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Published: Friday, 4/16/2004

CCW law contributes to culture of fear

In his April 10 Saturday Essay Dr. Brian Patrick claimed Ohioans carrying hidden, loaded guns won't change our lives. Ask gun violence survivors if the gun changed their lives. Ask them about the life lost because a gun was accessible.

He accused gun advocates of painting "lurid pictures of bloody shootouts in the streets, innocent bystanders struck down by stray bullets, and vigilante-style justice." That is gun lobby rhetoric.

He described the licensees as "a good deal more law-abiding than the norm, and they are well-socialized personalities who can rationally plan and conduct their own lives and actions." He should read the e-mails we receive from the wannabe licensees.

Ohio's CCW law does not provide outside oversight of the National Rifle Association instructors, does not provide an adequate data base for background checks, protects the identity of the license holders, prohibits communities from enforcing their own laws, provides no funding for extra county expense, and the sheriff is ordered to issue the permit unless he is willing to answer in court why he denied the license.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest figures, Ohio reported 316 deaths from firearm homicides in 2001. Arming 100,000 (projected) fearful people is neither warranted nor acceptable. We encourage the other 7 million-plus adults in Ohio to retain their rights and post signs to prohibit weapons from their businesses and property. Weapon Free signs are available at www.ohioceasefire.org.

All of our lives will change. This law contributes to the culture of fear with no improvement to the safety and health of the community. Carrying hidden, loaded guns in public is a distasteful infringement on our culture to appease a few fearful Ohioans. The rest of us do not have to approve or accept their behavior.

Toby Hoover

Executive Director

Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence

Floyd Street

On behalf of the Rotary Club of Toledo, I thank you for the recent editorial "Victory over polio closer." With more than 31,000 clubs in more than 165 countries, Rotary initiates humanitarian programs that address today's challenging issues, such as hunger, poverty, and illiteracy.

Toledo Rotary, with just under 500 members, joins with other Rotary clubs throughout northwest Ohio in support of Rotary's flagship international program to protect all children against polio.

Rotary's goal? Ending the disease throughout the world by immunizing all children against polio by 2005, Rotary's centennial celebration year.

Since 1985, Rotary's PolioPlus program has committed more than $500 million to the protection of some 2 billion children in 122 countries. These funds are providing polio vaccine, operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. With an initial gift of $140,000 in 1987, Toledo Rotary will, by 2005, have provided more than $225,000 toward this effort.

With a community-based network worldwide, Rotary is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. Some 5,000 volunteers immunized 180 million children in one day in India in February. PolioPlus is the most ambitious humanitarian undertaking ever made by a private entity.

The savings from polio eradication are potentially as high as $1.5 billion per year, funds that could be used to address other public health priorities. The savings in human suffering is immeasurable.

As a service organization, the Rotary Club of Toledo and its members represent a cross-section of business and professional leaders. These men and women donate their expertise, time, and more than $140,000 per year to support local community projects that help people in need and promote understanding among cultures.

WALTER McGHEE

President

Rotary Club of Toledo

Congratulations to The Blade. The award of a Pulitzer is certainly worth recognition and celebration in our community.

NANCY MILLER

President

Toledo Women's Bar Association

Bravo to Dr. Dan Dessner's April 3 Saturday Essay. He has truly made excellent points. It's not just ProMedica, however. Ohio's elimination of the certificate of need has inadvertently handed out to hospitals certificates of greed.

If hospitals lost their tax-free status, maybe they would have to put the patient's and community's needs first. If they want to run hospitals like widget factories with the bottom line taking priority, why should they be tax exempt?

To hold boards more accountable to the community's needs, board members should be elected by the community members they serve in a general election. If they're running a nonprofit like a company with shareholders, they should have to play by the same rules.

Diane Reihing

Oregon

I like art, but I have a problem. My problem is that people like Mayor Jack Ford and Ruth Lilly of the Eli Lilly fortune like art, too. Here is my conundrum.

Even in a high-tax environment like Toledo, I've been able to save enough over the years to buy a nice picture for over my fireplace. Now Jack Ford wants to take the money I have saved for the picture over the fireplace by sticking us with a new tax for the arts.

If that weren't bad enough, I also have Ruth Lilly, who could afford to buy art for anyone contributing millions of dollars each year to a group called Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts, however, is a lobbying group which gives that money to the Marcy Kapturs in Congress, who in turn take the money I have saved for my picture over my fireplace and give it to some guy who will put feces in a glass jar and call it art.

If I would have bought that picture for over my fireplace and a thief stole it, the end result would be the same. Somehow I have more respect for the thief. I can easily identify his thievery.

JIM BOEHM

Drummond Road

I attended the April 6 Town Hall meeting of the Mayor's Commission on the Arts and Culture. The meeting was facilitated by Arthur Greenburg of AMS out of St. Louis. The results were disappointing.

After more than a year of town hall and commission meetings, after bringing Richard Florida and Mr. Greenburg in at what must have been great expense, the only item brought to the table for discussion was a proposal for a 0.45-mill property tax to support the arts and COSI.

When asked by a show of hands, not one person in the 135-plus member audience supported the idea of a levy. It soon became apparent that the levy was the only idea that the commission had come up with and the meeting was soon disbanded after it became apparent the consultant was unprepared to discuss any other alternatives for art and cultural funding.

Why is taxpayer money being spent on this? Why are people so obviously out of touch with the reality of the current state of art, culture, and economics in Toledo allowed to continue with this commission? The mayor needs to disband this commission and start over again, especially if he wants to bring his vision of an elegant Toledo to light.

John Swaile

North Summit Street

During the news coverage of the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, I heard the voices of friends and comrades honoring their lost loved ones. What was poignantly missing however, were the voices of the mothers, children, and spouses of the people whose soldier isn't coming home. Their price is too high and permanent, their lives too changed for a war that is clearly unjustified. George W. Bush deserves impeachment, not re-election for lying to us and to the world, and for abusing America's military for political gain.

Sally J. Keller

Sabra Road



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