The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on Gov. Pat McCrory, charter schools, gun control, education, Muslims, flatulence, campaign favors

Letters that got overrun by other issues before they could see print:


Helping students

This year I am especially thankful for the Opportunity Scholarship Program and the impact it has made on my family and our children. This scholarship was exactly what we needed.

Because of this program, my husband and I were able to have the freedom to choose and to provide our children with the education we wanted them to have. Both of our children have experienced high standards at their new private schools and have pushed themselves to work really hard to achieve their goals. This is more than I could ever have asked for.

I hope that the program will continue to expand so that more families like mine can take advantage of it and can reap the same benefits that we have come to appreciate.

Maie Aqqad



Protecting polluters

Regarding the Oct. 24 news article “ McCrory signs bill despite petition”: I can’t believe Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 765! He must be completely unaware of the natural environment around us.

As a young boy living in the country, I was able to run through fields and woods without concerns about the air I breathed or the quality of the streams and ponds I played in. I enjoy the outdoors – camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, etc. – and I took tremendous joy in being able to do the same with my children as they grew up.

HB 765 had little to no public debate and has negative implications for our environment, especially our groundwater. This bill is an example of the blatant disregard McCrory and some legislators have for the well-being of our state and its people.

This legislation, which should be called the “Polluter Protection Act,” eliminates any state requirement to offset damage to intermittent streams, threatening downstream public water supplies. It also offers an opportunity for offending entities to be excused for their transgressions if they self report their error.

I am appalled by the ignorance displayed. What kind of environment does McCrory want to leave our grandchildren?

William Blaine

Wake Forest


Eliminate gun stockpiles

I would like to have a higher amount of control on the use of guns, and to do that I would make it so that the only kinds of guns that can be bought are for hunting and personal defense.

Types of guns subject to additional control would be rifles and shotguns. Because so many crimes are committed with handguns, they should not be allowed to be used.

In urban areas, there would be a ban on all guns unless the owner has a license.

In addition to limiting the types of guns which can be purchased, the sellers would be required to do a full psychological evaluation to be sure the owner is fit to own a gun.

All owners would be required to check in with the police every year to verify that they still have the gun in their possession and to prove they have not given their gun to someone else.

Finally, owners would not be allowed to own more than five firearms. Guns should not be stockpiled and should be purely for hunting or personal defense.

Andrew Dowdy



Gun laws must change

When it comes to the topic of gun control, I don’t believe it is a matter of creating more restrictive laws, but ensuring that every country is abiding by the same ones. The problem lies in the fact that buying weaponry is more easily accessible in some countries more than others.

The recent terrorist attacks on Paris prove that strict gun control laws for one location is an ineffective safety measure. It was discovered that the terrorists involved in these attacks obtained their guns from surrounding countries, illegally carrying them into France’s borders.

France has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, requiring both a license and psychological evaluation that must continue to be renewed. If the restrictive gun laws like those of France were established equally worldwide, this would help stop the issue of illegal weaponry that could potentially be used for harm.

However, studies have shown that just in the United States, people involved in a homicide reported to have obtained their weapons legally. Stricter gun laws worldwide cannot be a fool-proof solution to the abolition of mass shootings and homicides, but, they can reduce the number of victims lost to these causes annually.

Carson Herring



Governor supports polluters

Regarding the Oct. 24 news article “McCrory signs bill despite petition”: Several thousand N.C. residents called on Gov. Pat McCrory to veto one of the worst environmental bills of 2015 – House Bill 765. But the governor signed the bill anyway.

The governor had an opportunity to show that he was different from the legislature, but instead he joined its move to protect polluters at the expense of the rest of us.

This bill is troubling on many levels: It protects companies that violate environmental laws if they self-report their violations, cuts air quality monitors and allows small streams to be destroyed.

As a resident of Raleigh, I am very disappointed that the governor has put his interests above the health and well-being of our state and the people who live here.

Elizabeth Kearse



Time for boots

All residents of Earth who possess a soul are moving into the anger stage of human reaction to the barbaric assault upon the residents of Paris and the citizens of France.

