Readers Write 1/26

Nasty lessons learned from health care debate

While it is too soon to tell what effect the election of Scott Brown will ultimately have on the health care bill pending in Congress, one thing is for certain: The health care debate has provided a sobering education in the state of this country. Some of the lessons aren’t exactly news — namely, that our partisan divide is an abyss with no discernible bottom, and that when it comes to a choice between corporate interests and the American public, our elected representatives remain hostage to lobbyists. What is new is that we as a people have shown just how nasty we can become when it comes to sharing a limited resource: health care. I would hate to see how we would behave in the face of a large-scale natural disaster.

George de Man, ROME

SECOND AMENDMENT

New gun owners need safety class from police

I totally agree with Deputy Sheriff Lewis Cazenave (“Readers write,” Opinion, Jan. 18). I have held a concealed carry license in Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana. Georgia only requires a background check — then you pay the fee, and you get your license. Both South Carolina and Louisiana perform background checks, and require that the applicant attend a firearms safety class and pass a firearms proficiency test.

The instructors for the safety class and proficiency test are experienced law enforcement officers. They give the applicants many actual horror stories about what happens if you ever use your weapon inappropriately. They give examples of what to do when you witness a crime, and how to decide when it’s time to defend yourself with deadly force. I guarantee that you will be glad you were required to listen to these law enforcement officers to get your firearms’ license.

Perry Penton, Marietta

PUBLIC SAFETY

No text is as important as highway safety

While on the Downtown Connnector recently, I noticed no fewer than 12 drivers using their mobile devices to text whoever about whatever. This has to stop.

Texting while driving is insanely dangerous. We do not need a state law to tell us not to partake in such a dangerous activity. I have a cellphone, but I do not even answer it while I am driving. While you are the captain of that vehicle you drive, you should do as little as possible to distract you from keeping that vehicle in the lane you intend to be in. Taking your eyes off the road for any amount of time is asking for higher insurance rates for everyone — not to mention another horrific accident. No message is that important!

Charlie Sill, Stockbridge

HAITI EARTHQUAKE

Broadcast crowds hurting nation more

I suppose a case could be made justifying the massive media presence in devastated Haiti, but I don’t know how one could excuse the parade of television prima donnas and their entourages jamming an already crowded airport, and consuming limited resources. It’s all about ratings and the “who’s on top” mentality. A plague on all their houses. Jim Miller, Hoschton

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