Get to the source

Once again a young person has been sentenced to prison for killing someone while driving drunk. His blood alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit.

I am assuming that he did not steal the liquor that he drank. Someone bought it. If the person who bought it was not an adult then someone sold liquor to a teenager.

We see this type of tragedy all too often. What I have never seen in any of these articles is what happened to the adult who supplied the liquor or made it available to an underage drinker.

Until the adults are held responsible for their actions this type of thing will continue to happen.

Why are the adults not being held responsible for buying or making the liquor available?

Neal Gittleman

Park West Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

It’s not too late

I agree with two recent letter writers that Washington is drunk with power and we have to live with the hangover.

Public outcry, no, we might hurt someone’s feelings. Just give everybody a trophy.

Wake up, America. Time to speak your mind while we still can!

Ricky Howe

Scottswood. Drive

North Charleston

Sad anniversary

Seeing people celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is really quite disheartening when you realize they are really celebrating the loss of 55 million babies.

The Center for Reproductive Rights issued a “Happy 40th Anniversary, Baby” video that shows how little their group values the sanctity of life.

I would encourage readers to look it up on the Internet and make their own conclusions.

We have been warned about what becomes of societies when life becomes so cheap.

Scott A. Cracraft

Concord Street

Charleston

Powerful plays

PURE Theatre’s 10th season has begun with three plays that present powerful statements about our most pressing contemporary social issues, including classism, racism, and sexism.

But for me, they offered even more. I felt so gripped by my experience that I’ve seen each play twice.

Every time, I lost myself as a spectator and became part of the play, opening up at my deepest level to the connections between the play and my life.

The actors’ own struggles, pain and healing became one with mine.

I also felt a release and healing.

My experience reminded me of what I had read in college about Greek tragedy, which overpowered the audience and provided a catharsis and renewal.

I love theater, and I’ve enjoyed PURE from the beginning, but this year’s productions reach the deepest level of art — powerful, therapeutic, and profound as well as wildly entertaining. I have come away each time telling friends that the show was “flawless, brilliant, and overwhelming.”

It reminded of my life experiences that have shaped me, wounded me, and healed me. I relived my life watching each play, and I knew catharsis in new and wondrous ways.

Every audience I’ve been part of this season laughed outrageously, shared hushed moments, and leapt to its feet at the final moment.

I hope to see the current play a third time and can hardly wait for the second half of the season.

David Thompson

Society Street

Charleston

Keep kids safe

As a retired military man and a retired teacher, I disagree with the Jan. 20 letter by Norman Bass, that guns in schools create a “police state” environment.

It is almost like saying our Navy and Air Force have created a “police state” in and around Charleston because they have weapons.

I agree with Mick Zais, state superintendent of education, that arming a few well-trained and well-screened staffs of volunteers may be less expensive and more effective than an armed police officer in our crowded schools. Police officers in uniform make good targets.

An idea to help make a school safer might be a volunteer “protective unit” composed of four to six knowledgeable school employees (teachers and others), and be trained as needed.

I believe many teachers are already familiar with weapons, especially those who have served in the armed forces.

Weapons, ammunition and other equipment would be stored in steel safes in appropriate locations with only unit members and school principal having keys or combinations. Communication would be by cell phones.

And I hope none of the above goes beyond the preparation stage, but better safe than sorry.

Lastly, to give Mr. Bass credit, he did recommend some good protective measures for school safety, but they would be expensive and require much time to be effective.

However, some could be started now.

Kenneth Anderson Jr.

Planters Curve

Mount Pleasant

Take overdue aim

I categorically reject the National Rifle Association’s statement that the “only way to stop a bad man with a gun is with a good man with a gun.”

Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the NRA has continually refused to substantially engage in the assault weapon debate other than the singular suggestion of putting armed guards in schools. In taking this stance, I believe the NRA has abrogated its position as a voice in the gun control debate.

The old adage which states, “If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem,” would seem to be most fitting here. If the NRA is not willing to step up to the table with reasonable dialogue and realistic recommendations, then it seems obvious that solutions must be found without them.

A partial compromise to the impasse is to let owners keep the assault weapons, but limit the capacity of any clip or magazine to eight rounds of ammunition.

No exceptions, no loopholes. After a certain grace period with a buy-back program, anyone caught using higher capacity magazines would be fined on the first offense; second offense, a fine plus community service and loss of weapon; and three or more offenses would result in all the above plus jail time. I just cannot imagine any sportsman needing more than eight rounds.

Let me emphasize the term “partial solution.” This is a complex problem, and there is no one solution — no “one size fits all.”

The discussion needs to encompass (and fix) the loopholes in current laws (i.e. gun shows), possible arming of school personnel, proactive treatment indicated in those individuals exhibiting moderate to severe mental illnesses without criminality.

There are 4.3 million NRA members.

There are approximately 150 million parents. We need to step up.

Contact your local, state and national representatives and make your voices heard.

Chris Gilbert

Marsh Point Drive

James Island

Enough banning

Well, I see the camel’s nose is in the tent. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has banned transfats, regulated salt and sodas, and now wants to regulate pain killers.

Locally, Mayor Joe Riley and company have decided to expand the smoking-ban zone to public streets in selected areas around the hospitals.

This doesn’t directly affect me, and I’m thankful that I very seldom have to go into Charleston, because I’d always be wondering if I was breaking some new law or regulation.

And as Mayor Bloomberg has made very evident, once it starts, where does it stop?

Your columnist Brian Hicks was right when he said this is probably only the beginning.

Riley is finding, like Bloomberg, that he can get away with most anything as long as he does things incrementally. It’s just a matter of getting the nose in the tent.

James Boyd

John Rutledge Avenue

Hanahan