Heretofore, since the debacles our military got sucked into in Iraq and Afghanistan, our stated policy on involvement with ISIS in Syria and Libya has been “no boots on the ground” there.

Now, perhaps it is time we and all our Western world brethren – U.S., France, U.K., Germany, Australia, et al. – adopt the opposite policy of “all boots on the ground” and send every available soldier and Marine to put an end to this barbarism.

If that sounds radical or extreme, please be reminded with whom we are dealing – radical Islamic extremists.

Bill Massey



Focus on teachers

I’m sure I am not the only reader who noted the irony of having the Nov. 9 front-page story on Wake County’s latest schools controversy (“ Parents say year-round school forced on them”) in the same issue as the Community Conversation on teachers leaving the state.

Our family moved to Raleigh in spring 2012 (but recently relocated to Asheville due to jobs), and as anyone with a good memory will recall, that means we landed in the area in the middle of extreme school turmoil.

When selecting a middle school for our child for the 2012-13 school year, we were given our last choice, and as a result he had to get on the bus at 6 a.m. for the 7:30 start time. While ultimately he thrived at Carroll Middle, which has outstanding staffers and teachers, I can still understand parents’ frustration over how Wake tinkers with school assignments. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

That said, if parents would put even half as much energy into insisting that our state be proactive in supporting and retaining teachers as they do protesting over their own family schedules being disrupted, we might actually make some progress on the teaching front.

Fred Mills



Guns for protection

In the world we live in, there will always be violence. For our country, the violence that happens the most is gun shootings. Is gun control really the solution to end killings in this world? The answer is no.

If we decide to take away guns or put a stronger control on how to own one, the people who really want one will find a way to get one or something else.

As stated by Donald Trump previously before his speech on CNN about the Oregon Community College Shooting, “Trump has previously cited mental health issues, not guns, as the biggest cause of shootings in the U.S.”

We can’t blame mass murders on a weapon that has no control over itself. These machines have the ability to kill, everyone knows that. Only we give it that power. We are the ones who decides to pull that trigger.

The Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms to protect ourselves; no one can take that away from us. Our country doesn’t want guns to have stricter control, we need to start using them the way that the Second-Amendment intended us to; to protect ourselves.

Ellison Riley



Favors from McCrory

I have a few favors to ask of Gov. Pat McCrory and a few thousand dollars to contribute to his campaign.

First of all, I would like my son to get the lead in his school play. Could McCrory make a few calls to make that happen? I will be happy to share my son’s principal’s phone number with him to get started.

I’d also like the tolls removed from the 540 expressway in southern Wake County. I understand that someone somewhere needs the funds for that, so maybe he could charge the folks in North Raleigh to use it for a while instead.

Last but not least, could McCrory get the Carolina Hurricanes a winning season? They have been struggling for years, and I’m sure he could pull some strings to get them in top form again. Ever hear of Sidney Crosby? He would be a great addition to the team. Get him, please.

I sure do appreciate all he does for us folks with money. It is wonderful to have a governor in our pocket when we need him!

Katie Thompson

Holly Springs


Laughing gas

For the first time ever, an article in The N&O (“ Kangaroo farts hold no secret for saving climate,” Nov. 8 news article) cracked me up!

I’ve never seen “farts” used in professional journalism. The writer (from The Washington Post) started off using “flatulence” and “passing gas” then reverted to “farts.” It just made me laugh out loud!

Thanks for mixing it up a bit along with the other sad and depressing news reporting.

Sue Veasey



Show him the money

From reading stories about Gov. Pat McCrory recently, one thing is abundantly clear: McCrory will go out of his way for major campaign contributors, whether they need him to steer a government contract toward their company or whether they need the Highway Patrol to ticket truckers parked at a specific highway exit. McCrory is there to help his wealthy friends.

It has also become clear recently whom he will not help. That includes families fleeing the violence of war and ISIS. These refugees are running from the very same horrors that we saw in the Paris and Kenyan attacks, yet the response from McCrory is to turn them away.

If only the refugees could form a political action committee to donate to McCrory’s re-election campaign, perhaps then he would go out of his way to save their lives.

Peter Walz