You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • PTA is the best way to help your schools
    As Fort Wayne Community Schools holds registration today and Monday, PTA leaders are getting ready to “make the ask.” It's time to help the schools in our community.
  • Today's society the result of ignoring God's law
    I read with amusement David Shaw's letter of July 20. His letter demonstrates that, when one cannot make a cogent argument, they resort to ridicule and misinformation.
  • 'Automatic gunfire' careless assumption
    Why would The Journal Gazette write an article about nighttime shootings and implicate automatic gunfire? Can you prove that it was automatic? You cannot tell by the look of bullet casings.

Letters to the editor


Parents of ADHD kids face misconceptions

I was disappointed in The Journal Gazette’s decision to publish “ADHD medication no substitute for effective parenting” (Dec. 23), which promoted the misconception that ADHD is a side effect of bad parenting. As a parent of a child with ADHD, I expect a lack of understanding from the general public, but I don’t expect it from special education professionals like Rama Cousik.

In most cases parents whose children have attention issues are under extreme pressure by the schools to put their children on meds. I was lucky – my son had teachers who were willing to work with him. Most teachers have not been trained in behavioral interventions for ADHD and do not have the time needed to spend working with an ADHD student.

It’s easy for Cousik to lecture parents on the potential side effects of medication, when clearly she has not been in the position most ADHD parents are in. We did not “force” medication on our son – we made a heartbreaking decision after years of trying behavioral interventions. We entered the decision with a clear understanding of the risks. I am secure enough in my parenting skills to know bad parenting did not cause his ADHD, but Cousik’s article, I am sure, made many parents feel they are to blame for their child’s ADHD. They are not.

They will have to parent better, parent harder and fight for their child more than parents whose children do not learn and behave differently than the norm.

The next time The Journal Gazette publishes an article on ADHD, please use your forum to support parents with meaningful information, not lecture and blame them.


NRA’s logic shot full of holes

Leave it to those geniuses at the National Rifle Association and their lapdogs in Congress. Their solution for the shootings is: There are not enough guns; we should arm the teachers. Will we have to arm the students too?

They use the lame excuse that if you are armed you will not be held up. We just had a holdup at a gun shop with the owner having a sidearm and guns all over the walls. Now there are some more guns available for the criminals.

None of these solutions being discussed would take guns away from anyone; it would just stop the sale of military guns and large magazines of ammunition. Can you imagine a dark movie theater in Colorado if somebody in the audience had a gun and started shooting, how many more innocent people would be dead?

They keep saying we need more people to identify mentally unstable people, yet these are the same people who want to cut the government back. Where’s the money for this going to come from, and where is the money to have police in every school? Schools can barely make it now, but they want them to hire armed guards. Do you really want your first-grader at school with a bunch of armed people walking around? It just shows a total lack of common sense.

The Second Amendment was written when everybody needed a gun to survive. Now you have grocery stores and fast-food restaurants, so other than hunting and target practice, you really don’t need this large amount of ammunition.


Responsibilities tied to our rights

I am as much in favor of being able to enjoy outdoor sports as anyone. That includes hunting and fishing.

But gun fans, I’m sorry. I cannot see why any but the military need fully automatic weapons of any sort, long- or short-barreled. Yes, I mean rifles and pistols.

I read where some people think that because the military has automatic weapons, citizens should be able to have them as well. This is stupid.

The military has stealth bombers and a-bombs, too. Are we obliged to trust our neighbors with those as well? I’ve got a few neighbors I wouldn’t even trust with Fourth of July fireworks, if I had a choice.

As to rifles, I cannot see why any but the military and police need to have weapons with removable magazines that hold more than six cartridges.

Bird shooters have long accepted having plugs in shotguns to limit the number of shells to three. Why not a similar concept for rifles? A hunter who can’t hit a game animal with six shots needs to practice, not have a bigger magazine. Target shooters can take a little extra time to reload.

