Letters to the Editor

Guns don’t kill people; they’re used to kill people

Sen. Marlon Kimpson D-Charleston spoke at a rally held by Lowcountry Students for Political Action, an alliance of mostly high school students, at the South Carolina State House to urge legislators to pass senate bill 154. The bill would expand the background check period from three to five days before a gun purchase can be approved. 1/31/19
Sen. Marlon Kimpson D-Charleston spoke at a rally held by Lowcountry Students for Political Action, an alliance of mostly high school students, at the South Carolina State House to urge legislators to pass senate bill 154. The bill would expand the background check period from three to five days before a gun purchase can be approved. 1/31/19 The State file photo

Sunday’s paper, front page, all we could read about was death caused by “guns.” Did you do any research on how the guns were obtained by the people who used them to injure/kill people?

When people steal guns or obtain them in illegal ways, how would any gun law prevent this?

It is very obvious that this paper is used to promote a certain political party in this state; and I do not have to specify which party this is. It is sad that 39 “kids” were killed by guns.” However, the person using the guns did the killing, the guns did not by themselves kill anyone. The human being with the gun in hand did the killing.

It appears that people who are involved in gangs, illegal drugs and domestic situations are obtaining the guns in illegal ways. Perhaps John Monk should do some research on how to prevent the persons who are obtaining these guns illegally to prevent the deaths of people of all ages in the state.

Mary Wessinger

Chapin

17-, 18-year-olds in gangs are the real problem, not guns

Not to take away from your story of 1,200 kids being killed by guns in 12 months, but 17- and 18-year-olds are not children. They can join the military, 18-year-olds can vote, and some have kids of their own.

Of the 1,200 half of them, 604 are 17- and 18-years-old. I imagine most of these are gang members, along with quite a few younger ones also. You listed several types of incidents but did not mention gangs. We know joining a gang is a life decision with death or prison being the end result in most cases. It seems to me the bigger problem here is gangs in lieu of guns.

Since Chicago replaced Washington, D.C., as the murder capital of our country with gang shootings every weekend, I wonder how many of these deaths are in Chicago. These shootings are so common in Chicago they hardly get reported any more.

I know the CDC reports 17- and 18-year-olds in their statistics, but that still doesn’t reduce these men to children.

Jim Clark

Columbia

In the government’s hands, Santee Cooper’s rate will quickly rise

Santee Cooper is currently saddled with almost $9 billion dollars in debt. If things don’t change quickly, rates will go up. We ended up in this situation because the government should not be in the energy business.

It’s true that Santee Cooper’s rates were once the lowest in the state (but that’s no longer the case) and much of the conversation about Santee Cooper’s future has hinged on ensuring low rates for customers. But government mismanagement makes that impossible if Santee Cooper stays in government hands.

The fact is that, Santee Cooper has stated in the past that it would need to raise rates by 7 percent to cover the V.C. Summer debt. The utility’s own numbers presented to the legislative committee evaluating its future showed that residential rates will increase by more than 12 percent in 2024. Economists have estimated the real increase will need to be much higher until the debt is paid off decades from now.

I hope that legislators and the public are not fooled by the implication that keeping the status quo means keeping the current Santee Cooper rates.

Jeff Alderman

Columbia

Sale of Santee Cooper is a delicate decision for legislators

The Santee Cooper situation is a disaster. With over $9 billion dollars of debt and decades of mismanagement, it’s long overdue for South Carolina to get out of the business of running a utility company.

Thankfully there’s a path forward and outside companies wanting to purchase Santee Cooper. But it’s important we don’t sell Santee Cooper to just anyone. Here’s what I think our lawmakers should keep in the forefront of their minds:

1. Because of the way Santee Cooper is structured only customers are responsible for paying back the debt through rate hikes on their monthly bills. Selling Santee Cooper to a company who isn’t willing to take on the debt will be a lost cause.

2. A future buyer should protect our lakes and lands surrounding Santee Cooper’s operations.

3. Sell Santee Cooper to a company committed to keeping rates in line with other Southern states who have lower rates than we do.

There’s a lot at stake. With over $9 billion on the backs of ratepayers, something must be done and an uncertain future of hikes must be mitigated. I urge legislators to act quickly and thoughtfully as they review bids to sell Santee Cooper

Shayla Flores

Chapin

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