I realize that many of us are distracted these days by the upcoming election and the war in Iraq, as well as the everyday events that all of us experience. I think that is why the banishment of the red kettles from Target Stores hit home for me. In these days, when life is so obviously tumultuous, why take away something, that for so many Americans, is a salvation.
The money from those kettles goes directly to people in our own communities who need it most. The Salvation Army distributes food, shelter, warm clothing, toys for children, and peace of mind for the families in their time of need.
Who among us has not gone through something where we needed support from our family or friends? Now imagine going through a fire, or a flood, or a hurricane, or not having enough money to buy food or winter coats for your children, and having nowhere to turn.
Are those little red kettles and bells really such an inconvenience? Are we really so distracted by them, or is it the holiday chaos? More importantly, who is Target to decide that we don't want to "be bothered"?
I think that Target is selfish in their decision. The Salvation Army is not profiting from their Kettle Campaign, the community is. The few dollars, or the handful of change that we put in those kettles is not taking away from the hundreds, or thousands of dollars that we spend at Target.
In my case, Target's decision to banish the bell ringers and little red kettles for a few months out of the year, has cost them a customer year round.
An era of intolerance
I remember the McCarthy era, and it continued to amaze and disturb me then, that the people and the media could be so stupid, as to listen to, and repeat his brazen distortions. And it was just as evident then, that the first weakness of immorality is intolerance. A weakness that feeds on hate, fear, and greed.
In 1952 Margaret Chase Smith, said of her Party;
"I do not want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of calumny -- fear, ignorance, bigotry, and smear."
Today, in the Republican Party, their weakness, that they try to paint as strengths of character and morality, remain the same. Security and patriotism are still the catch-words, while terrorism has replaced Communism.
The moderates are just beginning to take an in-depth look at the administration and its far right policies in religion, economics, and human relations, and the fall-out is there, but will it accelerate enough in the next 60 days?
Accusative statements, persecution, and occupation, have never been the building blocks of law and order.
Atrocities bring atrocities, and in such cases, both sides ride with the Four Horsemen. Justice, law, and order can only come from strength, but then only through "The Golden Rule" -- of all human thought, and the tolerance to use it.
Dennis G. Gordon
Good riddance to assault ban
Knowledgeable people know that assault weapons are fully automatic (machine guns), such as those used by the military and law enforcement. These weapons are highly regulated by the Gun Control Act, of 1934.
Clinton's 1994 "assault weapon" ban had nothing to do with such weapons. Instead it banned certain semi-automatics that function no differently than autoloading deer hunting rifles and shotguns that have been around since the early 1900's. The guns banned in 1994 were simply military look-alikes. The ban was only about cosmetics which included guns for simply having such things as pistol grips, flash suppressors, bayonet bugs, etc. Now that the ban has expired, Crow Wing County better get ready for a rash of drive-by bayonetings.
Anyway, here's a fact which the anti-Second Amendment crowd ignores: Department of Treasury statistics indicate that before the 1994 ban, so-called assault weapons were used in less than one-half of one percent of violent crimes. A subsequent study done for the Clinton Administration indicated the ban had no effect on crime rates, indicating these guns are rarely seen, much less confiscated, in connection with crime.
Not long ago, Trenton, N.J. Deputy Police Chief Joe Constance testified before the Senate that "assault weapon" legislation had nothing to do with reducing crime. It was window dressing by politicians so they could say they did something about crimes. He further stated, "my officers are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the zoo than to confront an assault rifle..."
One of my sons is a full-time area peace officer. Like me, he thinks the ban was a crock full of anti-gun emotions. It did one thing, however, it flew in the face of America's Bill of Rights.
John A. Davis
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.