Hunting near school
The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., has made me more aware of the sight of guns and the sounds of gunshots. I hear gunshots every hunting season. But what surprised me recently was how close people hunt to the Smithville Elementary School. I can watch hunters access the woods from Quail Hill Boulevard with shotguns slung over their backs.
To my dismay, I was told by Galloway police that it is legal to hunt in the woods that abut the Smithville Elementary School. How could this be? How could I possibly know who is on the way to the elementary school with a shotgun to hunt children or who is hunting deer or ducks in those woods? How would I know if I should call the police to report someone with a gun possibly on his way to the school, or should I always assume that it is just a seasonal hunter?
I believe that keeping hunters farther away from schools would be prudent.
ACFD union's complaints
Regarding the Dec. 13 story, "Vote of no confidence in Atlantic City Fire Department's leaders cast":
It shows an appalling lack of character for the members of an emergency-response organization to complain about coming to work on the days they were most needed. It is an embarrassment to the union membership that they would publicly air such feeble and self-serving criticisms in the aftermath of such a devastating storm. As a retired Atlantic City Fire Department captain, I am embarrassed.
Punta Banco de Golfito, Costa Rica
Fox News viewers
don't get whole truth
To the many letter writers who claim that Fox News leans right (it does) or that MSNBC leans left (it does), that's hardly what's most important to consumers of news. The real concern is the veracity of what's being reported by the media. As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is supposed to have said: "You're entitled to your own opinions. You're not entitled to your own facts."
Fox News viewers do not always get the whole truth, as demonstrated by the numerous "Not True" and "Pants on Fire" ratings bestowed on some of the Fox News commentators by PolitiFact.com.
In addition, a 2011 nationwide study by researchers at Fairleigh Dickinson University concluded that Fox News viewers were the least informed, answering questions on foreign and domestic news issues with far less accuracy than those who listened to NPR or watched the Sunday morning talk shows. The study also concluded that, on domestic issues, Fox News viewers fared significantly worse than those who reported having watched no media at all. Even viewers of Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" fared far better in the survey. Fox News responded only by questioning the credibility of the university.
To further exemplify the "quality" of the Fox News Channel, since its first full year as a news organization in 1997, not once has it received any of the most prestigious awards for national or public service broadcasting or journalism. Not a single Peabody, Emmy, George Polk, Edward R. Murrow or du Pont-Columbia award. Zero.
It would appear that no respected members of the journalism community view the Fox News Channel as a serious news outlet.
Focus on gun control
- not on Benghazi
My right-wing friends and some of the media are trying to use what happened in Benghazi and the Fast and Furious gun program as issues of higher importance than gun control after the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
The Benghazi thing is a total witch hunt. In August 1969, four of my infantry company were killed when a support gunship fired on our position. Did you hear about it? When you are in a hostile area, bad things happen even if you have protection. Abandoning the mission was and is the only way to ensure zero casualties.
The disaster at Newtown was the result of a complex failure in our society to educate our children both intellectually and spiritually. Dr. Benjamin Spock's hands-off approach and the campaign against any physical correction of our youth, combined with the suppression of religion in our schools, are the biggest causes of today's youth violence.
But the Fast and Furious gun program in Mexico and the killings in Benghazi are no excuse for not taking action on what happened in Newtown. People who are paid to be in harm's way do not equate to innocent schoolchildren being killed and have no place in the discussion on how to modify the Second Amendment to help avoid further carnage in our schools and elsewhere.
The only way to hit a target is to not take your eyes off it. So let's not block our line of sight by throwing political rubbish between us and the real target here.
FRANK GRIECO JR.
Egg Harbor Township