The Journal Gazette
Sunday, April 15, 2018 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Aid plea shows overreliance on feds

I was just watching another athlete trying to help with hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.

We all know the devastation Puerto Rico suffered last fall during the hurricane season. As a territory of the United States, I would imagine most of us agree that relief to this area is warranted. What concerns me was the reporter responsible for the story who commented after the report on the obvious needs of this region. The reporter essentially campaigned for the U.S. government to step up and give these people more assistance.

I feel American citizens are more than willing to help Puerto Rico. Why ask the government to help? The government does not produce an income; the government collects money from people who pay taxes. Why wouldn't we ask U.S. citizens to push our elected officials to help?

I feel as a society we believe the government has endless supplies of income. In reality the government is nothing more than a cost to taxpayers and institutions, and I struggle with why more of us do not see this reality.

Dirk Stauffer

Fort Wayne

Pontiac neighborhood rehab appreciated

For all who haven't driven on Pontiac Street lately, and I'm sure most of you haven't, there are beautiful new homes being built. It looks like about a dozen or so. Thank you to those responsible.


Fort Wayne

New trash hauleris still struggling

Who ever decided to change trash collection companies?

Our trash was not picked up on a recent Monday. With the winds, cans and trash were all over the place. They did manage to get our recycling, but two men had to manually carry the trash bins to the truck to dump. This took forever. Then they set the bins down anywhere but where they had been.

We may need to rethink this. Saving a few dollars isn't everything, if that indeed drove the decision.

Mickey Byanski

Fort Wayne

Assertions about NRA are anti-gun myths

Leonard Goldstein's letter of April 4 (“NRA has morphed into gun-industry front”) is nothing but a rehash of any anti-gun blog from the last 10 years. All the statements concerning the NRA are based on half-truths and twisted opinion.

NRA membership is more aware of its organization than he insinuates. The actual National Rifle Association wasn't officially begun until Gen. Ambrose Burnside chartered it with New York state in 1872. It was open to everyone, not just military.

The words of Karl Frederick during hearings before the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934 were his own opinions. Considering the lawlessness of the time, it is generally understood that he was denouncing the criminal behavior of Depression-era gangsters. Again, disregard for humanity caused well-meaning authority to penalize everyone for the actions of a few. Guns were never banned, however, but ownership was severely hampered.

Goldstein erroneously states that gun owners were registered in this law. Only certain classes of guns were. These guns are legal to own today. It was the McClure-Volkmer amendments to the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 which effectively banned certain classes of guns from civilian ownership. The Federal Firearms Act of 1938 established a licensing procedure for manufacturers, distributors and dealers of firearms. It was effectively repealed by the Gun Control Act of 1968, which is now the law of the land concerning manufacturing, distribution and selling of firearms.

The Institute for Legislative Action is a separate organization of the NRA, organized like any political action committee under federal law. Just as the Democratic Party has undergone tremendous change since its inception, the NRA has had to legally establish resources for the benefit of its members to prevent unlawful incursions on the rights of all Americans, not just its members.

It would serve Goldstein's integrity to ignore the stuff on the internet and talk to the NRA directly about their goals and purposes. Most of us are just everyday folks, like him. Insulting your neighbors isn't a nice way to promote understanding and goodwill.

Jeff Ott

South Whitley

Founders didn't sanction mass murder

Our central cities have turned into virtual war zones with the flood of pistols and semiautomatic weapons onto our streets. These devices are made for one purpose: to kill human beings. We need to talk about the Second Amendment.

Our Founding Fathers were not deities. They made several glaring mistakes when they authored the Constitution. Among those were slavery, the enfranchising of only white, male land owners, and the Electoral College to prevent the democratic election of the president. Some of these errors have been fixed; most have not.

Flooding the streets with easily available firearms is not working. It's made the country a more dangerous place. Perhaps all that is necessary is to modify the Second Amendment to allow the outlawing of automatic and semiautomatic weapons, and to severely limit the availability of handguns. We need to have that national discussion. The time to be held hostage by firearm violence should have been over a long time ago.

This is not about freedom. It's strictly about the ability of Colt, Remington and other megabusinesses to peddle extremely dangerous products unrestricted on the streets of America to whoever has a buck. The result is more than 30,000 needless deaths year after year.

Our politicians and judges routinely ignore the Constitution and Bill Of Rights when it suits their purposes. Why the reverence to just one amendment? Money, lots of money! Our governments are bought and paid for. Our power-brokers will not even entertain a discussion about the main impediment to effective gun control. Thirty thousand must die every year because of a 230-year-old anachronism? Times have changed.

The ability and right to commit mass murder should not be chiseled in stone in our constitution.

Gaylen E. Twigg

Fort Wayne

What's the real reason behind Trump's wall?

Yes, we can make America great again – and we can start by dumping Trump and the rest of his yes men and women. It's no wonder some see a resemblance between Trump and Hitler, and ICE and the Gestapo. It's a shame to see immigrant families torn apart for no reason; this great nation was born by people like them. I believe Trump is a racist. Why does he want that wall? I think it has nothing to do with national security; he just doesn't like Hispanics.

James A. Henderson


Schools can't waste money on marketing

I saw a letter in the April 2 Journal Gazette exhorting Fort Wayne Community Schools to “honor and broadcast student achievement.” This is great as far as it goes, I suppose, but when tax money goes to schools, I would prefer that it be used to educate students and not to market or advertise the school.

Perhaps the letter writer has in mind a percentage of the educational budget that he is comfortable diverting to a marketing firm to ensure that schools properly “compete” for students. As for me, I would prefer that money earmarked for education instead be spent on such arcane matters as teachers, books and school supplies.

Schools aren't businesses, and education is not a product but rather a public good.

Charles J. Maiers


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