letters to the editor
Guns do not shoot by themselves

I am writing to you after reading the Nov. 19 editorial addressing gun control proposition. I must say that I’ve owned and used guns since I was 16, and now I am 56 years of age.

This case involving two cousins, one shooting the other dead, is certainly a great tragedy. The drama is being continued in the family; imposed by the state, by not accepting the events enacted by the witnesses. By all accounts this happened because a gun was handled without precaution or safety.

To invoke gun control in the country by saying “Country needs tighter control laws,” is wrong.

As much as there are gun laws, it would have been not effective. This happened, by what I understand from reading the events in the papers, by handling a gun by unwise practices. I do receive the NRA magazine each month and in the first section of that magazine, there are reports from all over the country on how citizens defended themselves from great harm or home invasions because they had a gun in the house.

One should not confuse the issues and take advantage of tragic events to advance the view of gun control. Guns do not shoot by themselves. If one is in his house at night sleeping in safety, one reason is that there are policeman with guns guarding the peace. However, if that guardian is five miles away, it becomes the responsibility of the home owner to protect his family self and property.

Henry Nazarian

East Pittsburgh

Remembering the meaning of the holidays

Just like that, another holiday season has arrived. Christmas decorations have been adorning the malls since Halloween – possibly even before – and parking lots are already packed with folks eager to get a jump on their holiday shopping.

Despite much debate and some consumer backlash, the number of stores opening for Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving day has grown. By now, if you are a Thanksgiving or Black Friday shopper, you’ve got your game plan mapped out, and have combed through store circulars to ensure great deals.

But before you stuff the bird into the oven, before you stuff yourself with turkey and all of the trimmings, and before you head out to stuff shopping carts full of gifts, take a minute and remember why we celebrate the holidays.

We aren’t talking about remembering history lessons about the pilgrims and the Indians, nor are we talking about Sunday school Advent instruction.

We are talking about family. After all, what is a Thanksgiving feast without those we love gathered around the table to share it with? And what is the point of those Black Friday deals without seeing friends and families’ faces light up with delight upon opening the package?

There are a great many of people who will tell you that they don’t need a tangible gift to open on Christmas morning – they just want to spend time with their loved ones.

Life is so fleeting and short, and you never know if this is going to be someone’s final holiday. So, hug your loved ones. Call your great aunts and uncles. Reach out to an old friend. Invite someone with no place to go over for dinner. Making the holiday season special for someone else makes it special for you, too.

From The Almanac’s family to yours, happy holidays – however long or short they may be.