I am writing to complain about an article in the Sept. 10 Post and Courier. When I picked up my paper my attention was immediately pulled to a picture of a machine gun above The Post and Courier nameplate.

My first thought was this must be an article about the senseless deaths across our country in the past few months caused by machine guns and semi-automatic rifles.

I turned to D3 to read the article. I was appalled and saddened to find that the machine gun picture was an article about a new business that rents machine guns. A person as young as 12 can shoot machine guns at targets representing humans.

This is so, so wrong.

I am embarrassed for The Post and Courier. The way this looks is that The Post and Courier is endorsing this business. The article also said that the store will handle the transfer of guns from online.

My niece and nephew and many others were shot in a shooting in California with a gun purchased online by a deranged man. My niece and one other died, and several people were badly injured.

We all need to be more watchful of guns being in the wrong hands. We need not encourage violence to our children. Semi-automatic weapons and machine guns should not be in the hands of the general public.

Jeny McCullough

Evian Way

Mount Pleasant

Gallup polls over the last 20 years show more and more registered voters are declaring themselves “Independent.” The 2012 poll showed 40 percent Independent vs 31 percent Democrat and 27 percent Republican.

The irony is that while vot- ers increasingly disapprove of the two established parties, the parties continue to move to the extreme left or right.

You would think that the party bosses would notice that their platforms and governance are in step with a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.

Why is this not happening? Don’t they know that the larg-est percentage of voters likes neither “trickle down” taxing nor “Great Society” spending?

One reason for this apparent blindness is the scarcity of voices speaking for modera- tion and common sense.

Moderate senators and congressmen are being purged from Congress by huge sums of campaign money funneled to more ideologically “pure” rivals.

Most cable news and radio voices are biased either liberal or conservative. Op-ed writers are the same. There are, however, a few exceptions.

Op-ed writer David Brooks often expresses the views of many Independents (e.g.“Ryan should have backed Simpson-Bowles proposal”).

Brooks usually strives to put things into perspective and perspective is what voters desperately need to make informed decisions.

This paper’s editorial “Deeply divided we fall” also expressed the concerns of Independents. The piece reminded us of the results we can expect from continuing to vote for those who govern with an attitude of “party first, country second.”

I encourage The Post and Courier to seek out more Independent voices. The “moderate middle” — now 40 percent strong — deserves at least as much space as the two extreme and now minority political parties.

Carl Voelker

Deer Point Drive

Seabrook Island

The recent killings of our service people by those we are purported to be helping, along with the horrendous destruction at a “safe” air base in Afghanistan should give us all pause to start thinking with common sense.

President Ronald Reagan had the good sense to pull us out of Lebanon when hundreds of Marines were killed and he concluded that we were in an indefensible setting. Such is the case today.

No matter when we leave, be it a day, a month, or years, those religiously oriented tribes will go on fighting each other as they have done for a thousand years. In the meantime, they do not want us there and are killing us with our own weapons and in our own uniforms.

It is time for citizens to tell Congress to bring a halt to this misadventure. Seeking out Bin Laden was an appropriate goal and one handled by a small specialized group, but putting thousands of our people in there and spending billions on equipment and bases is nothing but a waste of lives and treasure.

Enough!

Fred Sales

Commander

U.S. Navy (Retired)

Lawton Harbor Drive

Charleston

My compliments to Chamber Music Charleston and the Charleston Chamber Opera for an impressive and expertly done performance of “The Impresario” on Sept. 14.

The soloists, actors and musicians were all superb and, but for one detail, it was an evening worthy of many accolades.

That one detail was the oppressive cold in the auditorium throughout the performance.

After watching several patrons leave, I was finally forced to take 20 minutes to return home and pick up sweaters for my wife and me. I also thought to bring along my alarm clock with its built-in thermometer.

For the remainder of the show, once comfortably wrapped up, the thermometer registered a temperature of 66 degrees inside the Sottile.

Is it time for a name change, or just some kind custodian to take stock of the icicles on noses of persons in the audience?

Bruce Evenson

Wentworth Street

Charleston

It is obvious to me, after almost four years, what it takes to be Secretary of State in this country.

Every insult to humanity that some country can cause for its own people or others, particularly by Arab countries, is met by our esteemed secretary’s famous fighting words: “The United States strongly condemns ...”

That’s it. Period. End of story.

Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with her boss?

Seymour Rosenthal

Waterfront Drive

Mount Pleasant

I read the AP article in the Sept. 19 paper concerning “the 2030 obesity forecast by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”

The current 2011 numbers for obesity rates in South Carolina are at 31 percent with the projection of an increase to 63 percent in 2030.

These numbers are alarming in terms of health risk to the individual, escalating mortality and medical costs for the community, and a diminished future for our young people.

In March, Mayor Joe Riley kicked off a program called the Lighten Up Charleston initiative (www.LightenUpCharleston.org ), challenging our community to lose 100,000 pounds.

The focus of this initiative is to encourage our community to look at the healthy options available to us.

When you join Lighten Up Charleston, you can do so as an individual or bring a team of friends and family with you.

You can focus on losing weight, exercising and learning new and better habits for your eating and lifestyle.

Now is the time to address this issue head-on. Let’s not wait for 2030.

Let’s reduce the numbers now and in 2030 we can tell them South Carolina proved them wrong.

Stay active and enjoy your health.

Paul M. Wieters

City of Charleston

Wellness Coordinator

Meeting Street

Charleston