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Opinion Letters

Personally, I had enough of guns in the Army but I believe in the right of American citizens to own guns of their choice. And no, I’m not a member of NRA.

Following the attack in San Bernardino, Calif., by what appears to be Muslim radicals, President Obama appeared on television wagging his finger at those who oppose more gun control regulations.

Don’t remember his exact words but to paraphrase him, Mr. Obama said that America has the highest rate of mass murder in the world and called for more regulation of guns.

I got to checking on his comments to verify them and decided that he must have flunked math in school.

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Have you ever considered what “wilderness” means?

The vast majority around here, including me, would point to our surrounding forested mountains as an example. A small minority, like members of The Wilderness Society, and other environmental activists, would have a different view.

According to a U.S. Forest Service (FS) web page, wilderness “is the land that is rare, wild places where one can retreat from civilization, reconnect with the Earth, and find healing, meaning and significance.” Have 1960 era hippies invaded our federal government?

The 1964 Wilderness Act created the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) for federal lands to preserve “wilderness” areas. Only Congress can add land to the NWPS, which they have done legislatively 117 times through 2010. Initially there were 54 areas totaling 9.1 million acres, ballooning today to 765 areas totaling over 109 million acres.

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Divorce happens. When we get married we think it’s for the rest of our lives and sometimes things just do not go as planned. I am recently divorced after 29 1/2 years of marriage. I would like to say that it was a big shock, but it really wasn’t. It had been a long time in the making. Here is what you might find shocking. We had the most peaceful, easy and pleasant divorce that you could probably imagine. There were no big arguments, no lawyers and none of the other really negative things you would associate with divorce.

I think people have this awful misconception that divorce has to be messy, ugly and bitter. However, I am here to tell you that if your marriage comes to an end, you can choose another way. If you take the time to remember that you once loved this person more than anyone else in the world. You stood before God, family and friends and married them. If you can keep this in your mind it will be easier to treat them with love, kindness, compassion and most of all, respect. After all, you did choose them, so there must some good qualities there. Put aside all of your differences and concentrate on the areas where you agree and things can and will flow in a more positive direction. This may mean putting aside your ego or desire to be right, but if you can do this the results can be just short of miraculous.

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As we prepare for the upcoming Christmas mail campaign, Friends of Our Troops would like to extend special thanks to those who participated in the most recent campaign:

1) The American Legion Auxiliary in Franklin. Led by Debra McGill, they were the number one group in North Carolina and the number three American Legion Auxiliary nationally. Two of their members, Betty LaPiere and Linda Spencer, were the leading individuals in North Carolina as well as in the top 20 nationwide.

2) American Legion Auxiliary William E. Dillard Unit #104 in Sylva. Led by Joyce Crowder of Cullowhee, they were one of the leading groups in North Carolina as well as in the top 10 American Legion Auxiliaries nationally. Mail is received from all across the nation, mixed thoroughly before being divided into hundreds of packages, both large and small, then sent to military units across the U.S. and around the world.

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