I don’t care what a rifle looks like, as long as it is not fully automatic or readily converted to be fully automatic and does not have a big magazine capacity.

I believe in the right of American citizens to bear arms. But with rights go responsibilities. We need to uphold our rights and use them responsibly. As a nation we often talk too much about rights and not enough about responsibilities. We have responsibilities to each other, too. Let’s talk about them now!


Information-sharing key to crime control

There are several common threads that run through gun violence. One that we have not honestly addressed is the sharing of information.

The information to be shared is sensitive. There are civil rights, HIPAA, privacy, policy, legal and misuse concerns. I’m talking about the information that cannot or will not be shared by the church, the military, Veterans Administration, BATF, FBI, sheriff, police, fire, rescue, mental health officials, hospitals and school officials/school boards.

If these agencies were required to share information concerning individuals and behavior, there would be a much better chance of identifying that person or people with the ability and access to means to do real harm or commit violent acts.

The benefits from mitigation would be a big factor in painting a clear picture of those with the potential to commit violence by exposing and controlling behavior so as to stop people before they have an “opportunity” for violence to be carried out. Identify the problems of individuals along with their ability and access to means for committing acts of violence.

Ask any law enforcement official about their access to information from other agencies, and they will tell you their hands are tied in many cases due to the fear that rights may be violated. Often, that information would allow officers to mitigate crime before it happens.

I think it behooves our lawmakers to look into how information can be gathered without being compromised and used to mitigate crimes and particularly violence. So, get busy lawmakers, we cannot wait on this.


NRA’s logic turned on head by shooting

George W. Bush’s weapons of mass destruction have finally been located. Where, one might ask? At Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

On that fateful morning, a disturbed individual began his day by killing his mother. He then proceeded to a grade school, where he massacred 26 individuals then himself. No doubt he was emboldened by the weapons he used. Weapons that are meant for only one thing – the killing of other individuals.

What may have prevented this incident? A better understanding and treatment of mental illness. A more sophisticated security system at the school. Exit-only doors in each classroom. More stringent laws that would not permit that type of weapon in private hands.

It is time that the citizens of this country encourage legislation that would eliminate the ability to procure those weapons that are meant to kill on the battlefield. The National Rifle Association has been dictating gun laws in this country for quite awhile, hiding under the guise of Second Amendment rights.

The NRA has become a paper tiger. The majority of the candidates they supported in the last election were defeated.

The NRA always wants to remind us that the weapons are meant for self-protection. May I remind you that on that fateful morning, the killer’s first victim was his mother, who had weapons in the home to protect herself. How did that work out?

His next victims were educators and innocent young children.


Lugar exemplifies the Washington ideal

Sen. Richard Lugar’s living-legend assessment by Trine University’s Mark Helmke was an excellent article in the Dec. 21 Journal Gazette.

One of the early Greeks wrote that “no man should run for office until he had traveled to other countries and gained a broader understanding of human behavior.”

I was lucky to be an early Rotary Exchange student – to Germany in 1954-55. That’s when my world opened up to a much more tolerant and respectful understanding of “strangers.”

It was then I began realizing how people in every religion, sect, cult, village, tribe, nation, etc. want to believe that “my views and my beliefs are the correct ones; if you disagree, you are wrong!”

Obviously Lugar had experiences similar to mine as a Rhodes Scholar in England – returning to the U.S. with a broader and wiser view of this world. He learned we can make our world better by starting at home, by working together in a kind and patient manner, and by overcoming the selfishness and narrow-mindedness espoused by those who think, “I’m right; therefore, it’s my way or the highway.”

What a wonderful government America could have if our senators and representatives would start working together for the benefit of all Americans – instead of just for those who support their elections or their party.

After all, we are only what we learn – and most of us really haven’t learned very much.

But by sharing what we know, and by learning from those we rub shoulders with daily, America can continue to grow and improve its moral leadership – both here at home and throughout the world.

Yes, we need many more Lugars in Washington.