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Now browsing: Hometown News > Opinion > Brevard County

Letters to the Editor
Rating: 2.67 / 5 (15 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Feb 01 - 06:35

Social Security

Social Security is not an entitlement. We, seniors, paid into the Social Security program all the working yeas of our lives. Social Security is not an entitlement.

Congressional Representatives stole the money from the Social Security program during every year of its existence. Each year, the Social Security program produced hundreds of millions of dollars, and each and every year the members of Congress stole, yes stole, the profits from Social Security, the only program that could stand on its own feet.

Now, after having bled the Social Security program of its profits year, in and year out, the irresponsible members of Congress want to deprive us senior citizens of the financial program we have earned with our hard work.

What else do they want? Do they want our blood? Come on, seniors, don't put up with this thievery ... vote these crooks out.

Social Security is NOT an entitlement. Don't let the thieves in Congress destroy it. They stole all the profits from it during its existence, now they want to steal it from us by misnaming it an entitlement.

AARP has about 20 million members. AARP should stand up en masse and tell Congress to keep its hands off Social Security. The members of AARP should tell this small group of people, who rule them, that they will vote as one against Congress if they try to steal Social Security from the millions, who paid into it year after year. Social Security is NOT and entitlement.

Richard del Gallego, Melbourne

Helping the homeless veterans

On Jan. 19, homeless veterans in Brevard County received a gift of hope. Here's how it happened.

It was in October 1993. Col. Danny McKnight (www.dannymcknight.com) is shot, while leading his troops in Mogadishu, Somalia. Even as he is horribly injured, he continues to bark out orders, leading his troops, and saving lives in the midst of a continuing battle.

This heroic story is later chronicled in the book and movie, "Black Hawk Down."

Fast forward to October of 2012. Rockledge resident, Elvis Tribute Artist Jack Smink (www.jacksmink.com), gives his friend, Danny McKnight, a call. Jack tells Danny of his idea of performing a benefit show in this area.

Now Jack is no stranger to benefit shows. In the past few years, he has coordinated and performed benefit shows that have generated more than $100,000 for local charities. This show, however, would be different.

Danny suggests that the benefit be held for homeless veterans - a cause that is dear to his heart. Done.

One of the reasons the National Veterans Homeless Support Inc. was chosen for this show is that this organization runs with less than a 10 percent administrative budget! Jack knew he had to honor them by following their business plan.

With a zero dollar budget, Jack starts making calls. Jack Smink's Lightning Strikes Twice Band and vocalists get the first calls. That was easy - all in!

Every person in Jack's 15-piece band agreed to perform the show for no compensation.

Now the hard part, to find a venue, advertising and sound crew for this show.

Once each of these groups heard the story of Jack's dream to honor our local homeless veterans, they, too, were all in. Understand that a show of this size often costs from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the venue. This show was completed with absolutely no out of pocket expenses. 100 percent of every ticket sale and 100 percent of every donation was to go directly to National Veterans Homeless Support Inc.

The evening of Jan. 19 finally arrives. While ticket sales are OK at best, Jack is concerned. If you know Jack at all, you know that he cares deeply about commitments, and his desire on that night is to give at least $6,000 to the vets.

The guests start arriving - loyal followers of Jack and his band, friends from Rockledge Rotary, special guests Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Rockledge City Manager Jimmy McKnight, Rockledge Mayor Tom Price, Judge Steve Koons and many other influential Brevardians.

In no time, every chair in the building is full!

Col. McKnight is introduced, and he tells a bit about himself and the chosen organization. Proudly, he leads the audience in "The Pledge of Allegiance" to the flag of "OUR" United States of America. Jack steps out singing "America the Beautiful," the perfect opening for this grand night.

The show proceeds, and everyone laughs, dances and sings along, as Jack, the master entertainer, belts out song after song, joke after joke and includes, what feels like, every member of the audience in the show.

At one point, about an hour or so into the music, Jack is handed a piece of paper with total ticket sales for the night - $7,482. His voice cracks as he reads that huge number, exceeding his desires and dreams for the night.

Almost immediately, a local Realtor, a very generous man, offers to "top it off at an even $8,000." Wow! This offer spontaneously generates a flurry of other offers - $100, $200, $500 is offered from other generous guests.

Jack stops for a moment, removes his show belt, an exact replica of the belt Elvis wore in his "Aloha from Hawaii" show in January of 1973, and offers it to the highest bidder.

When the "auction" was over, one man had offered $2,000 for the belt if Jack would sing "Amazing Grace."

Without hesitation, the band starts playing, and Jack sings not one, but three verses of the beloved song.

That capped what must have been a vision of the hand of God, waving over the homeless veterans of Brevard County and the entire country.

A whopping $12,500 had been given or pledged - again - 100 percent going to National Veterans Homeless Support Inc. (www.nvhs.us/home)

God bless America and our veterans.

Karen Smink, Rockledge

Gun ownership

It appears that progressive liberals, although seemingly well intentioned, have actually made crime worse in their cities.

All of the facts show that limiting gun ownership does not lessen gun-related violence.

In cities with strict gun laws, the disarming of law-abiding citizens doesn't remove guns from the hands of those, who wish to do harm. On the contrary, it leaves innocent victims vulnerable to criminals.

Maybe it's time to forego the "feel-good" solutions that the left employs and actually do something that works.

For example, liberal Democrats have done everything possible to prevent law-abiding Chicago residents from exercising their restored Second Amendment-rights in the two years since the Supreme Court's landmark McDonald ruling. In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a handgun ban in the city of Chicago in McDonald v. Chicago.

Four days later however, the Chicago City Council adopted the Responsible Gun Owners Ordinance. This requires prospective gun owners to take a firearm safety course at a gun range in order to obtain a permit to own a gun in a home. The city then also placed a virtual ban on gun ranges.

Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, there were 192 shootings in Chicago throughout the month of November, a 49 percent increase from a year earlier. Police records also reveal that shootings increased more than 11 percent in the first 11 months of 2012, compared with a year earlier. Total homicides in Chicago rose to 480 for the first eleven months of 2012; a 21 percent increase from last year.

All of this, despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

I wonder what percent of violent criminals obtain their guns legally?

So Chicago, how are those gun control laws working out for you so far? Let's just put up signs at our schools: "No Guns Allowed." That should work. While we're at it, post some signs at the Iranian border: "No Nuclear Weapons Allowed."

Now, liberal whack-a-doodle Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans on restricting gun ownership further by banning individuals with a violent misdemeanor conviction from getting a gun permit for five years.  The mayor also hopes to ban convicted felons from ever owning a gun. These actions will make liberals feel good about themselves, concluding that they are addressing the problem.

It's actually laughable that they continue to enact so-called solutions that only worsen the situation. No wonder criminals vote for Democrats.

Chicago, like numerous other liberal-controlled cities, has succeeded in one thing. They have ensured that law-abiding citizens are left defenseless.

Sources: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-chicago-shootings-20121204,0,1910956.story, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-25/news/ct-met-rahm-emanuel-gun-ordinance-20120626_1_gun-ordinance-gun-laws-firearm-ordinance, http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1521.pdf, https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/About%20CPD/Firearm%20Registration/handgun-registration-20B-with-offender-registry.pdf.

Jeff Cabaniss, Cocoa

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