Increase gas tax

Ron Brinson’s June 15 op-ed commending Phil Byrd on his selection as president of the American Trucking Association was spot on. Mr. Byrd will represent the industry well on the national stage.

At the same time, Brinson’s vocabulary was quite interesting. He referred to the state’s fuel “user fee,” while using the word “tax” to describe the similar federal levy on the sale of a gallon of fuel.

I assume this is an attempt to allow our stone-walling legislators a way around raising the dreaded and political career-ending taxes on their constituents? I hope your readers bought Mr. Brinson’s bait and switch.

Whatever we choose to call it, the people of South Carolina need to understand that our highway infrastructure is in horrible shape and the funding is just not there to fix it.

No amount of cuts in other services will make a dent in this huge and vitally important program’s cost. It’s time for every driver in the state to shoulder his fair share of the “fee” and make, our roads safer and more functional for all “users.”

David A. Carroll

Hamlet Circle

Goose Creek

What’s it say?

Two hundred years ago there was no income tax or government health care as we know it today. That is good or bad depending on your point of view. I think both systems are bloated and need to be simplified for folks like me.

I’m still having trouble understanding “unrecaptured dividends” when doing my personal income taxes.

President James Madison saw this as a problem long before it got to be the mind-boggling mess it is now.

He stated, “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

Merrill D. Ridgway

McRoy Street

North Charleston

No to nullification

I am disturbed that several S. C. legislators are trying to nullify Obamacare, despite the Supreme Court’s decision that it is constitutional.

The first time our state nullified federal law was as comical as this year’s braying in Columbia. But we should take care. The last time, farce was a dress rehearsal for tragedy — the Civil War.

Nullifiers believe our founding fathers hid a secret power in the Constitution that made states the last interpreters of the Constitution, even higher than the Supreme Court. No matter that not one American statesman or judge discovered this nugget until John C. Calhoun dug it up in 1828.

At least Calhoun believed that nullification was so dangerous that only a special state convention could exercise the right. Bobby Harrell, Peter McCoy and James Merrill, Republican representatives from Charleston, think a simple majority in the Legislature can.

When South Carolina’s own native son President Andrew Jackson rattled his saber, Calhoun and the fools in Columbia backed down.

But while people laughed elsewhere, the nullifiers here invented an oath professing that loyalty to South Carolina superseded loyalty to the country.

What’s so disturbing about House Bill 3101 is not its attempt to “render null and void” federal laws upheld by the Supreme Court. That’s the stuff of comedy, and if our Senate is so dumb as to follow the House, we’ll hear them laughing in D.C.

What scares me is that the anti-nullifiers will face “criminal penalties and civil liabilities.” I urge everyone in this state to defy such thuggery. Obey federal laws. Let Bobby Harrell throw you in jail if that’s what it takes to express your loyalty to the United States.

Like Thoreau and Martin Luther King, look through the prison bars and say to your neighbors, “What are you doing out there?”

Joe Kelly

Battlewood Avenue

Charleston

Gun regulations

Thank you again for your coverage of South Carolina’s Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and for listening to our concerns.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was founded by a mother in Indiana after the devastating massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. We are a grass-roots movement unaffiliated with any other organization.

The article, “South Carolina moms demanding action on gun control” erroneously implied that Moms Demand Action is related to and supported by Mayor Bloomberg and his organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns. This is untrue.

Moms Demand Action is an all-volunteer organization supported by online donations and the volunteer hours and efforts of our members. Moms Demand Action is nonpartisan and focused on common sense gun regulations and corporate responsibility.

While founded by and led by moms, we invite all people seeking common sense gun laws to join us at momsdemandaction.org and on Facebook.

Erin Dando

Leader, S.C. Chapter

Moms Demand Action SC

Earle Street

Greenville

Morals matter

The horrifying news of what Arial Castro did to three young women and a child was atrocious. It is difficult even to imagine how they survived this ordeal for so many years. Adding to these gruesome details are the preborn babies he made sure would not survive.

People are outraged at this cruelty and rightly so. But shouldn’t we be just as outraged with Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor sentenced May 15 to life in prison, who swore an oath to protect life?

Both of these stories made me think about the millions of babies that have been legally torn from their mothers’ wombs because our courts, and many in our society, approve.

The outcome for the babies is the same regardless of how it’s done or who does it: death. One is called murder, the other “women’s health.”

As a teenager (some 50 years ago) I was sold the lie that there was nothing of any consequence inside my womb — “just a blob of tissue.” To this day there is nothing I regret more than having that abortion.

With today’s technology a sonogram would show an eight to 10-week-old tiny baby, with fingers, toes and a heartbeat. It’s obvious that there is life in the womb.

Does not that preborn baby, who cannot speak for itself, have a God-given right to live?

We only encourage teen sexual acts by passing out condoms and drugs that can physically and mentally endanger their health. We’re also telling our children they have no control over their own bodies, and that morals don’t matter anymore.

Meanwhile Planned Parenthood, abortion clinics and drug companies are becoming very wealthy.

Sharon Fuqua

Farm Springs Road

Summerville

Tension in Turkey

I was aware of growing unrest and tension in Turkey three years ago. I noticed a heightened, highly armed police and military presence, a reluctance to speak openly about the political scene or Erdogan regime, persecution of Jewish citizens, etc., all disturbing and discomforting.

Teenage girls in mini skirts walked arm-in-arm along the narrow streets of Istanbul with friends in full Moslem attire.

I wondered then whether East and West, secular and fundamentalist, could co-exist there.

The political environment was obviously moving away from a moderate to an openly Islamic and repressive society. It came as no surprise to me that the two factors have erupted into violence.

Cynthia Greene

Majestic Oaks Drive

James Island

Stop forest fires

To stop forest fires forever, just follow the S.C. Department of Transportation’s lead and cut down all of the trees.

RICHARD BERGMAN

N. Ainsdale Drive

Charleston