A Message From Christmas Guns

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - by Richard Simms

This is for the young men and women who were thrilled by the sight of a new gun under the Christmas tree.

The gun says this: "We will walk through the fields and forest, listening with care as the frost crunches beneath our feet. The times we share will be ours alone.

In the years to come a thousand sunrises will find us stomping through brambles in search of an elusive cottontail. Or we'll kick the hedgerows in fear of the chaos created by a a covey of quail bursting skyward. We will wade through the swamps in the foulest of weather for this is when the ducks will fly.

All too often, we will return empty-handed. I will blame you and you will blame me. But we'll share in memories that no one else can ever know.

But please remember... I cannot think and I cannot do. I am in your control and in a fraction of a second I can take a life; yours or anyone else's who might be in my path at that dreadful moment of indecision.

I am a gun, an inanimate combination of polished wood and metal. In my allotted space, a closet or a gunrack, I am harmless. But in your hands I can become a wanton killer to be feared by all.

Or, I can become a friend that will share your hopes and dreams for a lifetime.

The choice is yours!


PHOTOS: Cleveland State Community College Hosts 6th Annual Environmental Awareness Celebration

Cleveland State Community College hosted its sixth annual environmental awareness celebration on Saturday called “It’s All About the Green!” The celebration featured food, presentations, entertainment and various vendors from the Cleveland community discussing the importance and benefits of “going green.” (click for more)

Outdoor Adventure Day At Cloudland Canyon State Park Is April 19

Outdoor Adventure Day at Cloudland Canyon State Park is scheduled for April 19.  Each year, many people come out to Cloudland Canyon, one of the most visited of Georgia’s state parks, for a fun-filled day of activities that start at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.  Concessions will be available all day. Marvin Croft will be selling his famous barbecue, hamburgers, and even ... (click for more)

Haslam Signs Bill Ending Forced Annexation And Giving Tennesseans Right To Vote

Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 2371/SB2464 on Wednesday. The law ends forced annexations and gives Tennesseans the right to vote. The law now requires cities to annex by consent of the landowner or through referendum approved by a majority of the landowners to be annexed. As an additional protection to farmers, land primarily used for agriculture purposes may not be annexed by any ... (click for more)

One Of "Worst Of The Worst" Gets 10-Month Federal Sentence

One of the men labeled as the "worst of the worst" in a Chattanooga roundup was sentenced Tuesday to 10 months and three years supervised release after he pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Guy Wilkerson told Federal Judge Sandy Mattice, "I'm just a young father and I want the best for my kids." He said he apologized and that he knew what he ... (click for more)

Time For Tennessee To Act On Climate This Earth Day - And Response

Tennessee will join the rest of the southeast region, the nation and countries across the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22. The entire month of April is a great time to reflect on the strides we have made to reduce pollution over the last 44 years, and assess current environmental conditions while evaluating our personal responsibility to a cleaner environment.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Jim Coppinger Excels

Jim Coppinger, who as the mayor of Hamilton County has understandably had to grow some thick skin, wants no part of the repulsive billboards now seen around town that ask, “Do you have gonorrhea?”  His Tuesday morning telephone call revealed he is just as disgusted as the rest of us who see them showing a picture of a forlorn African-American male. “You need to know the Hamilton ... (click for more)