Solution: Public does not need to own guns, bullets
In the wake of the latest American mass murder by way of the gun; this time of little school children, I recommend that the following steps be taken to prevent any more senseless carnage.
First, in what will be a temporary measure, place armed police officers in all schools to prevent copycat killings.
Second make the sale of gun ammunition illegal to the general public. There are millions of guns currently in the hands of millions of Americans throughout our nation; take away the bullets and the guns will lose their ability to murder.
Third, make the sale and possession of firearms of any kind to the general public illegal in America.
Fourth, begin a nationwide confiscation of all guns privately owned by all Americans. This will not be easy and may require the use of military forces, especially in large gun-filled cities.
As far as hunters are concerned, hunting clubs, run by federal and or local law enforcement, can be created. The clubs will own the guns which hunters will return to law enforcement after the hunt.
Obviously, this will cost a lot of money so an immediate substantial tax increase on all Americans, except the poor, will be in order to institute these steps and save the lives of more American children and adults unknowingly awaiting a future nut with guns.
Mental health the issue
The barrage of comments about evil and gun control regarding the events in Newtown, Conn., are so sad. The focus should be on mental health issues.
Once again, prevailing attitudes of not talking about and even ignoring an obviously disturbed individual leads to tragedy. Unusual behavior not addressed will continue to periodically result in violence.
A broken mental health system and a lack of public acceptance of personality and biological brain disorders are roadblocks to solutions. Identification and treatment are crucial to prevention.
I am not offering excuses, but rather reasons to those who still don't get it. My heart aches for both the victims and the perpetrators.
I have been a mental health advocate for more than 40 years and refuse to be discouraged by ignorance and indifference.
Carolyn Helt Colliver
Value life over guns
The right of a child — or anyone — to live his/her life outweighs the right for someone to own a semi-automatic weapon.
Hanukkah, Christmas — indeed our world — is tragically marred by rights which are preserved at the supreme cost of lives.
May the precious lives so gruesomely taken be wrapped in eternal life and may their blood, spilled on hallowed ground, be the fertile soil where from a more humane society might grow
Where was God?
It's very difficult for me to believe in any so-called God when 20 small innocent children were killed by a crazed gunman at their elementary school — a place where all children should be and feel safe.
And it's not just such mass shootings that can take away anyone's belief system, especially with all the little children in hospitals across the country and world with different types of cancers, yet they've never drank or smoked or had major vices in their short lives.
Why? Does anyone have an answer? My thoughts and blessings go out to all those sweet little children and their families.
Darrell G. Gross
UK sports always better
As a follow-up to Mark Story's column about whether it is now better to be a University of Kentucky fan rather than a University of Louisville fan: I do think, in all fairness, there should be a companion poll asking whether or not it would be "better" for Story to work for the Herald-Leader or Courier-Journal in Louisville.
Nothing personal. It is just that in my day, we didn't ask such questions, nor do I think we need to be asking such questions now.
Let people be fans of whatever. The question is totally without journalistic or logical merit. UK is, and will always be, "the program" for the state. U of L merely represents one city within the greater commonwealth.
And, in fact, as I think about it, some vaguely familiar Kentucky colonel once proposed building a canal around the outskirts of Louisville and ceding the property within to the state of Indiana. I still smile when I think of that.
And I think that is about all that needs to be said.
Dead and alive
Kudos to the nice obituary tribute to jazz legend Dave Brubeck in your Dec. 6 edition. He was a truly great musician who brought us a library of great music people will still be listening to decades from now.
I do have one question, however. Why was he also put in that day's celebrity birthdays section? Is no one communicating at your offices?
Not friends of Judd
The "Friends of Coal" would show that they think of possible Senate candidate Ashley Judd about as much as they did Barack Obama.
Give subscribers break
While charging for online access has become an understandable necessity for newspapers, I request the Herald-Leader reconsider charging home subscribers. It appears that the industry standard is to permit home subscribers free access, such as The New York Times and upcoming changes by The Washington Post, among others.
The Herald-Leader is a fine newspaper, but as a longtime subscriber I dislike paying for its information twice. Please treat your loyal subscribers fairly.
Bruce E. Davis
Be fair to retirees
I read with great interest the article about placing a state tax on pensions. It would be unfair to tax people who have paid taxes on their earnings for 30 years or longer.
Pat Mully, a commission member, said an elementary teacher and a retired teacher should have the same tax burden but she does not take into account that the retired teacher has already paid taxes for 27 or more years on her earnings.
The article also states the legislature would not be able to pass anything in a 30-day session. How much does it cost to call a special session? I think the fairest tax is a sales tax where everyone pays their fair share.
I also believe the money spent on corporate welfare should be reduced to help Kentucky recover from our budget shortages.