Forum: Feb. 28: Driving Your Caliber to Target

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Driving Your Caliber to Target

It’s not March yet, but the madness is upon us. There are few hoops to jump through if one wants to purchase a gun of any bullet capacity. To find a job, however, is a different story. You need to fill out paperwork, provide references, pass a drug test, take a CPR class, have a second interview, renew your credentials, and so on.

Let’s reflect: John Wayne was a thin-skinned cowboy who brandished a gun to display his manhood and put women in their place. His movies defined the “American Male.” These days, you can drive your Caliber to Target to buy re-runs of Gunsmoke and Just Shoot Me. “Peace and love” has been replaced by “Make my day,” “Say hello to my little friend,” etc. Even comedies feature gun violence.

I’m not sure what’s worse — a jihadi beheading an infidel in the name of Allah, or a tie-wearing man in power with no soul. President Bone Spur (I won’t mention his brand name) claims he loves children yet made it easier for them to experience the horror of a mass shooting with the stroke of his pen. Apparently “extreme vetting” concerns only dark-skinned trespassers. Congress has castrated itself so that its members see no solution to kids, or adults, being executed at random. I’m sorry, but my life is worth far more than anything Walmart sells.

We don’t need to go to Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction, or to Yemen to hunt down people seeking to destroy our way of life. Our leaders are beholden to Murder Inc.

We’re 50-odd years out from the average life span of a civilized democracy. Will we survive? Will society be destroyed by a 20th-century hunting club?

Vote, write, march (at the proposed military parade?).

Stephen Handley Jr.


Teenagers Are ‘Being the Change’

If we were to count the students who have attended schools that have had an active shooter, we would find a huge number of young people who have lived through and continue to live through an experience of terror precisely because they attend school.

We know that another school shooting is going to happen and another one after that. As long as we and our lawmakers can stop ourselves from imagining what it would feel like to lose our own child or spouse in this manner, we can believe it is permissible to do nothing. Denial stems from our unwillingness to really feel the fear of the worst thing we could ever imagine happening. Denial while children and their teachers are dying all around us is unacceptable.

The fact is, we are putting our children’s lives on the line by sending them to school. Do we really have to wait until a shooting takes place in our own backyard, as police say almost happened in Fair Haven, Vt., before we demand that our lawmakers act?

Just as in Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time trilogy, our children may have the best chance at fighting the darkness in our world. They need our support and our faith in them.

Our nation is in crisis, and we need to not fall apart; we need to act. To all the students who decide to join a school strike until gun laws are changed, I support you 100 percent. Our youth understand that this issue of life and death cannot be stalled any longer, and they have the leverage to do something about it. Teens nationwide right now are deciding to be the change they want to see in this world. God bless you and keep you.

Bess Klassen-Landis


Where Does Our Allegiance Lie?

Which pledge resonates with you?

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

“I pledge allegiance to the guns of the United States of America, and to the continued, senseless killing of our children for which these guns stand; one Nation, under the watchful eyes of our legislators and their God, in the name of liberty and justice for all who value their firearms over young human life.”

“I pledge allegiance to the children of the United States of America, to their right to grow and learn in safety, for which we all stand; may they live to love liberty, to serve their country, to end the fear and hatred that grip our nation, to provide liberty, justice and equality for all.”

Adrienne and Doug Cedeno


Why Was WinCycle Deal Ended?

The article about Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth College terminating their relationship with WinCycle (“Avoiding the Scrap Heap: WinCycle to Lose Main Suppliers,” Feb. 18) made me sad for two reasons.

First, a valuable resource for low-income people may be put out of business. Second, it appears that the medical center and the college are withdrawing support from an Upper Valley nonprofit organization in the interest of getting a better deal — a “more effective program” — from a Massachusetts-based for-profit company.

I realize that the handling of electronic waste is a complex issue with risks and potential liability, so I would like to hear from DHMC and the college why it was deemed necessary to terminate the contract with WinCyle rather than renegotiate it. I would hope that support of the Upper Valley community was a consideration in that decision.

Sarah Jo Brown


Blunt Book Review Was Refreshing

I myself was greatly refreshed by that blunt review of Heart Spring Mountain (“Vermont Author’s First Novel Stumbles Into ‘Literary’ Fiction’s Pitfalls,” Feb. 9). It won’t, of course, stop the current literary plague upon us, since every gal in an MFA program is being taught to write like that, there are a lot of gals in MFA programs, and they need to keep their instructors happy even if they, themselves, may have any secret doubts about the artistic merits of what they’re being encouraged to produce.

Just as Cheez Doodles and Oreos continue to be produced in this country, because garbage goes down so easily, so will awful writing not fail to find an enchanted audience. See Cat Person and the windfall it just earned for its author.

Those defending Heart Spring Mountain and its author need not be outraged; she is likely to have a lucrative career. As an author (I have been published, just not lucratively), I greatly admire those who manage to live well off of turgid fruit juice, so to speak. I admire even more those who cheerfully acknowledge that they’re filling a cavernous market niche and don’t transfix themselves into thinking it’s good writing.

​Sarah Crysl Akhtar


Cherishing Time at The Woodlands

I want to say something to my many friends whose lives I have influenced, and who have influenced mine, during my time as the administrator at The Woodlands over the last four-plus years: I am grateful for the opportunity and will cherish the friends I have made among both the staff and the residents of Harvest Hill, The Woodlands and Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital.

Timothy Martin