Gun sanity

As a doctor I have seen many persons with mental illness. I did not fear them without a gun in their hands. I do not fear guns, and I own guns; however, 30 people a day are killed by guns, so in this country they are to be feared.

I do not fear the government. It protects lives through our military and police, through our firemen and medics, through our seat belt and speed limit laws, through our increasing ban on tobacco and drugs, through sensible and reasonable safety laws in schools and other public places. Our way of life is based on protective laws and restrictions.

My constitutional and Second Amendment rights allow me to obtain and keep a shotgun plugged for three shells and a lever action deer rifle with a four magazine chamber. These are sufficient for me to miss a dove only three times and rarely get more than two shots at a deer.

They are also in my house if needed. This is enough for anyone, without fear of losing them.

Richard Marks Jr., M.D.

Live Oaks Drive

Mount Pleasant

Bad sports

I read with interest your “Cheer for both teams” editorial Jan. 3. While it makes sense, it is probably unrealistic to expect Clemson and USC fans to pull for each other.

I have always felt that the pain of losing that game was greater than the thrill of winning it. That is because of the inevitable gloating that follows by the winners.

You can help, though. Quit publishing those letters from gloaters who put down the other team. Maybe The Post and Courier can set an example and follow its own editorial advice.

Andy Kinghorn

Pigeon Point Road

Beaufort

Gifts from angels

I recently came home and found three women I didn’t know standing in front of my residence. One told me they were trying to find someone.

I learned that they were members of a group that delivers Christmas gifts to children who have had a parent die during the year. My 17-year-old son’s father passed on Nov. 12.

They delivered 10 gifts. I thanked them and asked them for a telephone number or an address where I could make a formal thank you.

They said they worked in anonymity.

When my son arrived home several hours later to find the gifts under the tree he couldn’t believe it. He thought I was fooling him about the three strangers who just appeared bearing gifts for him.

He couldn’t believe that strangers would care enough about his circumstance to bring him Christmas gifts. His exact remark was, “I didn’t know people could be so nice.”

The joy that he experienced and expressed came not so much from the gifts themselves but from the acts of strangers who showed care for someone they did not know.

I want these three angels and the others in their organization to know how much what they did meant to us.

I want them to know the importance of the lessons that they taught my son — lessons of thoughtfulness, love, sharing, selflessness, sacrifice, consideration and helping others.

To these anonymous angels I extend my heartfelt gratitude. May God bless them and their work.

Cheryl W. Hamilton

Durant Avenue

North Charleston

No statesmen

A statesman is defined as “a person who shows skill, wisdom and vision in conducting state affairs.”

As we have watched and read about the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, no elected official has demonstrated any of these qualities.

The Democrats, the Republicans and the president all share equal blame for this unforgivable mess.

In Washington recently, when I saw the Capitol, my first thought was, “This magnificent building houses the most dysfunctional, non-productive elected politicians in our history.”

The whole world is laughing while we are crying.

They are like children in a sandbox, throwing sand at each other. They are looking out for themselves and not us. There is not a statesman in the whole crowd.

So, what do we do?

It’s time for term limits. No more than three terms for a representative, two for a senator, with benefit packages the same as you and me.

Will it happen? Somehow I doubt it, but it needs to be done.

Paul Wachter

Hobonny Lane

Charleston

Fringe thinkers

Your Dec. 28 editorial tried to show Robert Bork was denied a Supreme Court seat by ideological opposition to a qualified nominee.

The writer notes the dictionary defines the verb “to bork” as: “To defame or vilify (a person) systematically, especially in the mass media, usually with the aim of preventing his or her appointment to public office; to obstruct or thwart (a person) in this way.”

Bork himself, however, was not the victim of borking. His own injudicious words disqualified him.

Take just one example uttered by Bork: “The fossil record is proving a major embarrassment to evolutionary theory. Michael Behe has shown that Darwinism cannot explain life as we know it.”

This to put it bluntly is an ignorant statement. Only a person in denial of science could say such a thing. Such a person is self-evidently unsuited for sitting in judgment on issues in which science plays a part, as so many do today.

Yes, many people — perhaps a majority — would agree with Bork’s statement. That is unfortunate at best, but it doesn’t change the fact that science denial, be it of modern evolutionary theory, a round earth orbiting the sun or man-made climate change, renders a person unfit for the judiciary.

Yes, senators and others were hyperbolic in their characterization of Bork’s views, but I note that the editorialist’s Ted Kennedy quote drew non-ad hominum, logical conclusions from Bork’s utterances.

The real lesson to be learned here? Presidents should not nominate fringe thinkers to important positions.

David D. Peterson

Mariners Court

Port Royal

Kidney donors

My long-time partner, who is diabetic, received a kidney transplant just over two years ago. He had been on dialysis for some time; the donor is a dear friend who turned out to be a perfect match.

Your story on Dana Rothschild and her efforts to obtain a kidney transplant was wonderful.

But our experience was even better than what you were able to convey. The donor was released from the hospital the day after the operation. She went back to work the following week, and has had no problems at all since.

The difference the transplant has had in my partner’s life cannot be overstated. Although he has other medical conditions, he is able to lead a full and fairly active life.

Dialysis is a life-saver but also a killer, as well as being a full-time job. Between being hooked up and then recovering from the exhaustion and the pain, he was unable to do anything or go anywhere.

He is still tied to huge amounts of daily medication, but is otherwise a free man again.

I hope Dana finds a match, and I encourage everyone to consider donation.

Finally, as my partner says, “If you’re going to drink and drive this holiday season, make sure you fill out an organ donation card first.”

Kathy Korda

Old Park Road

Charleston

It’s only fair

We are now in a very sluggish economy. Washington spending is at an all-time high, but our lawmakers have decided that we are not paying enough taxes.

They are also attempting to close tax loopholes, which I agree with.

I offer two suggestions:

1) Eliminate the tax deduction on political contributions.

2) Congressional and presidential election campaigns should be liable to a tax of 39.6 percent on monies in excess of $400,000 raised each year.

If it’s good for us, it should be good for them.

Finbar O’Reilly

Clearview Drive

Charleston