I applaud Blade Editor David Kushma's July 29 op-ed column, "Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney, break your silence on guns," about how the frequency of shooting rampages obliges candidates for leader-in-chief to offer solutions. I suspect, however, that taking positions on gun control will be futile.
Before gun control can be sensibly debated, there must be some clarity on what the Second Amendment means and whether it might need to be amended.
What is a "well-regulated" militia? What distinguishes one that is "necessary to the security of a free state" from a self-serving armed group?
Do "people" refer to individuals, collectives, or the whole citizenry? Does "keep and bear arms" mean an unfettered right to accumulate gigantic personal arsenals with thousands of rounds of ammunition?
I urge those who are seeking federal or local office to identify crucial questions about the amendment and then to formulate possible policies. Maybe then we can have fruitful gun-control debates.
Borrowing likely aided businesses
President Obama has been quoted as saying: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that." Some media left out the fact that he was talking about how infrastructure contributed to businesses' success. Mitt Romney and all the talking heads on the right have picked up on the edited version.
Mr. Obama's quote also inspired Readers' Forum letters, including one from a writer who said a business person can't borrow into prosperity ("Krugman's wrong about economic fix," July 22).
I'm certain that most businesses have borrowed to start up or borrowed to maintain or grow. Many are indeed prosperous.
Obama wrongly lauds government
It seems that many people believe that Mitt Romney is taking the President's words out of context. But when you hear the entire quote, it's negative toward business.
Those who are committed to the President think the same as he does and will find nothing offensive.
If they weren't so blinded, they would know that his approach to the economy over the past 3 1/2 years shows he thinks our economy runs from the government down, instead of from the people up.
State seems not to want health reform
In announcing Ohio's decision not to create a health-care exchange, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said: "We looked at … our core values around health-care transformation or health-care reform, and a state exchange is just not consistent with those core values" ("Ohio takes tough health law stance; Lt. Gov. Taylor rejects insurance exchange," July 11).
Those core values must involve no health-care transformation or reform. Meaningful reform that includes health-care coverage for all can be accomplished in one of two ways.
We can keep our system of private insurance intact by creating exchanges to help make insurance more affordable and requiring citizens to participate. These elements are unpleasant but necessary to provide coverage to more people while keeping insurance companies profitable.
The other option is to eliminate private health insurance in favor of a single-payer system. Under this system, no one would have to buy private health insurance, but taxes would be raised to pay for health care.
Taxes for most people would go up much less than their insurance premiums, and overall health-care costs would go down. I assume this solution is also unacceptable to our state leaders.
The core values of Gov. John Kasich and the lieutenant governor include no health-care transformation or reform at all.
If you listen to all the wailing and howling by conservatives over how awful Obama-care is, we never will see a real alternative advanced.
No price put on nuns' service
The reference in a recent Readers' Forum letter that reduced the role of the sisters of the Catholic Church to "women who make their living by being nuns" should not be ignored ("Nuns should teach Catholic doctrine," June 22).
The sisters take a vow of poverty. Their service to this world does not come with a wage. Their compensation is knowing they are making the world a better place. Our sisters personify the meaning of being Catholic.
If these precious women see something in this world that is not right, it is their duty to speak out and attempt to correct it. If this involves contradicting or questioning authority, that does not make them less faithful. They are fulfilling their promise to dedicate themselves to serve God by looking after this world.
May the sisters of the Catholic Church continue their many missions with the courage, self-sacrifice, and dedication that they have always shown. They are the greatest examples of our faith.
South Summit Street
Ohioans should beware of fracking
Ohioans need to look out for a threat to our health and our environment. According to Sierra magazine, natural gas companies want to move from Pennsylvania to Ohio to obtain natural gas by a combination of industrial technologies collectively known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which releases gas from layers of ancient shale.
Many steps of the process cause major problems. Water laced with poisonous chemicals is pumped into the ground under explosive pressure. Fumes are released, and natural water sources are polluted.
According to the magazine, published by the Sierra Club, people who live in areas where fracking has been done have been beset by noise, eye-watering fumes, and noxious drinking water.
Many people complain of not-before-experienced rashes, asthma, diarrhea, incontinence, sore throat, and joint pain. Tests conducted in homes and water supplies have revealed toxins such as strontium and benzene, which are among the proprietary fracking compounds used to break open the shale.
This is terribly wrong. I don't want to see it repeated in Ohio.
Regents Park Boulevard
Quit bickering, address issues
I am tired of political campaigns that slam the other person who is running. Our big issues are living-wage jobs, health care, energy, and the environment.
These issues include medical treatment, alternative energy sources, and caring for the environment without stunting business growth.
Those who are campaigning for public office should stop bickering and tell us how they will help resolve these issues. Then we will vote and hold those who are elected accountable.
Training a must to aid mental health
Your July 11 article "Boomers face shortage of services for mental care" reported that "at least 5.6 million to 8 million Americans 65 and older have a mental health condition or substance-abuse issue."
Mental health issues tend to go undetected or to be attributed to other things. Training is needed to heighten awareness of what constitutes a mental health issue and how it affects people.
As a certified mental health first-aid instructor, I train medical personnel, social workers, civic leaders, teachers, human-resource professionals, caregivers, and families.
The training focuses on how to detect mental health problems and to intervene effectively when someone is exhibiting a mental health crisis, until professional care can be secured.
It is a great program, and a movement across the country that I hope our community can embrace.
Director Harbor Symmetry Wellness and Private Insurance Services Secor Road