The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 20, 2013

Letters to the Editor 1/20/13

The News Courier

The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to

Seeking info on mill village

Dear Editor:

I am currently in the process of writing a book about growing up in Athens. There is a part of Athens that has been lost to the present population and that is my theme.

I am looking for anyone to contact me that ever lived in what was known as the “mill village” in North Athens. I remember it vividly, but I need help with some of the details that will make the story more interesting.

Any pictures or anyone living that can help me will be much appreciated. North of 9th Avenue behind the L&S Food Market is the place that I remember being called the Mill Village.

Please contact me at


Morris Bowers


Guns provide protection for elders

 Editor’s note: The following letter, submitted by Charles and Jackie Lewis of Athens, contained the text of a letter sent to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks. The content of the letter, however, was shortened to meet our 400-word requirement.

Dear Editor:

The direction of gun control issues now being discussed in Washington is very troubling, especially to law abiding older citizens who rely on their guns to protect themselves and their property. I am including a letter my wife and I have written and sent to our Senators Shelby and Sessions and to our Rep. Mo Brooks regarding this subject. It expresses our concerns, which we feel echo the concerns of many law abiding gun owners.

For those of you with like-minded concerns, please let your representatives in Washington know as soon as possible. Their websites are,, and

Dear Senators Shelby and Sessions and Rep Mo Brooks:

I am 71 and my wife is 67. We will have been married 50 years this April. We have raised a family and now live alone in a nice neighborhood in the East Limestone area of Limestone County.

I was raised in a hunting environment and my wife and I have always owned a variety of guns. We looked to these weapons as protection against those who would harm us, our family or our property. It was also in our minds that a strong, well-armed populace was the best protection against a tyrant government.

Guns can be a contributor to killing, but they are not the cause. As pointed out by Mark Durm in a recent article in The News Courier newspaper, to be a cause, they must be both necessary and sufficient. Obviously, guns are not necessary for killing. Lots of people own guns but never kill anyone.

There is, in our opinion, an elephant in the room that must be addressed. It should be obvious to any rational, clear thinking adult that the unbelievable violence in our current movies and video games have created an environment of unreality to killing and dying such that mass killing become an acceptable. Until there is a strong, bi-partisan effort to change the current perception in America that violence is cool and exciting and acceptable, we will continue to see these mass killings.

In closing, my wife and I will resist any gun control that attempts to force us to register our guns in a federal database, and will not stand for any attempt to actually confiscate our weapons. We will not support any politician that shows any weakness in supporting our right as law-abiding citizens to bear arms.

Yours truly,

Charles and Jackie Lewis

Athens, Alabama

Gun ban not the answer

Dear Editor:

I was saddened to read Mark Durm’s column in Sunday’s paper. He criticizes the use of statistics to prove a point and then uses statistics himself.

He is correct that numbers can be twisted to prove almost anything, because he did it. He fails to include some stats that would disprove his point. The U.S. gun ownership is higher than the world as a whole because most of the people in the world are slaves to their country. Does he honestly expect to see a high gun ownership rate in China?

Obviously the problem is not the guns. It must be a cultural difference. Using those two countries to determine the “best approximate answer” would make more sense.

Having had to fight the British for our freedom, our founders were wise enough to create the Second Amendment to make certain the common citizen would always be able to protect himself against a tyrant (foreign or domestic).

Now is not the time to look for simplistic answers to a complex problem. I would argue that more guns would reduce gun violence while a gun ban would make it worse. Even a crazy person wouldn’t go into a school if he knew he would be met by armed guards.

Any ban or confiscation would only affect honest, law-abiding citizens and make them more vulnerable to those who are willing to break the law.


Bruce Wilson


Gov’t should wait on gun ban

Dear Editor:

Mark Durm is a professor of psychology at Athens State University.  After his recent two-part dissertation regarding guns, I am concerned whether he is teaching our young people with a biased viewpoint. Many educators are currently promoting liberal interests.  He asks: “How do we prevent innocent people being killed”? 

Mr. Durm further states it is the best question regarding guns. In other words, it infers people don’t kill people, guns do.  It really can result in fallacious answers versus his response that “the correct approximate answer is having less guns.”  All his excessive verbosity has resulted in the same fallacious response as saying, “All horses are animals with four legs, therefore all animals are horses.”

His question, “How do we prevent innocent people being killed?” can also be answered with the following responses:

• Prevent anyone from driving a motor vehicle that has consumed alcoholic beverages or various drugs that impair mental judgment.

• Ban knives that not only kill in great numbers, but also injure in great numbers and many cause permanent physical impairment.

• Ban blunt objects like hammers, which have resulted in more deaths, in 2011, than assault rifles.

• Ban anyone diagnosed with, and under treatment for, a mental impairment from owning or being in close proximity to firearms.

There have been about 40 school shootings in the last 20 years, and very few, maybe one, occurred where there was an armed guard on campus. Usually those people that want to kill numerous people seek out soft targets with no potential armed protection present.

Removing guns from public hands would result in a serious rise in armed robberies, armed holdups and assaults, including criminal acts resulting in deaths. The increase would be out of proportion to current levels due to the criminals always finding a way to obtain a weapon to use in their nefarious activities. See Japan, England, Canada, etc., who all stringently restrict firearms ownership. Firearms use in criminal acts, in these countries, has increased with their people being unable to legally defend themselves.

I have possessed firearms for over 65 years and I don’t claim to be an expert in constitutional law, but can read and maturely interpret what the Constitution states and infers. Let’s stop the biased liberal comments that wish to further erode our constitutional rights. Let’s have some in-depth, meaningful, research, first, before making any hasty decisions.


Quentin D. Anderson Sr.