License parents, not firearms

License parents, not firearms

There has been a great deal of attention focused on gun control lately, and for good reason. Many families have suffered tragic losses, and our entire society grieves along with them.

The incidence of both mass and school shootings has dramatically increased of late. We should all advocate for some sort of gun control, as no one really needs an assault rifle, but the Second Amendment guarantees us the right to bear arms. Protesting the Bill of Rights is a futile gesture; the resources required to do so would be better allocated elsewhere. Increasing the regulations will not stop potential criminals from accessing weapons, so instituting more thorough background checks and testing a purchaser for potential mental illness will not decrease these needless deaths.

Instead, we should focus on conducting background checks and psychological evaluations on potential parents. If a license were required to procreate, we may well have fewer children growing up to commit these acts of senseless violence. Just as every citizen must pass a test and prove their ability to operate a motor vehicle in order to get their driver's license, one should have to prove their ability to parent.

Of course parents are not always responsible for their children's deeds, but it is a reasonable starting point. This letter does not propose eugenics (selective breeding), but does advocate for firmer parental training so that they can provide proper guidance and influence. It really does take a village to raise a child.

Viki Brumble

Rogue River

King's dream can be anyone's dream

On Jan. 21, 2013, President Barack Obama's second inaugural address not only focused on the fundamental issues but also his dream, the united people.

Throughout the President's inaugural address, one can see the shared concepts and ideologies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The President shared ideologies that showed Martin Luther King Jr.'s dreams can be applied to any dream. I felt throughout the president's address that I could see the direct connection to Dr. King's goals and dreams for American people.

I also thought the president beautifully blended the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. in the address by saying that the United States should try to resolve differences with other nations through peace instead of violence. Many Americans in the United States don't agree with the president's political opinions or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dreams for the United States, but this doesn't make their dreams any less important. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dreams are not only for African American people, but for all people who have been oppressed and discriminated against.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s dreams and President Barack Obama's dreams for 2013 are one and the same, showing us that the past dreams can shape our future dreams.

Ky'Anna Smith