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Mental Health Isn’t Only Problem

To the Editor:

While I do believe mental health is part of the violence problem, I don’t agree with Dr. Jim Filiano’s take (“A Culture That Nurtures Future Murderers,” Dec. 19 Valley News ) that “gun control misses the core of the problem.” Yes, there “will still be knives, arson, explosives made from fertilizer and many more ways to kill,” but there’s more to it than this.

Most certainly, clinicians must find out why mass shooters go on their rampages, and we need to fund that effort. However, we still need to restrict access to the most efficient and deadly means — that is, rapid-fire combat-style military-assault rifles, armor-piercing bullets and huge ammo clips. The same day a troubled young man shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a deranged person in China assaulted students in a school there. The difference was the assailant there only had a knife. He stabbed 22 youngsters; none died. We know what happened here; the funerals continued for a long time.

President Obama asks all of us now — responsible gun owners and responsible citizens in general — to do “something meaningful” to stop the next tragedy and protect our children. If we put all of our eggs into the mental health basket, those weapons of war are still available 24/7 on the Internet, no questions asked, and our kids remain in the line of fire.

Bob Williamson

South Woodstock

Small Gain for a High Cost

To the Editor:

Electric cars use energy generated mostly by fossil fuel power plants. Coal and natural gas power plants burn fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide, so electric cars are responsible for some carbon dioxide reductions, but not much.

At 12,000 miles per year, a gasoline-powered Honda Civic emits about 7,055 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

The carbon dioxide emissions created to provide the electricity for a Chevy Volt in EV mode would be about 5,748 pounds per year, a reduction of 1,307 pounds per year from the Civic.

The increase in operating costs would be $1,805 per year. The carbon dioxide emission reduction cost would be: ($1,805 per year) divided by (1,307/2,000) = $2,762 per ton. That is a small reduction in carbon dioxide emissions at a very high price. It is totally unacceptable.

Note: Recent market prices of carbon dioxide are $8, $12 and $20 per ton in Europe, California and Australia, respectively.

For detailed calculations, see http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/155681/co2-emissions-and-chevy-volt-vs-honda-civic-ex-l.

Willem Post

Woodstock

Bow Down and Repent

To the Editor:

Just imagine what would happen if a young child could send a letter directly to God. Perhaps it would go like this: “Dear God: Why do you allow this violence in our schools? Signed, Concerned Student.”

The answer might be: “Dear Concerned Student: Because I’m not allowed in public schools. Signed, God.”

This is a real situation, people. God is real, and he’ll heal a nation, if only its citizens will bow down to him and repent. From the looks of things, though, there are too many who won’t, and therein lies our problem.

W. B. Fisk Sr.

Post Mills

Speaking of Being Wrong

To the Editor:

The newspaper got it wrong in the headline in the Dec. 22 World & Nation section: “If You’re Reading This, the Mayans Were Wrong.” As most rational people know, the Maya made no doomsday predictions.

The people who did make the predictions did real harm. They should be ashamed for terrorizing the naive and, worse, enabling unscrupulous people to exploit the naive.

That’s what I call wrong.

Rick Sheppe

Post Mills