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Opinions: Feb. 22

 Why arming teachers is a really bad idea

In the wake of the latest school shooting there is a movement in some circles to arm teachers. This is one of those in theory that sounds good, but in practice it may not be a good thing.
Just about anybody can be taught to fire a weapon. They can be trained to operate the weapon correctly and instructed on the correct way to use the weapon. If the community has the proper facilities, they could even be taught using a reactive shooter simulation. 
All these things are great and will help the individual to understand the use of a weapon; however, having said all that, a real-life situation is a lot different.
Shooting at a paper target in an academic training environment or even killing an animal of some type, even for individuals who have handled weapons all their lives, shooting at someone shooting back at them is a whole different ballgame.
People in the military go through months of training as do law enforcement, spending countless hours training. That training costs thousands of dollars and requires a major commitment on the part of the individual. In some cases, despite all the training, the individual fails to react the way they’ve been trained to react when responding to situations they’ve trained for.
Having someone point a weapon at you and shooting that weapon at you in a fast-moving situation has made well-trained good people freeze and become a victim. 
I’m talking about people who have dedicated their adult lives to handling an active shooter scenario, not a teacher or administrator who has trained for years for the betterment and education of young people.
It takes a well-trained, dedicated individual who completely understands the possible outcome of walking into a situation where he or she may possibly have to kill someone, or be killed. Do we, as a community, want to place our teachers in that type of a situation.
 David Junghans


 Environmental protections bipartisan issue

I want to start a public conversation and share information about the Environmental Protection Agency that is responsible for cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated properties and waterways, among other things. One of their top managers, Barry Breen, told Congress in January that the government needs to plan for the ongoing threat posed to superfund sites from climate change in spite of the present administration’s reduction in funds, staffing and belief that climate change is a hoax. The point is our “sick” waterways, especially in Georgia, need and must be cleaned up for present and future use. This includes Georgia’s multi-billion dollar tourism, agriculture and fish industries. All are affected and if they are not healthy, eventually neither are we. This can be solved with the Carbon Fee and Dividend Plan as proposed by the Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends that is supported by a bi-partisan Climate Solutions Caucus now numbering 70. That’s right, even conservatives are on board and more are realizing the danger of inaction.

It’s not complicated: the polluters are fined, the carbon fee and the net funds, after administrative costs, are distributed to legitimate households, dividend. We can and must do this. What’s the alternative?
A superfund is created to deal with the clean-up of thousands of contaminated sites that exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open or otherwise improperly managed. These sites include manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mining sites.
For example, in the late 1970’s, toxic waste dumps such as Love Canal and Valley of the Drums received national attention when the public learned about the risks to human health and the environment.
Bonny Herman


 Difficulty with precision or is it just lying?


 Bald-faced and other forms of lying have become the norm in Trump world. Word has it, history is being rewritten that George Washington lied after cutting down the cherry tree. He didn’t get a whuppin’ because he convinced his father it was an alternative fact. Word mincing has become an art form to avoid calling Trump an outright liar.

Witness lapdogs Sarah Huckabee Sanders and father Mike Huckabee. Religious leaders’ puny attempts at mincing shouldn’t pass muster with an eighth grader, taking into account that 42 percent of Trump supporters say he’s a good role model for their children. Lord help us. Not calling a lie a lie includes falsehoods, untruthful, unsubstantiated, exaggeration, fabrication, hyperbole, myth, pretense, misleading, distortion, indirect, inventing and so on. Why not fraudulent, fast one, fairy tales, fiction, duplicity, flim flam, B.S. and cover up?

Joe Biden came up with a doozy: “Difficulty with precision.” That’s a good one for parents with curious children. What’s wrong with plain ol whoppers?

When he tells the next one (at this very minute), it would be great if folks responded, “You just told another whopper.” That’s entertainment. Going along with and laughing or ignoring this schoolyard bullying and name calling isn’t. Parents who approve of such behavior and include their children missed a teachable moment during Trump’s State of the Union by not explaining the term “lipstick on a pig” when he spoke of family values. Did Stormy and Melania fall for it? Wonder if any of his wanton victims watching were bent over in stitches or gagging? Melania speaks five different languages. She’s probably ecstatic he can lie in only one. 

Insiders are falling by the wayside as the White House stink keeps rubbing off. It’s Trump’s world. Liars should have good memories.

Mickey Cochrane


Sheriff’s academy provides useful insight


 Sheriff Vic Davis invites all residents of Clay County to attend his seven-week program, which will begin in March depending on enrollment. The free classes are held 6-8 p.m. on Mondays. Attendance is limited to 16-20 attendees, so be sure to sign up soon before the classes are filled. To enroll, call the sheriff’s office at 389-6354.

Your time will be well spent as this informative, hands-on program is designed to educate and inform Clay County residents about how the sheriff’s office works. These classes provide the opportunity to meet and get to know our county’s patrol deputies, investigators and office staff, including our K-9 deputies Phantom and Sarah and their handlers. There will also be an opportunity to hear from the county’s magistrates and district attorney, who will explain and answer questions regarding justice department procedures.

During the course of the program you will tour the sheriff’s office, ride along with a deputy in the normal course of his or her duties, perhaps witness a taser demonstration and tour the county’s detention facility and its impressive commercial kitchen. 


 After you have completed the program, you will become eligible to apply for the Clay County Sheriff’s Auxiliary, an optional volunteer program which gives citizens an opportunity to serve the community. Auxiliary members serve in many different capacities with training provided for all. These duties might include working in the sheriff’s office or the detention facility, helping out at the courthouse when in session as well as patrolling the county in the Citizens On Patrol car, making daily or weekly patrols through neighborhood watch areas, commercial storage facilities and performing house checks for out of town residents. 

These and other volunteer duties make it possible to free up the county’s certified deputies to perform vital law enforcement functions.

As a volunteer with the CCSO Auxiliary for almost one year, I can share that it has been a most rewarding and exciting time for me. Each of the many auxiliary members with whom I have spoken agree that it is a lot of fun and well worth our volunteer time. Even if you don’t desire to become a CCSO Auxiliary member, the Citizen’s Academy will provide a great learning experience for you as a Clay County resident and you will come away with a better understanding of and appreciation for the sheriff’s office.

-  Priscilla Richardson, CCSO Auxiliary member



 Gun laws including banning assault weapons should be revisited

How many children and teachers have to die and how many families must endure the worst tragedy imaginable before Congress will act to stop gun violence? The spate of school shootings and mass murder has not emboldened Congress into action. Where are the moral values and ethical compasses of our congressional representatives? Inaction is collusion with murder.

Gun violence is an issue of public safety. In the early 1980s, a bipartisan Congress passed the Brady Law. Every federal, state and local law enforcement agency lobbied for this law. When the time for renewal occurred during the Bush administration, Congress ignored the pleas of law enforcement and struck down the law in large part due to intense lobbying by the NRA. The Brady Law needs to be re-enacted. Congress should expand background checks to include misdemeanor violent offenses, close the gun show loop hole that excludes gun purchasers from background checks, ban assault weapons, limit a clip size to six rounds, make the sale and installation of bump stocks a federal offense and uphold state and municipality laws that govern the carrying of concealed weapons. The constitution guarantees the right to own firearms, but as a society we must be willing to accept laws that protect our citizens.

The time for thoughts and prayers is over. Action is needed now. Our congressional representatives, Senators Tills, Burr and Representative Meadows, have not spoken out or sponsored legislation to curb gun violence. NRA money is more important to them than enacting legislation to curb gun violence. It is time to vote them out of office.

Ted Owen, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine






Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997