’m sadder for the conductor of the train because everyone knows they can’t stop those trains that quickly to keep from hitting someone. And that conductor did his best and now he’s got to go through the rest of his life feeling bad about having hit her. Thank you.

Immigration

In response to immigration, my people should have had better immigration control. You see, we thought the immigrants back in the day just wanted a better life for their families. We opened our hearts and showed them how to live off the land. More and more came. They turned on us, they killed many of us, raped our ladies and took away our way of life, took our weapons, took our land. History will repeat itself. Learn from us and what your people did to us.

Well, there you have it. Twice deported illegal without a license kills Indianapolis linebacker in a car crash.

Will the coemmenter in a recent Last Word please provide documentation as to where the 80 percent of Americans support a wall, an end to chain migration and a lottery for immigration?

Recommended

I took up a LW commenter on a recommendation, which was Atlantic Vents. Without question, they are excellent, friendly and they know what they’re doing. So if you need to have a dryer vent cleaned, these are the people to contact. Again, thank you for letting us know that we’ve got a good company that can take care of our washing machine and clean it.

It is my pleasure to recommend Jacqueline’s Salon for hair dressing and nail services. I have benefited from these services for 15 years. Wanda West and her staff are very competent, accommodating and charge reasonably. Check out Jacqueline’s in the Five Forks shopping center on John Tyler Highway. The phone number is 229-4499.

Up in Washington

Everybody is being investigated. Investigations are being investigated. Investigators are investigating investigators. What a three-ring circus. Ringling Brothers are back in business and visiting D.C. again. I love it! Why are we worried about Islamic terrorists, China or Russia?

We are already doing a pretty good job of slowly destroying our country from within. With liberals and RINOs running the show, we don't stand much of a chance. Do we?

I had to laugh at the hypocrites claiming the Democratic response to Trump’s speech was embarrassing. I guess you forgot about the “You lie” outburst by a Republican member of Congress during one of Obama’s speeches. Let’s be honest, folks. This is a partisan pep rally that one side enjoys and the other hates. To say the Democrats did anything wrong is showing just how biased you are.

How long do we have to wait before Congress gets a backbone and passes legislation that 80% of the citizens approve, and they know should be passed? They should pass something, anything, over the veto of King Trump so he gets the idea that Congress makes the laws. He can spend his presidency playing golf in Florida and learning how to read the bills that Congress does pass. I hope they pass a bill to defund the wall Mexico was going to pay for. He’s too used to borrowing other people’s money to fund his hotels. Anyone would have been better as a candidate. Anyone. I may even have to vote for a Democrat next election, if Congress doesn’t shape up. It’s already been a year.

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