---- — Schools need
To the Editor:
The recent tragedy at a Connecticut school shooting points out the need for stronger security measures to help prevent or mitigate loss of life at our schools.
The emergency plans implemented at schools can minimize injuries and deaths, but cannot prevent them when confronted with determined shooters. Buzzers, cameras, identification cards and sign-in books will not stop shooters from forcibly entering schools.
One security measure that could counter the actions of shooters is the presence of armed security officers in every school. Granted, the killers might try to shoot the officers first, but the killers could be focused on shooting the students and teachers, and the officers could take out the shooters.
Another possibility would be to have trained administrators with weapons available to them in a locked and secure location.
Mentally competent people and non-felons may purchase weapons in accordance with the Second Amendment of our Constitution, which allows citizens to bear arms, and this right should continue.
However, should ordinary citizens, like the Newtown shooter, be allowed to purchase a bulletproof vest? The purchase of bulletproof vests should be a huge tipoff on the purchaser planning a shooting.
We need armed school security officers.
Donald A. Moskowitz
to stop the violence
To the Editor:
Twenty kindergarten children dead. Six teachers. Every parent’s nightmare has now become a reality for one small community and for the country as a whole.
This is indeed a dark day across our nation. When will something be done to ban assault rifles? Why do gun rights advocates insist on easy access to weapons that make mass killings so easy?
They say it is not the guns that kill, but the people. Yet more and more disturbed individuals gain access to these deadly weapons.
I call on President Obama and our nation’s leaders to do something meaningful and effective to put an end to these senseless tragedies.
Community helped make Christmas merry
To the Editor:
The Derry Community Fund once again experienced an active and successful holiday season. Thanks to our community’s generosity, one room in Marion Gerrish Community Center was filled with food at Thanksgiving and two rooms were overflowing with gifts for Christmas.
This year, more than 207 families, representing 332 children and teens, and 24 seniors received assistance for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.
The DCF Board would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to Derry News Santa Fund and Toys for Tots. We also want to acknowledge the contributions from civic organizations, businesses, school groups and others.
These community groups donated toys, food, clothes, gift cards, personal care items, socks, hats and mittens. In addition, several individuals and groups adopted families while others gave the gift of time collecting, sorting and distributing food and gifts during this busy season.
The families we helped were overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of donations from so many individuals and organizations within our wonderful community. One mother noted that given her $8-an-hour job, she simply did not have any money available to purchase gifts for her 2-year-old child.
In addition to the holiday season, the Derry Community Fund, an all-volunteer, nonprofit agency, donated funds to the Salvation Army’s summer food program and has provided funding to the Human Service office for specific family needs. Throughout the year, we also provided 70 families in Derry with assistance toward much needed staples, services or clothing.
We thank you for your support and we hope that each of you will experience the warmth of knowing that your generosity has touched the lives of so many in our community. Merry Christmas!
The Derry Community Fund Board
Time to stop assault weapon sales
To the Editor:
I support the rights of people to own guns … to a point. I can understand people wanting to own a handgun for personal protection at home, or to own a rifle for hunting. But what do automatic and semi-automatic weapons have to do with either of those? These weapons were originally designed for use by law enforcement officials and the military, not for citizens.
I hear gun supporters quoting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” What they don’t seem to include in that statement is the complete text of the amendment ratified by the states and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson. It reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
This amendment was composed by our founding fathers to allow people the right to bear arms to protect and defend our country. I suspect Thomas Jefferson would be the first to admit that this law was never meant to allow citizens the right to possess assault weapons for nonmilitary use. And why would anyone need to own a weapon that can discharge 100 rounds of ammo in a matter of seconds?
Are the citizens of Derry and the Town Council aware that you can purchase a Bushmaster AR 15 rifle here in town, the same weapon used in Newtown, Conn. Currently, there are no federal restrictions on the ownership of AR-15 rifles or similar weapons in the United States. Something needs to be done.
The problem begins with our elected officials who want to kick the can down the road and point fingers at each other. They need to come to grips with this ongoing debate and act upon it now. It should start with our towns and cities, then the state of New Hampshire, then the U.S. Congress.
Most politicians are scared to death of the National Rifle Association and like receiving PAC money from them. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA contributed nearly $700,000 to U.S. Senate and congressional candidates in 2012. Charles Bass and Frank Guinta each received $2,000 of that money.
Charlton Heston is quoted as saying: “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” What about the cold, dead hands of innocent children?
Prevention key to reducing violence
To the Editor:
There have been many stories in the news as of late that talk about abuse and/or neglect towards children, including the unimaginable event at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While we do not condone the behaviors and the trauma done towards children we must look beyond the horrific reports. We must think, what could we have done to prevent this from ever happening in the first place?
Prevention is the key. We know that prevention takes a longer time to show impact than intervention or treatment, so there is a reluctance to fund it. However, if prevention was looked at more seriously 20 years ago then maybe we could have prevented these tragedies from happening today.
We need to put an emphasis on prevention now in order to stop this from happening in the future. By providing education, support and funding to help our youngest population, they will be able to grow up strong. We need to strengthen both families and communities to help break the harmful cycles of the past.
Research shows that prevention programs such as the national “Strengthening Families” framework provide tools to help parents build on family strengths and create a family environment that promotes optimal child and youth development.
By investing now, the children who grow up in strong and safe families will live in safe communities as adults and be better parents to their children, reducing the likelihood of more horrific reports.
Strengthening Families Director
NH Children’s Trust
It’s time to stop using drones
To the Editor:
“Real violence has real consequences,” I heard a mother of a Newtown, Conn., child-victim tell a radio interviewer.
As others have, I’ve heard President Obama’s cracking voice lament the loss of the 20 children in Connecticut.
What about the as many as 168 children who have been killed by our drone strikes in Pakistan in the last seven years?
A news report as recent as last week, buried late in the pages of The New York Times, is about an alleged Al-Qaida leader whose wife and daughter were injured when he was killed by one of our drones. The mother then died. The daughter is now an orphan, as well as injured.
That doesn’t matter?
Family life here is one sacred situation, but in another country where the names are foreign and the customs foreign and the skins are brown, indiscriminate death-by-our-drones so a family is destroyed is OK?
“Real violence has real consequences,” and one of them is our leadership caught in hypocrisy, our leadership having to do the screwy thing of care about some child deaths but brush off others as “OK” policy.
Lord, give us change that matters. Please. End our drones-use that falls outside the law, targeting some and killing “extra” others, even children.
Lynn Rudmin Chong