Aim for facts

A few days ago a letter writer commented on a proposed gun shop and shooting range proposed for Heritage Square, characterizing potential customers as gun fanatics and implying the murder rate will rise as a result.

Applying the national percentage of gun ownership to the Charleston area, there are several hundred thousand legal firearms in the metro area. Gun owners are already here. They hunt, target shoot, collect, and compete in matches. These are mainstream activities and are frequently family-oriented.

Ranges are unobtrusive, safe and indoors, and are closely regulated by OSHA, DHEC, ATF and the state. They pay taxes and provide jobs.

Portraying law-abiding, peaceful family-oriented citizens as fanatics and murderers is wild and unsupported.

Gerald Mahle

Ehrhardt Road

Ehrhardt

Lunar inspiration

The moon recently has left me in awe. As I walked I prayed, not knowing to whom or what I prayed and not really knowing how or what words to say even after a lifetime of church and religious study.

A harvest moon really isn’t a “word” event. I want to engage with whomever, whatever, or however made all of this come to be. I only know it is glorious.

I’m grateful to be here on this Earth for such glorious nights.

Francine LaPointe

Latitude Lane

Mount Pleasant

Tragic omissions

It has occurred to me that multiple warning words and actions that could have labeled the shooter before his deeds at the Washington Navy Yard may have been missed due to two related situations:

1) The American penchant to feel hurt and criminally damaged by thoughts or words indicating disapproval from another person or group.

For example, the atheist feels wounded by seeing the Ten Commandments or a cross in a military cemetery. Calling an action reprehensible is to horribly smear someone who practices that action. So suits have been brought on the basis of discrimination or official “name calling.”

2) HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Any mention of a diagnosis, operation name, or patient’s status is nervously suppressed by doctors, nurses or anyone in patient care and, I assume, in law enforcement or civil office. Just mention HIPAA and they have visions of lawsuits and the DOJ taking action.

Many of the reported situations, words and actions related to the Colorado theater murders and others and to the Washington Navy Yard shooter should have been exposed by physicians, police, naval disciplinarians and others. The instinct at present is to suppress information that should have gone onto gun- buying danger lists.

Let’s get over tender skin and marshmallow fears and allow psychoses or abnormal character traits to be recorded for the safety of innocent children and others.

V.B. Rambo, M.D.

W. 9th N. Street

Summerville

Encourage fitness

Why did David Quick in his Sept. 17 column on resistance training for seniors disparage the excellent fitness program at Curves? Is it necessary to put down one program in order to promote a new doubly expensive one?

I’m 71 and have been a Curves member for just over four years. In that time I’ve amassed 649 workouts, averaging three visits per week. My back pain, arthritis, endurance, strength and especially my balance have all improved greatly, not to mention the social benefits I have derived. Every program that helps people is worth promoting, not disparaging.

Anne B. Knight, M.D.

Prentiss Street

Charleston

The Pig’s chicken

What is going to happen to the Pig’s fried chicken? Those of us with our priorities in order need an answer. No offense meant to the Teeter, its salmon is top notch, but so is Mrs. Mac’s fried chicken at the Pig — the best in town. Please inform the fried chicken fans.

Minnie Mayberry

Royall Avenue

Mount Pleasant

Risky precedent

The Post and Courier has provided a tremendous outlet for commentary supporting avoiding and side-stepping the problems in Syria while at the same time bashing the president of the United States.

Are these not the same people who prevailed on President George W. Bush to go after Iraq and Afghanistan because of suspected WMDs and terrorism camps? What a bunch of two-faced conservative con-jobbers.

Not once did I hear President Obama seek to declare a state of war on Syria. Not once did I hear a zealousness in his voice or actions that would lead me to believe he intended to invade Syria with troops. Not once did he overstep his presidential duties and send troops into hostile territory for the purpose of diminishing a terroristic regime.

History will be written that at this point in time the United States stepped aside and ignored the use of a WMD while politicians debated the merits of whether to stand alone in facing a world threat. Terrorists will remember the United States blinked when the need for action called. Dictators will call Russia for support and acknowledgment in continuing to grow its stockpiles of banned weapons. And all who review the facts will point to this time as the tipping point where America declined its responsibility to be a world peacekeeper and started on its path to isolationism, closed borders and allowed Russia to be the new world’s new peacekeeper.

I am not an advocate of rushing into hostile situations, but I am less of a fan of providing an environment where WMDs are considered day-to-day weapons in conflicts that threaten entire regions of our earth.

Scott Van Buren

Toomer Kiln Circle

Mount Pleasant

NSA doing its job

As evidenced by the Sept. 16 letter to the editor titled “NSA bad behavior,” there appears to be considerable misunderstanding about National Security Agency oversight of our emails and phone calls. People mistakenly believe that a “Big Brother” government is reading our emails and listening in on our phone calls.

The NSA isn’t. Instead, it is looking at the “outside of the envelope,” so to speak, of our emails without actually opening them. Its intent is to track email traffic from known global bad guys to specific email addresses.

Similarly, NSA is not listening in on your phone calls. Instead, it is merely tracking your phone bills to see if bad guys are making phone calls to your number. It is only when a troubling pattern is detected that the NSA seeks permission from the FISA court to open those communications. And while the NSA has admitted to a few instances of inappropriate eavesdropping, those instances were voluntarily revealed, were the result of human error, and most importantly were an incredibly minuscule percentage of the millions of daily emails and phone calls comprising total communication traffic.

As Americans, we ask the government to make us safe and to do so by finding a needle in a haystack. To find that needle, one must have a haystack, and monitoring communication traffic is that haystack. Such monitoring seems a very small price to pay in exchange for enhanced protection from the global bad guys who would do us harm.

Dave Brown

Creek Landing Street

Charleston

Alarming trend

We worry about our borders, attacks from missiles, nuclear bombs, poison gas, etc., yet our government ignores the threat from within. We allow subcontractors to hire people like Edward Snowden with shaky pasts and allow them access to confidential information.

A private in the Army had access to secret information that he turned over to WikiLeaks. A deranged officer who was a known sympathizer with our enemy kills and injures scores of military personnel at Fort Hood. A Navy flunky with a criminal past gets hired by a subcontractor and kills 12 at a Navy base in Washington, D.C.

What is wrong with this picture?

Roger Steel

Marsh Hen Drive

Seabrook Island