Placeholder Your Letters

Gun, hunting industries

contribute to economy

The debate on guns in America has moved away from reason and logic and disintegrated into an emotional shouting match. It can only be resolved through a logical and reasonable approach.

Mostly overlooked is the impact of the gun industry on the American economy. The manufacture of guns is a $52 billion industry, generating more than $6 billion in direct tax revenue. More than 312,000 American jobs are dependent on the manufacture and sale of guns.

Most guns sold in America are to sportsmen, who spend additional dollars related to the sports of hunting and competitive shooting. One major sports catalog lists more than 6,000 items ranging from footwear and clothing to trucks, ATVs and trailers for sports activities. These products add billions more to the economy and tax revenue.

In addition, sportsmen travel extensively during the hunting seasons, utilizing local lodging and eating at local restaurants. These are big revenue sources for many rural communities.

Hunters are very beneficial to conservation. The revenue from hunters funds many environmental programs and actually helps provide additional wildlife habitat. Most states must deal with deer/automobile accidents, and hunting is a major factor in controlling deer populations.

I lost a dear family member to a gun, but at no point did I consider the gun responsible. A gun is inoperable on its own, it can only be misused by a human being.

Gary Lister

Cameron ,Missouri

District needs to ‘think

outside the box’

The inability of the SJSD School Board and Superintendent Doug Van Zyl to think outside the box saddens me.

Over the past six months, the board has held “listening sessions” with one question in mind, “Which schools do you want us to close and where should we build a new one?” Not once did they ask, “How should we refocus the current schools we have to make St. Joseph a better place to serve our students?”

Why not consider making Benton focused as a sports-centric school, Central focused as a center of academic excellence and Lafayette as a center for the arts. These are just possibilities, but not once has the board thought outside the box and looked at these possibilities. No, their focus has been on where should we build the new schools and which schools should we close.

We need to look carefully at the needs of our children and community. Simply building new buildings without having thought through the academic focus of the new system will serve no one but the builders of the new schools. It’s time for the board to give the public a “new school idea” in the context of repurposing the buildings we have.

Kent Pickett

St. Joseph