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On reducing violence

I hear there is a lot of money being given to find ways to prevent gun violence. I'll give you one that works for free.

When a local law enforcement agency arrests a felon in possession of a firearm or anyone for possession of a prohibited weapon, turn him over to the federal government for prosecution. He will be out of the community for anywhere from five to 30 years, not being able to commit other crimes. Not only will gun violence go down, but crime will also go down.

Oh, by the way, stripping law-abiding citizens of their rights and freedoms has never changed the conduct of a criminal.

PHILIP SHERLIN

Little Rock

It's business decision

I couldn't disagree more with Jake Tidmore's letter pertaining to the Colorado baker who declined an order from a gay couple. This issue has nothing to do with religious or personal belief.

Owning a business for seven years, I dealt with all types of customers. Some were rude, some impatient, some dishonest. When the business is your livelihood, you have to swallow things you don't want to. But there were times when I said, "Enough ... I don't want to do business with you. Good luck elsewhere." A private business owner who receives no breaks or subsidies from the government deserves that right.

Consumers certainly exercise it. I'm willing to wager there are any number of businesses Mr. Tidmore doesn't transact with based on any number of reasons: bad service, location, rude employees, employee appearance, etc. We all make those choices every day of our lives. It's a little concept called free-market capitalism. It works.

Tidmore also doesn't acknowledge that had the baker made the cake, as modern times might dictate, someone on social media posting him as the "gay baker" might hurt his business.

He made a choice, knowing it could hurt him. There would be business consequences, and he would have to deal with them. That is the baker's choice, and even in this age of "sue, sue, sue," I believe this issue has no business in a court.

I leave Tidmore with this thought: A baker makes a swastika cake, at a customer's request, with anti-Semitic writing. According to Tidmore, he has to. Would Mr. Tidmore frequent that bakery? By his logic, it would be discriminatory not to do so.

Hey ... can't refuse your cake and eat it too, Jake. Pun intended.

ANTHONY LLOYD

Hot Springs

Rhetoric on respect

At the start of the college football national championship game the other night during the playing of the national anthem, it was pointed out that it appeared that "the president" did not know the words to "the anthem."

The next morning on The View they showed the clip and sure enough he (the president) tried moving his lips to mimic the words, but it was there for everyone watching that he didn't know the words.

All that rhetoric about respect for the flag and the anthem.

I took an oath to defend the Constitution of these United States of America. It can be confirmed that I served honorably so that the flag can fly high.

FRANKLIN E. FURLOUGH

Little Rock

What is it good for?

Part of our problem now is that we never really came to grips with the question of why we were in Vietnam. What possessed us to sacrifice more than 50,000 dead and 150,000 wounded Americans while killing hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians?

The war created 2.5 million refugees. To our credit and our benefit, the U.S. resettled some 1.3 million. That fact alone shines a glaring light on current Middle Eastern refugee policies.

The simple, popular answer at the time was the domino theory: If Vietnam fell to the communists, other countries in Asia could fall like a row of dominoes.

More fundamental was that communism was the enemy of Christendom. At an intuitive level--subconscious for some, crystal clear to others--it was a holy war. I don't have space to consider the abuse of the name of Jesus of such a thing.

The "dominoes" were nine or 10 countries, including Australia and New Zealand. No kidding. How many fell when we lost Vietnam?

One: Laos ... and Cambodia, sort of, briefly. Our bombing helped bring the Cambodian communist Khmer Rouge to power. Vietnam liberated Cambodia from that genocidal gang. Cambodia now has an elective constitutional monarchy. Australia and New Zealand are safe. Go figure.

The communist governments of Laos and Vietnam embraced free-market policies and have thriving economies.

Oh, well. C'est la vie. You win some, you lose some. Stuff happens.

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

HOWELL MEDDERS

Fayetteville

Arkansas needs solar

Is there any doubt that solar power is an important part of Arkansas' future? It is clean, cost-effective, and supports the local economy. Over the last few years, solar costs have declined so significantly that it is now cheaper to install solar to produce your own power than to buy it from the local monopoly power company. That is why solar jobs are now growing 17 times faster than the U.S. economy, and why solar installer is the fastest-growing occupation, according to the Department of Labor.

So it is with little surprise that I now see Arkansas' big utilities clamoring to change the rules. Last month, they asked the Arkansas Public Service Commission, which regulates the utilities, to drastically reduce the compensation that owners of solar panels receive for the energy that they generate and feed back to the grid. This is a bad idea. Why must Arkansas always seek to stay at the back of the line?

Solar makes economic and environmental sense for Arkansas. More solar means cleaner air and more jobs. Solar saves ratepayers money, strengthens our electricity grid and helps promote the wise use of our natural resources. It is the future.

Our political leaders should focus on ways to promote clean power in Arkansas, not consider utility-backed proposals that will punish consumers and disrupt the growing solar-jobs sector. If they don't, we should find new leaders who will send the clear message that Arkansas is open for solar.

AUDREY KEARNS

Little Rock

Editorial on 01/12/2018

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