Letters to the Editor 

Wrasslin'

I enjoyed the Flyer's "wrasslin'-themed" issue (July 30th). Chris Davis' cover story ("School of Slam") on "Nightmare" Ken Wayne's school brought back childhood memories of watching wrestling on Saturday-morning television. And Jackson Baker's Politics column about Jerry Lawler's campaign for Memphis mayor made me think that we may be getting more wrestling action than we need in the future.

To Lawler, I say be happy with what you've accomplished. We finally got rid of one ego-driven "fighter" in the mayor's office. We don't need another one. Please stay in the announcer's booth.

Michael Grant
Memphis

Guns in Restaurants, etc., etc.

I agree with Ron Taylor in the Letters to the Editor (July 23rd issue). The Flyer does need to print whether or not permit holders are accepted in establishments that are reviewed, but I agree for the opposite reason. I would like to know which restaurants do not fall for the hysteria surrounding the new legislation and are more interested in facts regarding handgun carry-permit holders.

Since permit holders are statistically insignificant when it comes to crimes being committed, I would rather be around a group of them than those who have not obtained a permit. When I'm around other permit holders I know these facts: They are at least 21 years old, have voluntarily submitted to a background check at their own expense, have voluntarily supplied the state government with their fingerprints, and are, in general, far more educated about the laws of self-defense in Tennessee than those who have not obtained a permit.

Some people think that this new legislation will spur shootouts at restaurants and bars on a daily basis. As the weeks and months pass with no shootings by permit holders in establishments that serve alcohol, will those who opposed this law be willing to admit that they were wrong? If we base our opinions on the facts that are available to us in a number of studies, we can conclude that this is not a harmful law. Just because the governor and a number of high-ranking cops oppose it doesn't mean that they are correct.

Stephen Smith
Cordova

Ron Taylor wrote that he would boycott restaurants that allowed guns and that guns and alcohol don't mix. What he may not realize is that he has been going to restaurants that serve alcohol for years that have had guns in them. Crooks and bums don't care about the law or you and your family.

I agree with Taylor's statement that alcohol and guns don't mix, and the licensed folks may not be easy to spot, but you can narrow it down to those who are only drinking water.

Bruce C. Niles
Memphis

Posting signs prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms, with or without a permit, places the burden of security on the business owner. Who is to say that someone might not be able to sneak a gun past security on, say, Beale Street and start shooting? Given how many students have been arrested in the city schools in past years for weapons possession after passing through security, this is only a matter of time. Do you think that Beale Street would be able to afford all the lawsuits over injury and suffering after such an incident?

Doug Hesson
Germantown

Health-care Reform

Since the president called for reforming our health-care system, much has been written and spoken about that system. Facts and the history behind them seem to have been left out. Here are some facts that can be easily checked out:

Doctors and health-care providers have been jailed and/or fined millions of dollars for defrauding Medicare. Humana was fined $14.5 million; Healthcare Corp., $400 million; National Medical Care, $486 million. United Health Group reached a settlement of $400 millon with the state of New York and the AMA for using skewed data that shifted medical costs from insurers to consumers. The largest fine ever — $840 million — was levied against HCA for defrauding Medicare. Tennesseeans should remember that former Senator Bill Frist and his family owned the controlling share of HCA.

One last fact: The Lewin Group, whose "independent" studies are so often qouted by those opposed to health-care reform, is a subsidiary of the United Health Group — the same company that paid a $400 million settlement for skewing data.

These are facts, not health-care company lies repeated by those who refuse to admit our system is in disrepair and needs to be reformed.

Jack Bishop
Cordova

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