Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

January 27, 2013

Letters to the Editor 1/27/13

Mineral Wells Index

— The Index welcomes letters to the editor on a variety of topics. We reserve the right to edit letters for style, grammar and taste. Letters should be concise and to the point. They must be signed and include the author’s address and phone number for verification. We will accept only original letters – no form letters. Letters that do not conform to this policy will not be published. Deadline for submitting letters for Sunday publication is 5 p.m. Wednesday, or via e-mail by noon Thursday. Submissions may be dropped-off, mailed, faxed or sent electronically to editor@mineralwellsindex.com.

What a Show!

Dear Editor:

People come. They stand in line waiting to claim their seat. The feeling of anticipation and excitement is real. Then the lights go down, the music starts and the curtain is drawn. A set is revealed and actors come to life. The magic of live theater begins.

For three nights and one matinee, those who saw the Mineral Wells High School production of the Broadway musical “Annie” were transported to another time and place. But the lesson of optimism taught by a little girl in the Great Depression is as relevant today as it was then. People said that this show was the best ever seen locally.

It was my privilege to participate in this play and again be part of live theater. As a government/history major in college, the opportunity to play the role of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a special treat. Congratulations and thanks to Kris Allen, Mac Chestnut, Jennifer Flowers Jones and Beth Williams for all of their hard work. And congratulations to the entire cast and crew for a truly first-rate job. Only those who have worked with a play know how much time, blood, sweat and tears are required.  

No one, young people or adults, who participated in “Annie” will ever forget it. No price can be put on those memories. We will all remember how we worked together for a common cause; how we laughed and cried; how we adjusted if things were not perfect; how we lifted each other up and were, in turn, lifted up by those who appreciated our work at each performance.

We expect our children to learn math, science, history and reading. We expect to provide teachers and places to teach those things. But we also need our schools to teach our children about citizenship, responsibility and things like trust, dedication and confidence so that they will become productive members of society.

Theater, particularly a live musical, does it all. It teaches dedication/commitment (that’s one word), hard work with a reward, responsibility, confidence, trust, cooperation, sharing, optimism, teamwork and crisis management – because the show must go on.

In Texas public school finance, some say that budgets have to be cut. Too often, they say that we can “do without” fine arts and music. They say that other programs are more important in educating our children.

The kindest word I can use to describe this thinking is this: “Baloney.” Live theater and music are what education is all about.

To Mineral Wells High School theater and music, your work in “Annie” has spoken volumes to us about real education. So now, lead on! We will gladly follow.

Mike A. Smiddy (“FDR”), Mineral Wells

Thanks, Jim!

Dear Editor:

A quick note of thanks to Jim Vines and “Veterans Corner” for the recent articles regarding changes at the VA on benefits.

My father and father-in-law, both now deceased, were World War II vets. My wife and I have worked now for several years to secure Aid & Attendance and Survivor benefits for our mothers, who need this benefit in such a dire way.

The application process and the annual EVR were burdensome to complete, and the wait actually months, close to year. Although retroactive if granted, the wait for the benefits was a burden.

Jim’s articles have been the ONLY notice that we’ve seen or read that the EVR will no longer be required (hooray!), and that VA is now going paperless (hooray again!). It’s about time.

Jay & Elaine Turner

Reader Response to NRA Letter

Dear Editor:

Charles Thompson has written a letter about a topic he apparently knows nothing about. In his letter of Jan. 20, Mr. Thompson states that after the Newtown shooting the NRA “released a violent shooting video game ...”

He cannot have viewed the game and make such a statement. I downloaded the game. It is a “first shooter” game that allows the player to shoot: 1) a pistol at targets on an indoor range, 2) a rifle at targets on an outdoor range, or 3) a shotgun at skeet-like targets.  

Absolutely zero “violence” unless one considers the simple act of shooting a virtual gun “violent.”

Maybe Mr. Thompson is referring to the “violence” at the opening of each of the three ranges where there are gun safety tips such as “know your target and what is beyond it.” Perhaps Mr. Thompson’s “violence” statement comes from the NRA Info menu on the game’s main menu. Selecting the NRA Info takes one to another menu that lists: 1) gun safety, 2) NRA News, 3) Hunting Season, 3) Gun Laws, and 4) Legislation (gun-related). All of these selections are links to NRA websites that provide the topic information. Where is the “violence”? Unless the mere mention of the NRA is “violence” in Mr. Thompson’s mind.  

Unfortunately, that is just the case with many like-minded people. It is a mutation of the mathematical transitive relation where in this case  guns = bad and NRA = guns then NRA = bad. There is plenty of evil in the world. We do not need people conjuring up more where it does not exist.

Semper Fi,

Gary Mike McConnell, Lt. Col. USMC (Ret)

NRA game NOT ‘violent’

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to Charles Thompson’s letter in the Index about the NRA being hypocrites. He says that the NRA released a violent shooting video game, which is not true. They released a 3D target practice app for the IPAD, which features targets to shoot at, not silhouettes, or people, but targets. One chooses a firearm, and shoots at targets on a gun range. The app teaches gun safety and is in no way violent.

This is another knee-jerk response to a tragedy. There are two things I do not believe in, one is using the deaths of children to further an agenda, and the other is trampling on rights of U.S. citizens.

Charles Aaron Tirrell, Mineral Wells

Making the Life of Dictators of the United States Simple and Unthreatened

Dear Editor:

The constitution of the United States has an amendment which prohibits the infringement of a right to keep and bear arms. The reasoning and motivation for this amendment is obvious. Our forefathers and founding fathers had just completed a long and exhausting war for independence from a despotic government and felt compelled to declare and preserve the right of the people of the United States the practical ability to rebel against and replace any such government which might be established in the future.

It is not practical to oppose 50-caliber machine guns with shotguns and .22 caliber rifles. To be practical the public must be free to keep and bear arms equal to those used by the government. Those who now propose to prohibit so called assault weapons from private ownership are subverting the very heart of the Constitution which is the only real check on the ambitions of a would-be dictator.

Is this what we have allowed our nation of “freedom for all” to evolve to and throw away the aspirations of the rest of the world.

Jim Buzbee, Mineral Wells

Commendable Behavior in Mineral Wells

Dear Editor:

My wife and I attended a funeral in Mineral Wells Friday and was impressed with the people there. Everyone pulled over to the side of the road, and some got out and stood by their vehicle as the funeral passed. That is something you just do not see in these days. I do a lot of funerals and most will not even stop, even at the instructions of the leading officers. I was very impressed and wanted to say so.

God Bless You. Thanks for letting me share.

Sonny Buckingham, Pastor, Weatherford