Man and nature

Just recently, Pope Francis, whose namesake is the patron saint of all the world's animals, announced that he is writing an encyclical on man's relationship with nature.

In the pope's State of the World address he proclaims: "God always forgives, humans sometime forgive, but when nature - creation - is mistreated, she never forgives."

Simple, yet profound. Yet one must ask why it is that all of the world's political leaders, en masse, do not have one ounce of this man's intestinal fortitude?

Perhaps it is because the pope's conscience may not be constricted by the endless number of artificial territorial boundaries.

Philip J. Murphy

Ventura Place

Mount Pleasant

Block the signal

Perhaps we should blank out the cell phone signal along I-26. This will keep the cell talkers aggravated and awake.

Only 911 calls would be allowed.

John E. Royall, Jr.

Ben Sawyer Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Gun 'freedom'

It's sad and frightening that a man running for a U.S. Senate seat in our state is pushing for the elimination of any checks on the mental or criminal status of those who wish to carry concealed weapons. It's tragic when our elected governor leaps to join him.

Do we stop and realize what we're saying when we say "yes" to the carte blanche individual freedom to buy and carry weapons anywhere and everywhere, regardless of one's mental status or previous proclivity for violence?

We're also saying "yes" to increased risk of going to movie theaters or bars because anyone in those places, regardless of any previous psychotic episodes or criminal activity, is free to have a concealed weapon.

We're saying "yes" to our children and teachers having to practice locking classroom doors and huddling in corners in case a deranged gunman is "free" in their hallways.

We're saying "yes" to what would have happened at Ashley Hall school just a year ago if the mentally disturbed woman pulling the trigger on her semi-automatic handgun had realized that the safety lock wasn't disengaged. .

We're saying, "Yes, we believe that the rights of both the mentally unstable and of convicted criminals to have a gun always at their fingertips is more important than others' fear that they or their community's children might be slaughtered."

Isn't there a way to create some checks and balances that need to be made on this "freedom," like all other freedoms?

Isn't it time for common sense to rise and make itself heard on this issue, over and over?

GARY SMITH

Halsey Street

Charleston

'Ice missiles'

Having watched what has occurred with the extended shutdown of the Ravenel Bridge during the two recent winter storms, I have wondered about a possible solution for future winter events.

Charleston and Mount Pleasant officials, along with Department of Transportation experts, should consider a proactive approach.

The first storm and subsequent surprising "ice missiles" were a wake-up call. The second storm and formation of ice on the cables should have been anticipated and brainstorming done to resolve the problem.

Based on information provided by the local media, the actual road conditions were not the problem for at least the last full day of the second bridge closure. It was the ice formation on the cables.

Perhaps there is a method for de-icing the cables either from ground or air, once the roads are safe.

Why not explore the same protocol used for de-icing airplanes prior to take off as opposed to just waiting for the temperature to rise, allowing the ice to fall as it will?

It certainly seems that a swift resolution to this problem would allow our community to resume business and life in a more timely manner.

Thanks all around to everyone who worked to get us back to normal.

Jan Maria Pittman

Briarcliff Drive

Charleston

Nothing is free

With regard to a Feb. 12 article about citizens utilizing "free" wireless services outside a Columbia library, the term "free" is somewhat misleading.

One dictionary definition of "free," when used as an adjective, is "having no obligation." While this might be true for the recipient of "free" services, the taxpayer (i.e., the government) is providing them.

There is a huge cost to provide these services.

"Free" Wi-Fi, cell phones, school lunches, health care, etc. all come at a cost to the taxpayer.

A more appropriate term to use would be "subsidized" or "provided for you by the taxpayers."

And the ever-dwindling taxpayer base will soon be unable to provide these subsidies to the ever-growing non-taxpayer base.

Eileen Baty

Hall Point Road

Mount Pleasant

No debate

The recent conviction of former New Orleans mayor, C. Ray Nagin, Katrina media star par excellence, for corruption and malfeasance (over a half million in illicit benefits and kickbacks) reminds me of H.L. Mencken's comment, "... a good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar."

Jonathan Walker, Ph.D.

Coral Reef Drive

Johns Island