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No good will come? from more gun laws

President Obama has nothing but good intentions when it comes to his anti-gun philosophy. Unfortunately, no good will come of more weapon restrictions. Some people might argue that stricter gun laws will make it harder for people to get a hold of assault weapons, and they would be correct. It's substantially more difficult for a good, law-abiding citizen to acquire guns than it is for the thugs and psychopaths to do so illegally.

A near perfect example of my point is that marijuana is illegal, yet it is impossible to rid society of it. Even if there was a ban on guns, there would still be people who maliciously possess them. Laws affect only the people who are lawful. All those who follow the law and are subject to gun restrictions are rendered helpless to the whims of the criminals and maniacs who are not affected by the laws.

An attempt to take guns out of the hands of criminals is a lost cause, but there is a solution. The smart thing to do would be to make it easier for good people to acquire guns so that they can stop mass murderers before they can take any more lives. We need to put guns in the hands of good people. Just think about the recent Colorado shooting. What if a good citizen was carrying a gun? Countless lives would have been saved.

Some people think that the police are here to protect them. That is not the case. Law enforcement exists for the sole purpose of enforcing laws. Good citizens should arm themselves to protect the lives of good people, and to deter those who do not respect the universal right to life.

Darrick Weyrough

Lake View

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Criminals should not? be called ‘gentlemen'

Pet peeve time. We are continually amazed and dismayed when we hear a police spokesman, TV reporter or witnesses on camera refer to miscreants as "gentlemen." For example: He robbed the bank at gunpoint, then the gentleman got in a car and took off. Or, he shot four people, including a 6-year-old bystander, and then the gentleman came out and surrendered. We seem to hear this misused phrase all too often. Those using it know who they are.

Our simple request to folks that should know better: Stop it! These people you're describing are not remotely acting like gentlemen.

Rick and Leslie Lange

Freedom

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We need to reform? our political system

Now that the election is over, maybe we should concentrate on some changes to our political system. Let's start by getting rid of the ridiculous Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, which allows corporations to buy elections and pay millions for those terrible political ads that are filled with lies and half-truths, by passing an amendment or having Congress pass public financing laws.

Secondly, let's expose those politicians who have taken an oath to the lobbyist, Grover Norquist, to never increase taxes – which supersedes their oath to the U.S. Constitution – and then ask those politicians to stop obstructing and begin to find compromise with the opposition. Let's end filibusters in the Senate, and eliminate the Electoral College so that our individual vote counts.

Then let's go back to standards set by Teddy Roosevelt and break up monopolies like those "too big to fail" banks on Wall Street. But most importantly, let's set much more stringent rules against lobbyists who control our government. Why not reward businesses that stay in the United States and stop subsidies for companies that move to China? And while we are at it, let's stop subsidies to the oil companies and get rid of the tax loopholes that allow corporations to avoid taxes.

Maybe we should also create a new party that represents the interests of the middle class and not the lobbyists. In a country where the most important right of all is to vote and with 21st century technology, why do voters have to stand in line for eight hours? Finally, how about applying the truth test to the unqualified "blowhards" on radio and TV who are responsible for stirring up the hatred that so divides us?

John W. Kowalski

Lockport

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Let's open the gate? at Akron Falls Park

Both local residents and visitors enjoy strolling through the picturesque Akron Falls Park in the summer months. And beautiful fall days are just as perfect for walking, jogging, biking or just relaxing. Unfortunately, there is no access to this beautiful park. The main entrance off Parkview in the Village of Akron has been closed since mid-September for work on the bridge, which was expected to be completed by mid-November. However, work stopped on the bridge weeks ago, the road at the hill remains closed and there is no way for anyone to access that portion of the park, or get to walk along the beautiful nature trail leading to the gorgeous falls.

Additionally, the entrance gate to the delightful Brooklyn Street portion of the park, off Buell Street in the village, was locked when the region was at its peak of picturesque autumn beauty. A new sign posted at that entrance notes winter hours until dusk. It's not winter yet, but we still can't enjoy our parks. Perhaps the Village of Akron should consider taking over its beautiful park and let the residents who help to keep it clean enjoy it, rather than depend on the county.

Mark Wilson

Akron

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Parker will be missed ?by local art community

Much has been written and much more will be said about the loss of Catherine B. Parker. What is meaningful to me is that through meeting her and becoming friends almost a decade ago, the words creativity and spirituality were not mutually exclusive.

She introduced "salon" to many of us interested explorers. We learned that centering moments helped us gather our thoughts as we embarked on conversations together while honing our listening skills. Having a theme versus an agenda, salon was about sharing creative influences and artistic outlets. It was about discussing our words through poetry, writing or song. It was about expressing ourselves through painting, photography or fiber.

It was where we learned contemplation in an intentional space. It was where we connected for a brief grace-filled moment in our burgeoning artistic pursuits. It was good medicine. Would that we all discern the importance of this in our harried and hurried world. Would that we all endeavor to be more quiet and kind and appreciate all that we are gifted with, for we were gifted Catherine B. Parker.

As Colin Dabkowski wrote, may her legacy help us uncover the beauty and significance in the everyday in our own private thanksgivings.

Deanne Plonka

Buffalo