Bob-n-Along, March 6, 1999
No excuse for gunning down dogs
In my opinion, word of shooting to death dogs who
(yes WHO!)are housed at shelters in Barbour County is one of the most despicable
acts I've ever had the displeasure of hearing.
Any individual who can take it upon himself to fire
a gun at a dog (or any other domestic animal simply because it is homeless
and that individual thinks it's more cost-effective than an injection)
is beyond contempt, in my view.
Yes, I'll admit that it does cost money to feed
animals and that it does require a special kind of love to provide them
with a good home. It is instinctive for animals to multiply. (That's why
the most humane people, especially those in the veterinary medicine field,
advocate spaying or neutering a pet. Unfortunately, homeless animals reproduce,
It's the offspring of these animals who must suffer.
And suffer is what they do, deprived of the food, the home and the love
they deserve. They suffer enough without someone arbitrarily condemning
them to death by gunfire.
May all who care for these animals keep their eyes
focused on what is happening in Barbour County. Now I realize that certainly
not everyone in Barbour is a heartless creep. There are some fine people
living there. But if the animals must die, let it be by injection. Otherwise,
the powers-that-be who have authority to limit these terrible actions should
be contacted en masse by all who care. And if their time is taken up in
having to deal with the issue, then so be it!
In refreshing contrast, I heartily commend the members
of the Marion County Rescue Squad who, although they are not veterinarians
and haven't any particular expertise in treating animals, still do their
best to help in the treatment of dogs, cats and other of God's creatures
who are suffering. I feel it is people like these who truly should
Isn't it amazing the way attitudes can differ among
Tim Langer of the Exponent-Telegram staff brought the following to my
Raymond Matthey of Cherry Camp Road in Harrison
County is looking for some lines of verse.
Mr. Matthey, age 84, says that when he attended Harden Grade School
in Salem in the 1920s, his fourth-grade teacher (whom he remembers only
as Mrs. Smith) taught her students a poem to help them remember the presidents
of the United States. He remembers the beginning of the poem, which goes
"First on the list was Washington, Virginia's proudest name.
"John Adams, a Federalist, from Massachusetts came.
"Three sons of Old Virginia into the White House go,
"Tom Jefferson and Madison and then came James Monroe."
The poem ended with Herbert Hoover, who was president
at the time. Mr. Matthey, a 1934 graduate of Salem High School, says he
would much appreciate any help in remembering the rest of this presidential
My favorite stand-up comic Steven Wright tells the following:
"I love to go shopping. I love to freak out salespeople.
They ask me if they can help me, and I say, "Have you got anything I'd
like?" Then they ask me what size I need, and I say, 'extra medium.'"
Bob is substituting for Executive Editor Bill Sedivy today. The Bob-n-Along
column was inadvertently omitted from Friday's editions.
Exponent View, Saturday, March 6, 1999
The NRA is pushing us in the wrong direction
According to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms, the number of guns purchased in West Virginia and used in
out-of-state felonies has risen by more than 135 percent in five years.
Those figures don't seem to matter to the National
Rifle Association, which, in just a matter of two days, was able to persuade
a majority of the state House Judiciary Committee to call back a handgun
restriction bill that had already been sent to the House floor.
It was called back so that the committee could remove
a section that would have given Huntington the ability to limit the number
of handgun sales per month. The committee voted 19-4 to repeal Delegate
Jody Smirl's, R-Cabell, amendment.
We have one thing to say. The NRA is pushing us in the wrong direction.
Our Legislature should be making it tougher for
people to buy guns. Instead, lawmakers are letting a national organization
make local decisions for us.
The bill would have prohibited cities from passing
their own restrictions on handguns, but would leave any current ordinances
intact. Charleston has a one-handgun per month limit, and Huntington wanted
the same limit.
So, Smirl tacked on the amendment to allow Huntington
to enforce the same rule as Charleston. Basically, the amendment would
have excluded cities with a population of 50,000 or more (Charleston and
Huntington) from the ban.
We don't think this bill was that great in the first
place, but to take Huntington out of the mix because of pressures from
a gun lobbyist is a bit much.
According to ATF stats, 605 guns were purchased
in this state in 1998 and then used in out-of-state felonies.
"It's very troubling that West Virginia is becoming known as a supermarket
for illegal firearms traffickers," said Jim Crist, ATF chief in Charleston.
Yes, it is troubling. But apparently our Legislature
can't see that. All our legislators can see is the imprint of the NRA's
thumb as it pushes them down.
Telegram View, Saturday, March 6, 1999
The NRA is not holding a gun to House panel's head
If there is one thing that West Virginia counties
and municipalities do not need it is a state Legislature telling them they
cannot restrict the possession and sale of firearms. And if there is one
thing that National Rifle Association spokesmen can do without, it is being
blamed for forcing repeal of an amendment doing just that.
If a majority of the House Judiciary Committee decided
against passing the handgun restriction measure that members had sent to
the full House, it would be foolish to blast the NRA for the panel's action.
The committee consists of adult men and women capable of making their own
To hint that the NRA is pushing our state in the
wrong direction on the issue of availability of handguns is nothing short
of a "cop-out." First and foremost, the NRA has as much right to lobby
legislators as representatives of any other interest in the state.
Also, House Judiciary Committee members approved
the measure early last week that included an amendment exempting cities
with populations of 50,000 people or more. In West Virginia, this would
mean Huntington and Charleston.
But the NRA was against the judiciary panel's original
version. NRA lobbyist Jeff Freeman argued, "People in Charleston and Huntington
would have been treated differently (from) people in other parts of the
We agree with the NRA in backing the later version
of the legislation. The organization's lobbyists maintain it would "protect
law-abiding gun owners by establishing a uniform code of firearms laws
across the state."
And a uniform code is what is needed, not a bunch
We have already stated that guns do not kill people,
people kill people. And we have reminded readers that the Second Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution provides citizens with a right to protect themselves
against aggressors. Thus we are sticking to our guns.
Robert F. Stealey
Telegram editorial board chairman