President has authority
to act without Congress
Regarding the Jan. 22 letter, "President must defer to Congress":
The writer states that the president's primary duty is to ask Congress. This is not true. Our president is not a monarch, but he is elected to lead the executive branch of government and make decisions for the betterment of all citizens.
The writer says, "The president is targeting the Second Amendment rights." This comment is repeated by many to cloud the issue of purchasing any type of weapon under the right of citizens to bear arms. I prefer a flame-thrower, hand grenades and a 50-caliber machine gun in my home, don't you?
Please respect the office of the president and avoid using disparaging names. Respect can bring recognition to any opinion.
during national anthem
I love the New England Patriots, but I'm glad the Baltimore Ravens beat them in the AFC championship game because sometimes I notice little things.
During the singing of the national anthem, I watched both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady keeping their hands in their pockets or hand-warmers. I suppose I'm just being disrespectful. Sorry.
offer more protection
Regarding the Jan. 24 letter, "This gun owner supports reform":
In spite of coming from a family of gun owners, the letter writer seems rather uninformed with respect to guns.
Many people, including some politicians, define assault weapons as those that have a pistol grip or are capable of semiautomatic firing. If you hold down the trigger on a semiautomatic weapon, you will fire a total of one shot. You must squeeze the trigger each time. This is also true for a double-action revolver.
Only a few types of rifles are not capable of semiautomatic firing, such as the bolt-action carbine used by Lee Harvey Oswald, which had to be hand-cocked to eject the spent shell and seat the new cartridge after each shot. He still apparently got off at least two accurate shots.
The writer says there's no legitimate reason for a civilian to have a semiautomatic weapon or high-capacity magazines. Really? I think it depends on whether an attacker or home invader has a gun. If you're using a gun for protection and your attacker is firing at you with each squeeze of the trigger - but you have to cock after each shot - you're undoubtedly dead.
More restrictive gun laws would not have avoided the mass shootings, but it's worth noting that recent shootings occurred in known gun-free zones. Well, gun-free for law-abiding citizens, that is.
crucial to prosperity
If you are one of those who believe that the country would be better off without labor unions, I cannot even talk to you. You're a cheap-labor conservative, and I no longer can have dialogue with anyone who believes this way.
True, we in the labor movement have had leaders who left much to be desired in terms of motives and integrity. But the labor movement is a people's movement.
How can the country as a whole truly prosper through the removal of the people's only apparatus by which to lift themselves out of poverty? Justify that, cheap-labor conservatives.
KEVIN M. BOSTON
Will senators answer
for all their mistakes?
The House and Senate hearings on Benghazi were very important, so that the same mistakes will not be repeated.
Unfortunately, Republicans used the hearings to bash Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, perhaps because of her possible run for the presidency in 2016.
Many lives have been lost since 9-11, and we mourn the loss of the four American diplomats and all the service members now gone. If House and Senate members try to assign blame for all the mistakes made, they will accomplish nothing.
Some, such as Sen. John McCain, want to attack the left no matter what the issue is. I wonder what the outcome would be if McCain where to be held accountable for all his mistakes. He finished at the bottom of his class at Annapolis, yet he was sent to flight school for jet fighters. You do not get assigned to jet fighters if you are in the bottom of your class. Any naval aviator can tell you that.
McCain did a lot of things wrong while in the Navy, but the reason he got away with his mistakes may have been the fact that he came from military royalty. His grandfather and father were four-star admirals in the Navy.
Students with disabilities
can contribute to teams
Kudos to the lawmakers who are requiring high schools to allow students with disabilities to compete on sports teams.
I am a person with a disability, and I can say that I was on the track team at my alma mater. I ran for Pitman High School and was accepted as an equal by my teammates. People with challenges can be great competitors and can be a part of winning teams.
To give disabled students a shot at competition lifts self-esteem and gives purpose to their lives. To students with disabilities, I say go for it.
KIM K. KELLY