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Friday, March 29, 2013
Common sense needed on gun control laws
During and after the recent election campaign, the great debate has been about the size and scope of the federal government. In one outstanding issue, under the thumb of the National Rifle Association and the gun industry, conservatives invoke the Second Amendment to argue against further gun control, even in the wake of the heartbreaking disaster in Newtown, Conn., and other multiple murders.
The assault rifle, with a 30-shell magazine, is a weapon of mass destruction. The framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had no conception of such a weapon. The guns of that time were muzzle-loading, single-shot muskets, squirrel and bird guns, and simple pistols. The "well-regulated militia" was the equivalent of today's National Guard.
Letters to The Roanoke Times have expressed fear that a tyrannical federal government would break down citizens' doors and confiscate their guns. This paranoia is one facet of the irrationality of the opposition to reasonable gun regulation.
Hunters and sports people, keep your rifles and shotguns; those who feel you need to protect your homes, keep your pistols (and leave them at home); but in the name of common sense and public safety, don't help block elimination of mass killing machines.
A near miss with a dumb driver
We witnessed a very close encounter on March 24 between an ambulance and a car near Red Lobster around 11 a.m. Because of the stupidity of the driver in the car, the ambulance had to swerve and drive up the wrong side of Franklin Road to avert an accident.
Both the ambulance and fire truck had their sirens and lights on. Praise goes out to the driver of that ambulance for his fast thinking and paying attention, something the driver of the car wasn't doing.
People, put those cellphones down, turn the radio down and pay attention. Your life depends on it. That encounter we saw could have been a lot worse. I hope that driver of the car has learned a lesson he or she will never forget.
Great theater on a high school stage
Bravo to the Fine Arts Department of Roanoke's Patrick Henry High School for its outstanding production of "Les Miserables," which concluded Saturday night. I was privileged to be in the audience watching my niece, Lyndsay Talbott, and her fellow performers.
I had driven more than five hours to see the performance, and it was worth every minute and every mile. I've seen the Broadway touring company of "Les Miserables" twice and the movie once. The Patrick Henry students I watched Saturday night were as entertaining and captivating as any of the professionals I have seen in the theater or on the big screen.
I know a production like "Les Miserables" does not happen without many hours of rehearsal and dedication on the part of the performers, their adult sponsors and directors, and behind-the-scenes support staff and crew that work with makeup, props, lighting, etc. And devoted Moms and Dads who drive sons and daughters to practice, sell tickets, keep dinners warm and watch every performance, from opening night till the final curtain call.
Thank you for an exhilarating night of theater. But now I'm hooked.
So when's the next play? I need to clear my calendar.
MARY ANN COLLINS
Hunting isn't fun for the hunted
I just had to write after I read about fox penning ("New rules on Va. fox pens to be discussed," March 19 news story). Some people involved in this think the foxes enjoy being chased by the dogs.
I suggest we get these folks together and put them in an enclosed area with a very hungry, very mad grizzly bear and allow them to feel what it's like to be prey.
A second-grade education would give one the knowledge that being preyed upon is not only not fun, it's downright horrifying, if not deadly.
I wonder about people today and become very concerned.
MARY SUE LANE
Weather JournalWarmth next 2 days hits icy wall