Bomber’s rights

As an American citizen, the Boston bomber must be accorded all rights under the Constitution, no exceptions. He has the right to an attorney and a speedy trial.

The government must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Even evil citizens have these inalienable rights, including the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

His religious affiliation is irrelevant, and that fact does not make him an “enemy combatant.” We have successfully prosecuted scores of evil citizens in the past, including Timothy McVeigh; this case will likewise be successful, and they are already obtaining necessary information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham and others are politicizing this for the usual reasons when they should be quiet and let the system do what it does best.

Rick Stringer

McDonough Road

Folly Beach

Gun purchases

This is in response to the April 23 letter titled “Buying a gun.” Apparently this person has never purchased a gun. Every time I have, I have gone through a background check. Tell me what Internet site sells firearms without requiring background checks. This is a misconception.

When you purchase a firearm on the Internet, it has to be shipped to a federally licensed firearms dealer.

You then have to go to the dealer and complete the background check. If you pass the check then you will get your gun.

Joseph R. Murgatroyd

Iroquois Street

North Charleston

Library update

When I went to my branch library a few weeks ago, I found that the shelves, three-quarters full the last time I had browsed, were more than half empty. I knew that those other books had gone to the recycle bin.

A year ago I wrote a letter to the editor detailing the waste and poor judgment that had resulted in the discarding of thousands of books at our wonderful Charleston County Library. Sadly, those policies continue.

When you walk around the main branch you see empty places where shelves full of books once stood. The decision to drastically reduce our collection was made at a time when budget cuts had already forced the purchase of fewer copies of books.

We were told that they were discarding old and outdated books, but this was not anywhere near the whole story.

The plan to downsize our library system is twofold:

1) Discard any book that has not circulated in one year.

2) Rather than assign books to branches based on their flow and capacity, books are kept at the branch to which they are returned. This is called a “floating collection.”

Last copies of older books, or single copies of books, or multiple copies of popular books could once be found at the main branch. Many people borrow from larger branches, but return books at their neighborhood branches. The “floating collection” results in multiple copies of books crowding the branches. The crowding creates pressure to discard not just books that have not circulated in a year, but multiple copies of older books or children’s books.

What we have left is a collection that has less variety, depth and breadth than it had two short years ago.

According to a January 2013 Pew Research Center poll, “80 percent of Americans say borrowing books is a ‘very important’ service libraries provide.” That does not mean just new books or best sellers.

In Charleston, library patrons have a wide range of interests. It is a tremendous loss to our community when a book that is slightly worn, or a last copy of a book that has not been read for a year, is thrown out.

If you think these policies are wrong, please make your voices heard. Go to the monthly board meetings. Tell the board to extend its discard policy to two years and to discontinue the floating collection.

Agnes F. Pomata, Ph.D.

Foxfire Road

Wadmalaw Island

Self-checkout

If stores want customers to do the work that their employees should be doing, why are they not passing on a discount or savings for using the self-checkouts?

It was pointed out that we are paying the same price regardless if we use self-checkout or open registers with paid employees.

Are businesses letting employees go for their gains and at our expense? I would implore the public to forsake the self-checkout and patiently stand in line to show businesses that the bottom line is not about their store profits, but about saving and keeping jobs.

Amy Rodriguez

William Street

Summerville

Two sides

Having read two recent letters to the editor by folks from James Island regarding poor sportsmanship at Hanahan High School, I felt the need to respond from a Hanahan perspective.

While I certainly agree that things got out of hand, and there is never an excuse for that kind of behavior, I want to point out that James Island was not innocent, nor were Hanahan’s on-field antics as bad as reported.

The whole thing started when the James Island pitcher blatantly threw a pitch before the Hanahan “star player” had even gotten settled in the batter’s box, even after asking the umpire for time.

This happened on two consecutive pitches, resulting in a strikeout. The quick pitching tactic certainly doesn’t adhere to the Golden Rule of Sportsmanship.

In fact, in most baseball circles, quick pitching is considered a “bush league” or “cheap trick” tactic. The umpire failed to take control of the situation by failing to address the obvious quick pitching.

One of Hanahan’s coaches and its “star player” were thrown out of the game. Neither, however, was out of control or even arguing as you would see on TV when someone gets ejected. In my opinion, the umpire over-reacted.

As intensity rose, another unfortunate incident occurred. A Hanahan runner and the James Island catcher collided at the plate. Malicious? I doubt it. Against the rules? Perhaps. Part of baseball? Absolutely!

That’s when the benches cleared, and that’s when it got really ugly in the stands. Once again, the umpire failed to take control.

He would have been well within his rights to eject both the runner and the catcher. That likely would have defused the whole situation.

The threats and tire slashing that happened in the heat of the moment are indefensible. In hindsight, I’m sure everyone involved would agree.

But, the on-field behavior of the Hanahan players and coaches was not as unsportsmanlike as the previous two letters indicated.

Kevin Futrell

Brookside Drive

Hanahan

Tree removal

The removal of trees from the median of I-26 is obviously a sinister Department of Transportation Tea Party plot to anger the “Earth first” leftists of the Lowcountry.

Traveling east or west on the highway, only trees on the left will be removed, apparently the only ones that can be seen by certain members of the motoring public.

If only those folks could turn their heads to the right, they would see that the forests remain largely intact. There is no need to pine away about the loss of a few hardwoods.

Trees are a crop sort of like corn but with a longer growing cycle.

We can plant more of them somewhere else.

Bill Volk

Durham Drive

Goose Creek

No votes

I would not vote for Elizabeth Colbert Busch because of the mud her camp has been slinging on the campaign trail.

And I would not vote for Mark Sanford if he promised to take me hiking on that trail.

Steven Jordan

Lucas Street

Mount Pleasant

Shame, shame

When Mark Sanford lied and used us the first time — shame on him.

If we give him the chance to do it again — shame on us.

Marjorie Croker

Corey Boulevard

Summerville