Campus carry bill omits younger collegians

State Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton, said the rationale for the campus carry law she co-sponsored was to give college students the means to protect themselves as they traversed the campus late at night. But the right to carry a weapon is only for people over the age of 21. Why is Rep. Ballinger unwilling to let students ages 16 to 20 protect themselves from murder, rape, robbery and mayhem?


Tell rebel monuments’ full story

In “Confederate monuments: Should they stay or should they go?” Gracie Bond Staples suggests that we leave Confederate monuments as reminders. If so, then the plaques that accompany them should tell the truth about the person or place that it “venerates”. That was the original intention, to venerate. Otherwise, what is to keep a child or uneducated adult from thinking that it still is the original intention.

Those Confederate monuments mean different things to different people. They are symbols of oppression and terror to some and brave soldiers to others. But you can’t have it both ways. Only through exposing the truth about racism and slavery in the South will we begin to heal. Children should be taught the unvarnished truth about the history of the South so that they can make their own choices. They should be debating the merits or the negatives of keeping these monuments in place or moving these monuments to museums.


Religious liberty law needs broadening

Georgia’s proposed religious liberty bill is controversial in part because it pertains strictly to religion. One solution is to pass a broad Conscience Protection Act to prevent the government from penalizing people for refusing to participate in activities that violate their conscience. A CPact would protect, for example, a gay caterer who declines to serve at a Westboro Baptist event; a Muslim printer who declines to print cartoons of Muhammad; an African-American photographer who declines to take photos at a Stone Mountain convention; a pro-choice screenprinter who declines to print t-shirts with a pro-life message, etc.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to the Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church at New London, Connecticut, “No provision in our constitution ought to be dearer to man, than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprizes of the civil authority.” Surely we can agree that everyone’s rights of conscience deserve protection against government coercion.


Climate change harming islands

Your wonderful story on Ossabaw Island and Sandy West, “Keeper of the island,” discussed the threats to the island from development, but made no mention of the largest threat, climate change, which is already raising tides and storm surges.

Coastal communities are flooding more often; south Florida mayors asked Marco Rubio for assistance. Congress could place a steadily rising fee on all fuels to reduce our greenhouse gases. Instead of keeping the money though, they can return all the funds to American households, who would spend them and build our economy. George Shultz, President Reagan’s Secretary of State, proposed this plan; why aren’t Georgia’s congressmen behind it?


Ga. right to not act on casinos

I am pleased that Georgia House Speaker David Ralston agreed not to move forward this year with legislation that could allow gambling casinos in our state. We don’t need to promote gambling or other taxable vices as sources of more money for the HOPE scholarship program.

We have an overpriced higher education system that pays some college presidents a million dollars annually and feeds a predatory student loan industry. Why subsidize these abuses? We need to reduce the costs for all students. Are there ways to do this without creating more sin to tax?