Thursday, February 28, 2013
Letters to The Editor
A few days ago a young female called the police department asking to speak to the chief, so I took the call. She said that she lived in the county, and gun shots are often heard in her community. She asked about the city ordinance which prohibits the discharge of weapons inside city limits. I told her, when shots are fired we make arrests. At that point we began a serious conversation about gun violence.
We talked about the tragedy that struck Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. Like her, I was stunned and devastated when I saw the sad news that Friday morning in December. As a police chief — but more importantly as a father and soon-to-be-grandfather — I was horrified that 20 precious young children were murdered along with six adults who tried to save them.
The caller went on to say that she believed in gun control and that “guns kill people.” I don’t disagree, but as she spoke, my mind wandered. I visualized the faces of some of the 62 school-aged children killed in Chicago, Ill., last year. Then, I told her that gun control should be tailored to fit each community, and that both cities and rural areas need protection from gun violence. However, the challenge facing law enforcement in protecting the public from potential gun violence is overwhelming.
Police work is a calling, I said — not just a job — especially when it comes to protecting those members of the public who can’t defend themselves. Now more than ever, law enforcement cannot let anything stand in the way of fulfilling that mission. Guns in the hands of the wrong individuals kill people.
Tragedies such as those in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colorado; Columbine, Colorado; Virginia Tech; and Chicago, Ill., grab our attention. Most communities never have to deal with mass shootings and killings, but gun violence is more common today than ever. Personally, I believe that military-style assault weapons should be banned; high-capacity magazines should be banned; universal background checks must be conducted; and felony possession laws should be in place for possessing a gun in an urban area without a permit.
I am committed to working with schools, churches, citizens, the Obama administration, members of Congress, and any organization or anyone to prevent gun violence.
William M. Hollowell
Teach gun safety
I’ve given a lot of thought to gun control. Should we develop additional limitations on guns, or should we not?
Let me clear the air by first stating that I am a gun owner. Actually, I own several guns. When my dad passed many years ago, I was asked by my siblings, “What is it of Dad’s that you want?” I answered, “His guns.”
I grew up with a respect for guns. They were used for hunting game for dinner and occasional target practice. Never once did I ever associate guns with malice, violence, mayhem, or loss of a loved one.
My dad was just as proud of his guns as he was of his “coon dogs.”
I have beautiful memories of him allowing my brothers and I to go hunting for squirrels and rabbits in the winter with him. We would playfully tag along in the woods looking for any signs of rabbits, squirrels, or quails. It was so innocent.
We don’t know how Congress will rule on the gun control issue, but there are some things parents can do to keep their child/children safe.
Of course, we know to keep all guns under lock and key, but we can’t stop there. If you have guns in the home, you must set aside a special time to talk about the importance of gun safety with your child/children.
Opportunities pop up all the time. News reports and TV shows are filled with examples of what not to do with a gun.
As with everything else in life, children learn by example. You don’t have to regale your child with wild tales of your past and how responsible you were when handling a gun, but you must share your values about the issue and set clear guidelines.
What and how you share with your child could mean the difference between life or death and jail or freedom.
For the last two weeks, we’ve seen on television and in the newspapers the horrific destruction and devastation of another monster tornado, the one that hit Hattiesburg on Sunday, February 10. Once again, I ask myself why a town the size of Holly Springs doesn’t have tornado sirens and once again I have no answer.
I have to point out here that Hattiesburg had sirens installed just within the last year and because of them, their residents had a 30-minute warning that a tornado was headed their way. They had time to get to a safe place and that is most likely the reason there were no deaths.
I’ve lived in many cities, towns and villages in this state, some much smaller than our own, that have sirens and although I hate hearing them go off, it is somewhat comforting to know that if a tornado were to strike in the night, that I would have some warning to get to my safe place. No one can deny that we are seeing more and more massive tornados in areas of the country that are not accustomed to them and I pray that we never experience one in Holly Springs.
Grant monies are available to help with or cover the cost of sirens from our state and/or federal governments (U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development) and I think it should be a priority for our town leaders to pursue them and make it happen. Homes, businesses and things can be replaced….loved ones can’t.
To all in the surrounding areas, including Memphs, Tenn., Chicago, Ill., and all around the world, I’d like to thank everyone for their kind words, phone calls, visits, donations, prayers, your smiling faces and efforts in our time of need after the car accident.
My wife Sis. Louise and I are glorified because of the grace God has shown us. We have a long road ahead of us, but I am at home recovering by God’s grace. I know through Him all things are possible.
If we had arms wide enough, we would hug everyone! We are a family that shows real love and our hearts go out to each of you.
From our hearts to yours, God bless everyone!
Pastor John and Sis. Louise Powell and
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