presstalk 671-TALK

• I am [commenting] about state Rep. Jason Zachary’s stance on guns in schools as well as school vouchers. I have children in our public schools and I support our teachers, administrators and staff fully. Permit holders may have training, but they sometimes have accidents and make mistakes with their guns. A well-meaning person carrying a gun into a public school could very well escalate a non-violent situation to violence. Children with special needs sometimes have behavioral issues; students fight. On any day there are a number of situations in which someone who doesn’t know the students and context of a situation could injure or kill a child or teacher. The mass shootings we are afflicted with often are perpetrated by individuals with serious mental illness who have indicated they intend to harm others and still are allowed to obtain guns. Mr. Zachary has taken money from the NRA — this no doubt influences his ideas and may be where he obtains his information about gun violence.

• Vouchers and “school choice” take tax money from our public schools, which are already overstretched, and funnel it to schools that can have far less accountability than the public schools. Arguments against vouchers seem to fall on deaf ears with many politicians, however. Mr. Zachary has been given money by groups such as Tennesseans For Putting Students First and the American Federation For Children, both groups advocating for vouchers. People who actually have children in public schools and the professionals who devote their lives to teaching in these schools should be making these decisions, not politicians receiving money from organizations with pro-gun and anti-public school agendas.

• I am a resident off Lovell Road and I shop several of the different Kroger stores. I just have a question: mostly the Farragut Kroger just puts out their brand. If they have other brands, they don’t put them out. I was just wondering if anybody had noticed that also?

• Just a correction [from a farragutpress page 1A story, April 6 issue]; the flying device is called a "powered parachute,” not a paraglider. A paraglider is a very different form of aircraft, with different licensing requirements and performance. Paragliders come in un-powered form, and they may also be flown with a backpack-style "paramotor" for launching from flat ground. This craft is a "light sport aircraft,” a much larger and heavier flying machine, which requires a FAA sport pilot or higher license to operate legally.