Letters for March 13, 2018


Studies done on police shooting accuracy

One of the letters to the editor last week addressing school shootings included a very subjective proposal: arm public school educators and administrators.  Let’s look a couple of actual studies done on police shooting accuracy.

The first study looked at physical changes a police officer experiences when firing their weapons, what happens in the brain and body when shots are fired. The brain stem sends out signals that cause blood vessels to constrict and hormones to surge. Studies have shown that eyesight becomes narrower (literally tunnel vision) under such conditions. People who have been in gunfights describe hearing very little and perceive time slowing down. Amid this chaos, as police officers have to make difficult, split-second decisions, humans can lose motor skills as the body reverts to basic fight or flight instincts.

The second study is a data driven report on the accuracy of the police when shooting their weapon. The study, done at the request of the NYPD, showed the average hit rate in situations in which  gunfire was not returned was 30 percent; the average hit rate in gunfights was 18 percent for gun fights.

Accuracy improves at close range, with officers hitting their targets 37 percent of the time at distances of seven yards or less; at longer ranges, hit rates fall sharply, to 23 percent.

These studies on the accuracy of police officers tell us that a police officer, who is trained by police professionals not just to hit a stable target but also hit multiple moving targets while discriminating the bad guys from the good guys, must pass a certification to carry a gun, and is required to train and recertify every year on gun safety and marksmanship, will still have a very spotty accuracy record in the field.

Take those accuracy statistics for police and apply them to the following situation: a school hallway crowded with panicked students running from a shooter who looks like a student. When a “good guy with a gun” attempts to take the shooter down, statistics show he will miss at least 80% of the times.  Guess what those errant shots hit. Multiple “good guys with a gun,” civilians whose gun training will necessarily be much less than what a police officer receives, would spray that crowded hallway of students with bullets, possibly killing the shooter, but all the while killing scores of students.

We need to focus on reducing the number of guns in schools, not increasing.


John Barry – Franklin, N.C.

Representatives serve other masters

If there is one thing Americans have learned from the most recent slaughter of innocent children and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it is now irrefutably and clearly certain the men and women we elect time after time after time to lead our states and nation do not (and in some cases don’t even exhibit the slightest pretense) represent the most important and common interests of ordinary citizens.  They readily admit (barren of any evidence of shame or embarrassment) accepting money and other gratuities from special interest, deep-pocketed benefactors like the NRA (certainly not a singular donor but one of many) and other industries and organizations which lobby Congress relentlessly with devastating results.

The blocked column usually found on the right of the second letters page of this newspaper lists the members of our state and federal governments and is titled “Who represents you?”  In reality this is a misnomer because those listed do not really “represent” (if I understand the true meaning of the term “representative government”) you or me or anyone who considers himself or herself an ordinary citizen and average working class member of society. According to what I read every day, I think that describes the feelings of the majority of Americans coast to coast, border to border.

North Carolina’s U.S. Senators (Thom Tillis and Richard Burr) have received nearly $7 million and $4.4 million respectively from the NRA (according to the Associated Press) and several other legislators have spent campaign funds to purchase NRA memberships and/or weapons. As I have not seen any denials, I must assume these figures and accusations are accurate.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), when confronted with students from the very school where the massacre occurred, confessed that he could not promise to refuse NRA contributions in the future.  Give Rubio credit for at least being up front about it, most politicians hedge.

Corruption and hypocrisy in politics is nothing new, we all know this.  But public acceptance of it is. In our hyper-partisan, close-minded political environment we seem willing to grant “our side” permission to commit wrong behavior (the old, “he may be a crook but he’s our crook,” principle) rather than allow those we consider our adversaries an edge.

Having studied history a little and having had the opportunity to visit 26 foreign countries and having witnessed three-quarters of a century of history personally, one thing has become abundantly clear regarding the breakdown of societies throughout history, extreme polarization kills democracies.

When no fundamental principles apply, no ethical standards, no elementary moral guidelines, ideals, norms or underlying cardinal truths that everyone can agree on (which is where we are now in America), and the “anything goes in the struggle for power” attitude prevails, I can only conclude, we’re in big trouble.

