Thank you for including in the AJC opinions on the Voting Rights Act pieces by Rep. Hank Johnson (“Voting Rights Act necessary,” Opinion, March 7) and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (“Update Voting Rights Act,” Opinion, March 7). It is important to keep these issues at the forefront for your readers and the public at large.
We must not forget the lessons of the past. Those in power can easily use it to disadvantage others — particularly those who have historically been disadvantaged, or new citizens who may well lack the resources to adequately protect the voting rights to which they are entitled.
As Rep. Johnson discusses, the need for oversight of voting law changes is well documented. The current system, which requires affected local governing authorities to request and receive advance clearance for voting rights modifications, is an important safeguard for protecting and preserving a most fundamental and valuable right in our country: the right to vote.
BECKY LOUGH, ATLANTA
‘Sensitive’ politicians deserve term limits
I was amazed to read that congressmen were complaining of years of hurt feelings regarding President Obama’s perceived lack of interest in them (“Obama overtures might break logjam,” News, March 11).
I would remind the congressmen that this is not the senior prom where feelings are frequently hurt. These people are charged with governing our country irrespective of personal feelings. My golf teacher told me that 20 years of bad habits do not constitute “experience” — and that is exactly what we are getting from our long-term sensitive politicians in Washington.
The answer to this situation is term limits, and a real restriction on campaign spending, which would allow younger and more capable people to represent us at all levels in Washington.
IAN SHAW, CUMMING
Stiffen penalties for gun-wielding crooks
After a tragedy like the Newtown shootings or Columbine, there is always a knee-jerk reaction by politicians “to do something.” That usually means trying to enact “tougher” gun laws. Whether there is any evidence that this will actually prevent insane individuals or criminals from wielding firearms doesn’t matter.
Then there are the gun buy-back programs. Do we really believe that convicted felons and would-be criminals are going to sell their tools of the trade to a government agency? They may be sociopaths. but they are not stupid enough to be subjected to questions as to how they came to be in possession of a firearm used in a crime.
Here is a simple idea regarding criminals using guns: If you use a gun in the commission of a crime, you will get life without parole. If you are a convicted felon and are caught with a firearm, you will get life without parole. Any questions?