More Jackson County Opinions...

 September 27, 2000


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Column
By Adam Fouche
The Jackson Herald
September 27, 2000

Gun control or Constitutional theft?
Here we go again.
Sensing discord among constituents, our kind and caring politicians on Capitol Hill in D.C. have taken it upon themselves to search for ways to control guns in this country.
Beware.
Though they will present you with many neat little gun control packages wrapped in colorful paper with a pretty little red bow on top, the surprise inside will shock you.
Their latest ingenious idea, gun locks, has been the topic of much debate around the country.
Maybe, to you, mandatory gun locks seem like a good idea. After all, it seems to be a good solution to the problem. Lock the triggers on guns and they won't fire. Correct?
Well, they won't do any good.
Gun locks, in theory, will keep kids from getting their hands on guns and becoming another sad statistic. My question is, why do these kids have access to the guns in the first place?
The same parents who leave their guns within the reach of children will be the same ones who take the locks off once they get home.
The people who do use the locks will be the ones who are raped or beaten or robbed or killed because they dropped the key to their gun lock as they were panicking to unlock it.
Gun locks are nothing more than a veiled political attempt to make our congressmen, senators and president look like they are trying to solve the problem. They aren't solving anything except their way to get re-elected.
Don't be fooled.
And why, in the first place, has the gun industry come under fire?
I'm not insensitive to the issue. I think it is tragic that kids needlessly die by the bullets of accidental gunshots. And it's tragic that people are murdered by guns.
However, are not kids also needlessly killed by reckless, unattentive and drunk drivers?
Where are all the advocates when a 4-year-old dies because some businessman is too busy talking on his cell phone to pay attention to the road?
Or what about the family killed when someone too occupied with the passengers in his truck pulls out in front of their mini-van?
I'd like to see some car control. I'd like to see tougher licensing of drivers. I'd like to see more restrictions on what you can do when you're driving.
But back to the issue at hand. Ownership of guns is a Constitutional right.
Wait, I can hear someone screaming now. A handful of you are no doubt think that requiring gun locks is not a limit to our Constitutional right.
Let's be hypothetical for a minute. Let's pretend you are right.
I concede to the government the ability to force me to lock my guns at home. Pretty soon, they require I give them a list of all the guns I own. Then they decide to outlaw everything but guns that fire .22-caliber ammunition.
And if we give them one Constitutional right, they'll take another one.
After taking away my guns, they'll decide to put a government censor standing over my shoulder here at the paper. Sure, he'll let us run the paper and he'll let us own it. He'll even let us write in it.
But he'll put a "lock" on our ability so that we can't just say anything.
Give them your guns, and they'll take your speech; they'll take your religion; and they'll take your freedom.
So let me ask you this, is it just gun control or is it Constitutional theft?
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. His e-mail address is fouche@nbank.net.

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Column
By Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
September 27, 2000


A big week for local teams
The home stretch of any sports season can be exciting, but local slow-pitch softball teams provided their fans with some thrillers this week as the 2000 season nears its end.
Jefferson went into Tuesday's doubleheader with Commerce undefeated at 20-0. All season, the Lady Tigers had been expected to be Jefferson's toughest opponent, and they didn't disappoint.
Though Commerce easily defeated the Lady Dragons in game one, the closing game of the double bill went to extra innings after the two rivals swapped one-run innings more than once in regulation.
If they weren't there already, Tuesday's performance firmly established the Lady Tigers as a state tournament contender. Don't be surprised if we see these two matched up later in Columbus, with even more on the line.
As the two cross-county rivals were shooting it out in Commerce, Jackson County was coming through with some late-season shenanigans of their own.
The Lady Panthers, who have been up-and-down all season and have struggled to win against quality teams, did just that Tuesday evening as they pulled off an upset of Elbert County to claim the top spot in area 8-AAA.
Though the two teams have played some close games, Elbert has owned Jackson County in the won/lost column this year. Tuesday's win marked the first time this season that the Lady Panthers have beaten Elbert County.
Aside from the obvious reasons, the win couldn't have come at a better time for Jackson County. The aforementioned ups and downs of the season seemed to have been wearing on players and coaches recently. The team was in desperate need of an energy jolt before the postseason, and they got it.
The only remaining question is whether they'll hold it. Last year's Lady Panthers went into the area tournament in virtually the same situation ­ hosting the tournament while holding the top seed. A season that had looked destined for sectional play ended when Jackson County couldn't emerge from the area tournament.
A boost like Tuesday's can do big things for a team, but not always. Jackson County should be able to qualify for the sectional, but they should have last year also.
Coaches Rainwater, Banks and Crumley will be busy this week trying to find a way to keep the boost alive while going seven days without playing.
The young Lady Panthers will benefit well from some tough area play, and will learn even more if they can make the sectional in Covington. Let's all wish them luck.
Who knows, maybe with all the exciting action going on this week, the Panther football team can get a boost of their own by upsetting Hart County Friday night.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald. His email address is SpeckCh@aol.com.

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