On Reducing Gun Violence - And Response (2)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I am a registered nurse, retired, who has worked in public health in Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee. I have also worked in a level 1 trauma center in Knoxville and have seen some of the devastation caused by gun violence and its effects upon the victim's families. I chose nursing as a profession when I was 18 years of age because I wanted to help people. I worked in the profession of nursing for 40+ years. When it comes to public health, I believe in preventive measures being instituted.

I became concerned after the incident at Newtown, Conn., where 26 people were gunned down, 20 of whom were small children. I decided to write about this because I believe that this incident was avoidable. While It is true that comprehensive background checks would not have made much difference in this outcome, it is also true that better access to mental health services would possibly have made a big difference.

It is time for responsible citizens to stand up to the gun lobby and demand that our elected officials vote to pass comprehensive background checks and better access to mental health services.

Gun violence is not just an urban problem--It is our problem. It is a suburban, small town and rural problem. We have been told by representatives of the gun industry that the best way to combat gun violence is a "good guy with a gun". In my opinion, this is a distraction that prevents us from examining a "failing system".

I do no see how my second amendment rights would be violated if we, as a society, decide to have "comprehensive background checks and better access to mental health services"

Carolyn J. Ingram 

* * * 

Carolyn, I agree with everything in your well-written letter. You are not from around here are you?  At any rate, I certainly have to admire you for not preaching to the choir, as it were. Sadly, most replies will be swift, angry and predictable.  Thanks for making the effort, though. 

Herb Montgomery
Chattanooga 

* * * 

Gun violence has very little to do with the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Legal gun owners protect their rights by not using them in a violent way. I know that if I use my legal firearm to shoot someone in the leg because they belong to a rival gang, I will lose my rights. 

It is easy to see the criminal records of violent offenders in Hamilton County. Go to the Hamilton County website, click on court records, go to sessions court criminal, click on dispositions. Enter the name of the most recent shooter.  Most of the time you will pull up a criminal history that dates back several years. Enter that same name in the criminal dispositions and you will see the actual penalty for the crimes.

If you will spend the time to see for yourself what happens to criminals in Hamilton County, I think you will better understand that background checks mean nothing to criminals.  None of the violent shooters have ever had a background check and they never will.  They know that street violence can't be prosecuted in Hamilton County because the overall burden of crime dictates that 99 out of 100 crimes will not come to trial.  A dozen crimes will be combined over a period of time that it takes to wind through the sessions court, then grand jury and finally to criminal court. Plea bargains will result in 11 charges being dropped in exchange for a six-month suspended sentence. The criminal starts over with a single conviction and no jail time. This is the reason so many violent offenders are right back in business after bonding out. 

We have laws to stop gun violence. We don't have the support of the taxpayer to build the jails or hire the judges and prosecutors to put away the violent offenders. The grand jury is antiquated and adds a year to criminal prosecutions.  It is sad that criminals know more about how the system works than the average citizen. They know they won't go to jail. If we send a violent offender to Nashville, a violent offender has to be released early to make room.

So don't confuse the rights of legal gun owners with the failure of the criminal justice system. We already know the violent offenders, they have created a background that prevents them from owning guns legally and as long as they have no fear of justice, the violence will continue. 

Harry Presley
Chattanooga


Not A Good Ole Boy

Roy Exum continues to reload his poisonous pen.  Yesterday he wrote some untruths about me and some of the other board members that just happen to be educators as well.   For the record, one cannot run for school board if one is a teacher at the time of the election.   He said that I was still teaching when I was on the school board-not possible.  I retired in ... (click for more)

Legislative Survey Is Biased

Recently I received a survey from Gerald McCormick. I started to complete the survey but discovered that numbers 2 and 3 were so biased that any results are invalid. The voucher question (#2) is extremely biased with a very leading question, 3 "Yes" responses framed in positive language, and one "No" framed in negative language.  McCormick is using faulty data and sweeping ... (click for more)

Arrests Made In Connection With Fire At Brainerd Trophy Shop

Fire investigators Captain Moore and Captain McElvain made two arrests Friday night in connection with the fire at the Brainerd Trophy Shop that occurred  on Friday  morning. Gene Wegg and Pamela McNabb, have been arrested and charged with arson by the Chattanooga Fire Department. The two allegedly broke into the Brainerd Trophy Shop and set fire to the building, ... (click for more)

TBI Case Leads To Charges For Woman In Death Of Whitwell Boy

A joint investigation by special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Whitwell Police Department has resulted in charges for a Whitwell woman in connection to the death of her boyfriend’s son. At the request of 12 th  District Attorney J. Michael Taylor, TBI apecial agents began investigating the death of six-year-old Lucas Michael Dillon on March 29, ... (click for more)

Red Bank Beats Pigeon Forge For A-AA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Red Bank Lions finally reached the mountain top as far as high school wrestling is concerned. The Lions had finished second to Bradley in the State Duals back in 1995 and it had been 16 years since the Lions had been involved, but they put an exclamation point on a strong dual-meet season by winning the Class A-AA title here at Williamson County Agricultural ... (click for more)

Bradley Whips Soddy Daisy For AAA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Bradley Bears have won more state duals titles than anyone and they added another one after going four years without being in the championship round. It’s been a remarkable season for the Bears, who beat region-rival Soddy Daisy by a 52-21 margin for their latest state title. Saturday night’s   match was never really close as the Bears had a ... (click for more)