Self defense laws
may go too far
Let us begin with a couple of facts. Quite a number of states have instituted “stand your ground” laws for self-defense. Many people are upset about the jury decision in the Trayvon Martin case. Many people are upset about the status of gun control laws in the United States. Wayne LaPierre of the NRA has proposed that more guns are the solution to gun control.
There is a long-standing tradition in America of protecting the weak. The people most likely to be victims of crime are black, specifically young black people. It is another long-standing tradition in America that everyone has the right to personally bear arms for self-protection.
Suppose we arm and train every eligible black person who is in a “stand your ground” state. Then we would arm other minorities in order of their vulnerability to crime. Any one of these individuals could then come up to anyone and, if at any time they felt their life was in danger, they could kill the complete stranger that they had just picked out. Would you feel that this killing was justified? Would you feel safer? Would law enforcement feel safer?
We would all know a little more about how the minority population feels now. This law has legalized murder. As I see it, the states that have these “stand your ground” laws have a choice. Either repeal these laws or explain to their citizens why it’s all right for someone to kill them, if the killer feels threatened.
Stephen George Bettum
Beware of scams
A recent meeting at a local university regarding “scams” on the elderly was timely. Presenters cautioned on the many methods dishonest people use to take advantage of them via telephone and mail. The most invasive method occurs when an elderly, handicapped person without family, needing personal care, is subject to a caregiver.
A needy person is most vulnerable in their home where their personal lives, living conditions and financial status is exploited — even by family members. What background check is done on a licensed caregiver?
One situation that might not have been addressed was those who approach your home; be it salesperson, contractor, service repairman or religious organization.
There are many laws, but our lawmakers should find the loopholes that do not protect the law-abiding while permitting the scammer to exist without being prosecuted. Presently, every legal avenue you proceed with is passed to another agency, and the Freedom of Information Act is not worth the paper it was written on.
So be aware of anyone offering a gift, service, advice or friendship, because they are after whatever they can take away from you. I speak form experience; I am a victim.
is harming fish
I at one time was a fisheries biologist for the United States Environmental Protection Agency and retired as a fisheries biologist for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, south central region.
Recently, Triclosan has come to may attention. Triclosan is the active ingredient in antibacterial hand soap. It is hurting the environment.
Triclosan kills algae, phytoplankton and beneficial bacteria in lakes and rivers, and it paralyzes fish.
The Pa. Fish and Boat Commission is monitoring it in the Susquehanna River and has found it in fish tissues. That is why the Susquehanna River is so messed up. An artificial entitled “estrogenic compound in waterways” is coming out in the September/October issue of the Pennsylvania Angler and Boater. Please read it. Further, please consider your next purchase of hand soap. Use one that is alcohol based.