To the Editor:
The shock and sorrow regarding the Newtown, Conn., school shootings permeates this household, as it does our nation. We are retired educators who deeply relate to the fallen staff, their students and their students’ families. We cannot, however, absorb the reality of murdering children and school staff going about the work of their day. Our plea is that federal lawmakers will embrace legislation to minimize the chances of this shooting happening again.
There is no threat to gun ownership in passing gun safety legislation. The Supreme Court has guaranteed protection for legitimate gun ownership. Assault weapons’ only use can be to kill other human beings. Often, shooters involved in such disasters are mentally ill and in need of medical care, not guns. For the safety of our communities these people need treatment, in the meantime their access to firearms must be prevented. Effective and thorough gun registration for all guns sold also should become mandatory. We are begging our congressional leadership to be a positive voice in eliminating assault weapons from private ownership.
We will be following our congressional delegation’s decisions on this particular issue, trusting that they will support legislation to ban assault weapons and make background checks universal. We will do our part to raise awareness of the issues of violence, especially gun violence, so that our children and our schools can be places of learning without fear.
The time is now to take action.
Glenn L. Norris and Jo Anne C. Alexander
GLENN L. NORRIS is a retired teacher and school administrator and Jo Anne C. Alexander is a teacher.
To the Editor:
LETTER: Student urges leaders to not wait on entitlement reform
To the Editor:
I am 28 years old and will only be just older than 40 by the time Medicare and Social Security programs are projected to fail. This is very concerning for young people like myself who are paying into this system and likely will not see any benefits from it. I 100 percent agree that some serious reform is needed to strengthen these programs. I think it is also important for lawmakers to help create laws that protect the privately insured from insurance companies dropping or disqualifying people from coverage. I believe this would help to keep many who can afford private health care from having to rely on Medicare and Social Security funds.
Grandparents of disabled child ‘now have hope’
An Oklahoma scholarship program for special-needs children is once again under attack.
“A motley crew of plaintiffs has filed a lawsuit asking the Oklahoma courts to toss out the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for students with disabilities,” writes Oklahoma City University law professor Andrew Spiropoulos. “This renewed attempt to sever a lifeline for a small group of disabled students is vindictive because these plaintiffs know that these children suffered horribly in public schools. The program enables these children to escape an environment of bullying, ineffective instruction, and profound neglect and find specialized schools where they can blossom and reveal the beauty of their true nature.”
LETTER: Volunteers make Thanksgiving dinner successful
To the Editor:
How do you thank 711 people for helping you? On Thanksgiving Day my belief in the goodness of man and that Edmond has the most giving citizens was reinforced.
Starting on the Saturday before that day, I met the first ones as they worked diligently to clean equipment in preparation for cooking the Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner. More people came to three sites on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to cook and carve.
Employer mandate delayed, but Obamacare destruction goes on
Some 60 percent of Americans — nearly 160 million people — get insurance through their jobs. Thanks to Obamacare, that number is about to nosedive. The president’s signature law is hiking the cost of health insurance for American businesses of all sizes. They’re responding by dumping coverage for workers, spouses and retirees.
Even though the employer mandate, which requires all firms with 50 or more full-time staffers to provide health coverage or pay a fine, has been delayed by one year, the employer health insurance market is slowly bleeding out.
Freedom is more likely to stimulate potential geniuses than gifted programs
If high IQ scores are not reliable indicators of genius, what are? Advocates of gifted children hope schools can be designed to turn intellectual promise into world-changing creativity.
Frederick eyes its future renovation
Terence Malik is an American filmmaker who spent part of his youth in Bartlesville. He is perhaps best known for the critically acclaimed 1978 movie “Days of Heaven” that is set in the Texas Panhandle before the First World War during the harvest season. The late film critic Roger Ebert described “Days of Heaven” as “one of the most beautifully photographed films ever made” and praised Malik for evoking “the loneliness and beauty of the limitless Texas Prairie” Ebert wrote of how the characters in the film appeared to be on a land “to large for its inhabitants” and that they seemed to struggle with the “weight of the land.” And a visitor to Frederick, in Southwestern Oklahoma, where the land has a topography comparable to the Texas prairie, encounters visual images that are similar to the ones contained in Malik’s movie.
OKLAHOMA NOW: Celebrating an inspiring year in Oklahoma
Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is on its way. This is a great time of year to reflect on all of God’s blessings and to be thankful for what we have.
Like many Oklahomans, I am thankful for my faith, my wonderful family, and my friends. I am also thankful for the opportunity to be your governor.
HEY HINK: Nuclear threats still rear their ugly heads
This Thanksgiving, I experienced something I never dealt with before. I wanted desperately to be thankful for something and just couldn’t find a way to do it and, at the same time, be intellectually honest. Let me explain.
The parallel counterpart to HealthCare.gov
This year I have witnessed the quickest deployment and implementation of a major state governmental process that I have ever seen. I think this success provides the ideal state counterpart example to the shortcomings demonstrated by the federal HealthCare.gov website.
The pressing need to reform entitlements
After 16 days of political brinkmanship, lawmakers passed a temporary funding plan that raised the debt ceiling and reopened the federal government.
But now, the nation is just barreling toward a new set of deadlines — lawmakers have until Jan. 15 to deal with the budget and Feb. 7 to deal with the debt ceiling. Until Congress sets the country on stable financial footing for the long term, we’re bound to play this game over and over again.
As lawmakers begin negotiations, the conversation must start with tax and entitlement reform. This begins with Medicare and Social Security, as they’re the most pressing challenges facing our country.
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- LETTER: Student urges leaders to not wait on entitlement reform