presstalk 671-TALK

• Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up. This year, please consider calling your Tennessee House Rep. Jason Zachary (R-District 14 including Farragut) to express support for our public school teachers. He recently changed his vote from no to yes on the bill allowing school vouchers in Tennessee. His vote was the deciding one to allow this legislation to continue. He only voted for it, as it didn’t apply to his constituents, which means he knows that we don’t want it. He may show up in the paper with Farragut students and bring teachers donuts sometimes, but his vote says he does not support our public school teachers. Let’s fully fund our schools, give our teachers raises and support great public schools for all of our children.

• (State) Rep. Jason Zachary’s change on his vote on school vouchers is an embarrassment to Farragut, Knoxville and the state of Tennessee. His trying to be in the good graces of Speaker of the House Glen Casada and Gov. Bill Lee is shortsighted — and will be remembered when he is voted out in the next election.

• I’m responding to the demonstrably incorrect information put forth by the anti-Second Amendment caller to last week’s Presstalk. Here are the verifiable facts: a 2013 Pew Research Center study and the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics and U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention provide the following: U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent and non-fatal firearm crimes dropped 69 percent between 1993 and 2011, a period of unparalleled proliferation of Right-to-Carry legislation and an unprecedented increase in per-capti gun ownership. As to the caller’s assertion that there are “many tragedies where guns are accidently discharged in public,” I would challenge the caller to provide some examples. I have never heard of a single one.

• The county needs to do something about the panhandling problem on Watt Road. Almost every day you see at least one person there if not two. Not only is it hard to tell who is really in need, but there could also be issues of assaults, traffic delays and potential crashers. Drivers, please do not give these people money. Your money is better served with KARM or Second Harvest. Officials, please help by increasing law enforcement offering these people some other kind of help, set up (inaudible) or run a campaign to get motorists to stop donating.