Ignoring something won’t make it go away
In response to the editorial of Sunday, July 31, I believe it is indulging in a logical fallacy: to ignore something in hopes it will just go away.
Taken to the extreme, that argument could be used to justify “doing nothing” about so many things that plague our national, state and regional communities these days.
We could do nothing about homelessness so maybe the homeless will get the idea and just move on.
Or we could do nothing about hunger, and the hungry would figure out that in order to eat, they have to get a job.
Or we could do nothing about Big Daddy Guns invading our community and let our visitors and citizens believe that we don’t mind having a confrontational gun store at the entrance to our community.
Maybe they will just go away. Maybe not, but at least Protect Morgantown will have made an effort to do something.
Gun laws less restrictive than letter writer thinks
The writer of the letter, published on July 31, supposedly supporting the right to sell and buy guns downtown may mistakenly believe he lives in a state with restrictive gun laws.
No, a store selling assault weapons in Morgantown does not have the authority to assess the mental condition of a prospective purchaser nor to make the purchaser wait to purchase. A gun store in Morgantown is not permitted to impose it’s own red flag law. In addition, it is not in the store’s financial interest to pass up a $500 sale even if the purchaser appears to be an angry “nut.”
Therefore, in the near future, any raging bar patron, college student or high school student will be able to take a short run to a new assault weapon store and will be able demonstrate strength by returning and murdering a large number of people using a newly purchased weapon while his anger still motivates him.
No one can overestimate the “value” to residents of Morgantown of having convenient and unimpaired access to assault weapons.
Can one be anti-abortion but still pro-choice?
Twenty-five percent of women in the U.S. have an abortion in their lifetime (Guttmacher Institute 2020). Ethical questions around abortions abound.
Are we human at conception? Is a fetus human? Should a week or month-old embryo be afforded the same considerations and protections as the woman who carries it?
We live in a country guided by the principle of moral clarity. Moral clarity takes the bewilderment out of decisions. There is a right and a wrong. Even the way the issue of abortion is framed, pro-life or pro-choice creates the illusion of a false dichotomy. Can’t one be anti-abortion and pro-choice?
As a licensed independent clinical social worker, I have counseled numerous women around pregnancy issues. Women don’t magically get pregnant. They are impregnated. This can be through intent, accident, and by violence. I have known women whose lives would be shattered by the birth of a child. Rarely was a woman casual about an abortion. They were weighing harm.
Utilitarian ethics recognizes that we are interconnected. The harm of all parties is considered.
Which is the lesser harm? If a woman is unwilling or unable to care for a child, is there virtue in giving birth? Is such a life equivalent to dying not just one time but many times in one’s lifetime, with suffering for both the woman and the child?
Outlawing abortions expands illegal abortions and harm. Making abortions illegal does not prevent or even reduce abortion. Abortion goes underground and is performed under unsafe conditions.
Want to discourage abortion as a choice? Reduce the harm that comes from bringing a child into the world unsupported. Support the born through expanded governmental and community funding.
Overcomplexity may obfuscate but oversimplicity makes it difficult to find the common ground for solutions.
Big Daddy’s resources make ‘challenge’ unfair
The recent article on the controversy surrounding Big Daddy Unlimited, “Big Daddy Guns issues fundraising challenge, puts The Deck location on the line” (DP-08-04-22), comments on the “fundraising challenge” without addressing its legitimacy.
This “challenge” is illegitimate; a corporation with revenue valued at over $12 million per year has openly called an informal group of private citizens from a small town to win in raising funds or “cease operation” as a loosely organized outfit.
This challenge is illegitimate because the outcome is essentially certain: an out-of-state corporation with incomparably higher funds will outmatch the sum of small-dollar donations from concerned parents and residents in a small community.
There is no symmetry in the amount of power and resources Big Daddy Unlimited has over individual residents or loosely grouped residents of Morgantown. While the press release was newsworthy, it is similarly newsworthy to analyze the decision a corporation made in using the act of charity as a tool to suppress its opposition. No fact was presented in the release that suggests Morgantown citizens of opposing opinions do not already donate to charities or causes that matter to them. Moreover, no reason was given behind the implicitly expressed sentiments that Morgantown residents are unwilling to support the local fundraiser in question.
It is unclear whether Big Daddy Unlimited is feeling business pressure or anxiety on meaningful levels. However, the considerable amount of criticism against Big Daddy Unlimited in online forums makes clear that a significant number of Morgantown residents find the press release to be problematic.
Surplus should be used to fill vacancies first
The state Legislature is discussing whether to reduce state income tax or property taxes or some combination of both or all.
I pay thousands annually in income tax and well over $1,000 in property tax. But until the state can fill every teacher, state trooper and highway worker vacancy, I think it should apply any surplus currently at hand to work towards filling those vacancies.
Our legislators claim that lowering taxes will bring more workers and businesses to West Virginia. In my opinion, good schools, safety and pothole-free roads are more of an influence.
Imagine what someone considering moving here is thinking while driving through Westover or through Morgantown on W.Va. 7. Or a family with children moving to a county where the schools have no credentialed math or science teacher.
Let’s use the surplus from taxes to make West Virginia more attractive to potential newcomers as well as us current residents.
America needs more lawmakers like Manchin
When I was 8, my mother led my family in fleeing an authoritarian regime in Iran and made enormous sacrifices to immigrate to a democracy.
I love that democracy, but with the nasty partisanship of the last years and the inability to tackle big problems, I began to wonder whether our system could rise to the moment. That’s why I’m so proud to be a West Virginian and have Joe Manchin as my U.S. senator.
Love him or hate him, Manchin shows that you don’t have to play the political games of the left and right to get things done — on the contrary, that’s how we get ourselves stuck. He’s held strong against pressures from the left on policies that would increase inflation and held strong against pressures from the right to do nothing and just finger point.
It’s clear as day that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is good for our pocketbooks today — reducing inflation and the cost of prescription drugs — and good for our future and competitiveness tomorrow.
I remember my mother’s sacrifices today when I look at my own daughter, proud and grateful that she’s born into a country that’s still able to accomplish big things thanks to leaders like Joe Manchin.
Company trying to buy community acceptance
It’s been reported that Big Daddy Guns is attempting to bribe its way into Morgantown by donating to the Mon County Sheriff’s Association so that Protect Morgantown will stop protesting Big Daddy’s proposed location and go away.
Is it just me, or does anyone else smell a rat with Big Daddy’s latest antic?
I suppose this isn’t the first time entitled outsiders have tried to buy their way into Morgantown, but it’s also a brazen attempt to hold Protect Morgantown hostage and deny members their First Amendment rights.
Big Daddy’s attempt to ingratiate itself with the community by throwing money at kids in need comes off as hollow and insincere: Would they donate the money if they were being welcomed with open arms? I doubt it.
Haven’t we all seen it before when outsiders, ignorant of Appalachian culture and values, try to take advantage of us because they think they’re, smarter than we are?
This is what we’re confronted with, and I’m willing to throw my support behind Protect Morgantown and the County Sheriff’s Association to keep Big Daddy out of The Deck.
I support responsible gun ownership, and I have a concealed carry permit. I’m not anti-Second Amendment. I am, however, totally against entitled outsiders bullying their way into the community without any regard for our legitimate concerns.