Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

July 10 letters to the editor

Last thing downtown needs is a gun shop

I’d wager that my fiancée and I live closest to the potential site of Big Daddy Guns of almost any reader: a less than five-minute walk around the corner.

So naturally, we had some curiosity about our new neighbors. And some disappointment as well.

We’re not getting a grocery store or a Mexican restaurant or a hardware store or any of the essential businesses and services missing from downtown.

We’re getting a gun store. One that uses Kyle Rittenhouse in its ad material and boasts an Alex Jones Special. Big Daddy’s Florida-based CEO called Rittenhouse a defender of his community. Rittenhouse was an out-of-stater looking for trouble. An appropriate mascot for Florida-based retailers who show up to change the character of our community.

My fiancée and I aren’t anti-gun, but we have a problem with a gun store with a confrontational, incendiary, far-right wing outlook and a winking flirtation with the forces of darkness.

And here’s something missing from this debate. According to the Mountain State Spotlight, suicide is the number one cause of gun deaths in West Virginia. Just weeks ago, I looked out our bedroom window, which overlooks the South High bridge, and saw a man threatening to jump. For an hour, another man patiently talked him down. I watched them embrace as he climbed off the bridge.

In a Big Daddy world, maybe he would have walked in and chosen a different path to deal with his despair.

We have been awoken by the desperate wailing and angry yelling of disturbed people outside our windows. We don’t want neighbors who profit off of and invite this despair, who think that murder and hatred are qualities of manhood. We do not want Big Daddy Guns in our neighborhood.

Andrew Boston

Greater Morgantown needs metro government

The editorial Sunday, July 3, was excellent in recounting the ways in which this community has grown and prospered.  The “anchor businesses” referred to that offer educated and trained folks greater opportunities are key to our future as a destination for bright, energetic young people.

However, what is missing here it seems is a coordinated and consolidated public sector that can help create the environment attracting these enterprises.  I am speaking of the need for a metro government movement in the Greater Morgantown Area.

I’ve lived here since 1970, served on city council for 14 years and served as mayor for two years and now return for a three-month stay every summer.

Each time I return, I see more exciting growth but little in coordinated activity to deal with challenges. The editorial mentioned one — roads — but there are many others that need an efficient, well-funded, professionally operated public sector to tackle.

I am not discounting the history of county and municipal competition, but these need to be left behind for the good of the Greater Morgantown Area.

Forward-looking political leaders at the county and municipal level need to step up and declare this to be a goal worthy of a joint effort. I have no doubt that West Virginia University and the national corporations bringing these “anchor businesses” would welcome such a move. A metro government would put the Greater Morgantown Area in a national spotlight and provide a single point of contact.

The West Virginia Legislature has provided a mechanism to do this (W.Va. code chapter 7A: Consolidated Local Government). We just need political leadership.

Bill Byrne

Justice misleads on income tax’s impact

In reference to the article published on page A-2 in Thursday’s paper: Gov. Justice claims he is proposing a 10% cut of the personal income tax the “will put money in your pocket and bring prosperity to our state for generations.”

According to the most recent U.S. Census data, the median household income in West Virginia is $48,037.

This calculates to $4,003.09 per month and a monthly personal income tax of $184 for a household of two or $162/month for a household of four people.

A 10% savings of this tax equals $16/month for a household of four or $18/month for a household of two.

I hardly see how this 10% reduction of $192 per year (or $216 for a two-person household) will “bring prosperity to our state for generations.”

I feel it would benefit readers of The Dominion Post to understand what the governor’s proposal actually represents. Justice’s press release appears to be political grandstanding that has little or no benefit to the average West Virginia household.

Cynthia Nelson

Stuck in a gun-fueled feedback cycle

It’s a feedback cycle. Lots of available guns on the streets; gun violence increases; more people buy guns, which means an increased chance for gun violence, so more people buy guns.

It’s a seduction of more and more. More guns, more bullets in a clip, more money for lobbying in legislatures. These people don’t know when to stop. It’s great for the NRA and manufacturers. They’ve been profiting on this for years.

Our culture glorifies the image of wielding a gun. We profess that a gun can be a solution to your problem. It can be your source of power. You can defend yourself, intimidate others or even take revenge.

But assault weapons, appropriately termed for the intended design of attack on a battlefield, should not be easily available to any citizen with money to buy one. If people find the image of holding or shooting guns romantic or emboldening, then so be it.

Considering our recent history of bad people using assault-style weapons to kill innocent children and shoot up communal environments without good people stopping them in time, I think restriction is reasonable. If someone wants this gun, then they should pay plenty for it. They should also be required to go through an extensive safety course and in the event that registered weapon is used in a crime, civil prosecution is in order, with private sales also restricted.

 People can have their elite assault-style weapon ownership group while filtering out those who may not find the process of buying one so easy. It comes down to responsibility. So far the ability to respond to this societal crisis by the NRA and avid gun owners is loathsome.

Matthew Cross

Roads outside city don’t get as much attention

Who is it that assigns the daily work schedule for the West Virginia Department of Highways? They obviously don’t live outside of Morgantown.

If they did, the holes in the road would be cut out and patched similarly to those near the Monongalia County Department of Highways office on Grafton Road — not like those on W.Va. Rt. 7 West, where they just throw the patch into the holes and expect the traffic to compact it.

I bet the DOH even expects the ditches to be cleared on the main roads. I bet they think the culverts should be clear and that rock falls shouldn’t cause impoundments that endanger the lives of the residents who use West Virginia’s roads.

I know our DOH workers are overworked and vastly underpaid. I also know they do the job they are told to do. They do it as well as they are able.

Supervisors, do your job.

W.Va. Rt. 7 West was only recently repaved. As of today, it looks like it was done 10 years ago. The ditches are full. The berm is dangerous and full of holes. When W.Va. Rt. 7 is patched, it isn’t done properly.

The western end of Monongalia County has almost all of the drilling activity in the county but receives very little attention to its roads. Exactly when do we base our attention to the road condition based on use and not who cries the loudest?

All our roads need a minimum level of maintenance. After that, they need to be categorized by the level of use.

Andrew Price

Gun shop coming. Police going. People left afraid

The news of the Morgantown Police Department having issues with internal conflicts and the decrease in their pay for all their long hours protecting the people of our town is heartbreaking.

Those men and women in blue, who have been very dedicated, are forced to quit for one reason or another, leaving the taxpaying residents to basically fend for themselves, which will create chaos.

These officers need everyone’s support not only from the townspeople, but the politicians — if they want to be reelected.

The tip of the iceberg is Big Daddy gun shop wanting to put its store downtown. Seriously! What will this look like come fall, when students are in town and weekend football games, combined with alcohol and a gun shop near campus — not to mention a high school within walking distance! Do “we the people” want to hear on the news Morgantown has become like Chicago, New York City and other high crime locations?

Why can’t Morgantown set an example and lead with a great police force, with protection for all in every way instead of following bad decisions, causing heart breaking statistics?

Jo Ann Oliver