America’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren (I have 23) live in a world they didn’t create, cannot possibly comprehend, and certainly cannot change on their own.  They should have the right to go to school to learn without fear of being shot, as my generation did, my father’s generation, and his father’s generation did.  But they can’t because my generation (to our everlasting shame) took our collective eye off the ball allowing this beautiful country to deteriorate to the chaos and unrest we’re experiencing today.

Our present leaders are not going to put this nation back on a correct path, they’re too busy feathering their own nests and willing to sacrifice our children to achieve that aim.  The NRA too, based on our ignorance and complicity, will continue to buy off weak, bootlicking members of Congress and sue anyone who opposes them.

If we continue to trust our future, our children’s future and our nation to men like Donald Trump, Thom Tillis, Richard Burr and Mark Meadows and others like them… we’re doomed.


David L. Snell – Franklin, N.C.

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child

I am writing to thank the residents of Franklin, Highlands, and Macon County for spreading joy to children around the world this Christmas. Through the generosity of the Macon County community, 4,636 shoesboxes were collected; and the Western North Carolina Area Team was able to exceed our goal by collecting 20,038 shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. The International total for 2017 was 11,012,840 shoeboxes!

Macon County volunteers transformed empty shoeboxes into treasured gifts filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys to be delivered to children around the world affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. These children, many of whom have never received a gift before, learn God loves them and has not forgotten them. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

We are so grateful for all the volunteers that worked to collect these shoeboxes!  Our ministry partners play a vital part in getting shoebox gifts into the hands of millions of children in need each year.   This simple shoebox gift can make an eternal impact in the life of a child, and we want to thank everyone who makes it possible.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though the Macon County drop-off locations are closed until November 2018, shoeboxes can still be packed and sent year-round to Samaritan’s Purse headquarters at 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607. Additionally, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website or by calling (704)583-1463.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this project and for those who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message of hope and continue to transform the lives of children worldwide.


June C. Trull, WNC Area Coordinator

Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child

Many dating methods indicate a ‘young’ earth

Jesus quoted constantly from the Old Testament, and obviously accepted it as factual. He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, nor the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5: 17-18). He said, “…at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”(Mark 10:6-8) Notice that He said “at the beginning of creation.”  Those who want to place millions of years in Genesis, do so because they believe God made man at or near the end of creation, a direct contradiction of Jesus’ statement. Worse than that, if man evolved over millions of years through a process of “natural selection,” that means death and suffering are a normal part of creation, and not the consequence of man’s sin, contradicting both the Old and New Testament. That makes God the author of death and suffering. Who would want to worship a god who caused pain and suffering and death? And why would God send His Son to die to pay the penalty for our sin by dying for us, and raise Him from the dead, defeating death, so that we could have eternal life, thus ruining the evolutionary process He himself had created?

In 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22 we read, “For as by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”  Paul said, “Christ Jesus… has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality… through the gospel,” (2 Timothy 1:10b) and “the last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:26) So we learn that death is not good. Why would a good God create death to facilitate evolution?

It was said of the real Jesus Christ, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3)  John the Baptist said of Him, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Paul said of Him, “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”(Colossians 1:15-17)

Exodus 20:11 says, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” The seven day week is based on the creation event. The old-earth “god” is one that creates death and suffering, and then comes in to clean it up and act like the hero, but that false god doesn’t save anyone because there’s no need to be saved. The “god” of evolution created all the problems himself.

True science doesn’t require belief in millions of years. There are many limiting factors on the earth that show that it cannot be billions of years old. Some of these include the slowing of the earth, the shrinking of the sun, the receding moon, the oldest organism is about 4,000 years old (about the age of Noah’s flood), the oldest desert is about 4,000 years old, the first recorded history is about 6,000 years old, the salinity of the oceans, the erosion rate, the amount of helium in the atmosphere, short cycle comets, the declining magnetic field, plus many more.  At least 90% of the dating methods yield a young earth. But evolutionary theory absolutely requires millions and billions of years. That is why they must cling to the few methods that seem to indicate great age for the earth/universe.

Sadly, some Christian organizations have rejected the clear teaching of the Bible. It is time to return to the witness of the only One who was there. Science is about observation. “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”(Matthew 7:13-14


Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.