Free Speech Letters, 7/19/11

Balance Budget Now
Dear Editor,
It is obvious to most Americans that our federal government needs to live within its income. After just 10 years, one may qualify for Social Security. With improved health in America, living until 85 or 90 is not uncommon. Increasing the retirement age is long past due.
Balancing the budget in 10 years is not the answer, balancing the budget now is. The way to improve one’s credit rating is to stop spending more that you earn. A secure nation is not a debtor to its enemies.
The time for a balanced budget amendment is now. Congress has been digging this financial hole for years. We do not need to study the problem until after the next election; we need to fix it now.
If your congressman votes to spend more than he takes in by voting to raise the debt limit, vote him out next year.
– Floyd Coates
Scottsburg, Indiana

No gun? No clue.
Dear Editor,
1) CHL holders following the law aren’t allowed to “pound a few beers” while carrying.
2) The world is more Wild West than you think. Read the news. I have never lived in a “bad neighborhood” but there has been violence near my home.
3) I believe there already are guns being carried in restaurants and bars — illegally.
4) I believe I have a right to self-defense.
5) I believe weakness invites aggression.
6) You may be right about not being able to control a chaotic situation even if you have a gun, but I think that allowing CHL holders to carry in restaurants and bars provides a disincentive for those situations to occur. I don’t know for a fact, but I think that gun stores are probably robbed less during working hours than convenience stores.
7) A CHL holder carrying legally is not “demonstrably dangerous behavior.”
8) I challenge you to buy a handgun and take a CHL class for some additional insight.
9) A non-firearm owner passing judgment on firearm owners is like a virgin telling people how they should have sex.
[RE: “Debate Forum Left: Is this alcohol or lead poisoning?” 7/5/11]

Pit Bull argument off the mark
Ms. Odeh,
I am writing in reference to your article regarding Pit Bulls. I must say that I am in disagreement with your negative feedback and opinion on the issue of the aggressiveness of this particular breed of dogs. You are correct in stating the history of this dog as being a fighter in accordance with their breeding. However, I firmly disagree with your statement that the Pit Bulls’ aggressiveness coming from their owners is a “myth.”
Having experienced many types, breeds, sizes and temperaments of dogs in my life, I firmly believe that there is a close comparison between dogs and humans. I am a primary teacher professionally, but I am also a multiple dog owner as well as a former pet boutique associate. At the pet boutique, the owners of the small dogs were some of the most difficult to work with in terms of their badly-mannered dogs and negative attitudes. I was bitten several times by these dogs with “little dog syndrome” while trying to properly fit a doggie coat or shirt for their equally difficult owner. Should these aggressive little dogs be banned from riding around in their fluffy carriers in malls, stores, airplanes or even restaurants? As I stated above, I have a strong belief that it is the human that imbued this attitude in their treatment of their dogs. It is not the fault of the dog with what they experience from humans. I also believe strongly that the same can be true of people. It is undeniable that a person’s past and upbringing play a strong part in their future endeavors. It how they choose to live their life that reflects on the kind of person they will become. According to dog expert and multiple Pit Bull owner, Cesar Millan, dogs simply do not live in the past, they live in the present. This can be illustrated in the appalling treatment of the dogs by humans who end up at a shelter, are rehabilitated and adopted out to go on to become the best family dog. This is true for any shelter dog, including Pits (just look at the many stories of Michael Vick’s rehabilitated dogs).
Essentially, my point in all of this is that just as there are bad people in the world, there are also bad dogs. But it is biased and unreasonable to create legislation against a specific breed. Any dog breed could become “blood-hungry beasts.” It is the responsibility of the human to raise their dog according to its breed and everyday needs. It is the responsible dog owner that is aware of their breed and what ownership entails that will help to sway naysayers like yourself and those in favor of breed specific legislation.
“Breed-specific legislation does not address the fact that a dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive. From a scientific point of view, we are unaware of any formal evaluation of the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing fatal or nonfatal dog bites. An alternative to breed-specific legislation is to regulate individual dogs and owners on the basis of their behavior.” (JAVMA, Vol 217, No. 6, September 15, 2000 Vet Med Today: Special Report 839-840).
– Jill Klimaski
[RE: “Debate Forum Right: Ohio’s Pit Bulls; no longer vicious?” by Rana Odeh, 7/12/11]
Dogs are not sharks
Your debate articles concerning the new legal status for Pit Bulls both miss the point and fail to see the main reason this was an important change in our state law. Dogs are not sharks. Pit Bulls have been unfairly condemned to euthanasia for years because they have been trained for cruel, inhumane fighting and because, if they should survive a fight career, shelters can’t adopt them out.
Pit Bulls are no more dangerous than Doberman Pinchers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and many other breeds that have strong protective instincts. With any of these powerful breeds, their owners need to be able to handle them and care for them properly.
All dogs are basically sane and well adjusted to start. Ignorant people cause all the problems.
– Jim Summers
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: “Debate Forum Right: Ohio’s Pit Bulls; no longer vicious?” by Rana Odeh, 7/12/11]

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