A job for a mayor and a president
The two highest positions in the city, that of the mayor and the university president, will have new office holders by the end of the year. One thing is outstandingly clear: These leaders must work together and form new partnerships for our community to survive.
Every few months another new initiative is announced in Youngstown. The V&M Star complex, an investment of more than $1 billion, and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, an investment topping $70 million, quickly jump to mind as exceptional examples. These initiatives are charging the revitalization effort forward, an effort for which Youngstown has been waiting 30 years.
The citizens of Youngstown and the presidential search committee must be proactive in choosing leaders for these positions who will be willing to meet on a weekly basis. These meetings could start off by identifying strategies to improve the areas between downtown and the university. Improving the climate for businesses and making travel by foot easier and safer with improved lighting and walkways would have a dramatic impact.
Only strong partnerships will foster the revitalization effort that Youngstown is facing. Youngstown’s greatest asset is YSU, and I do not believe that one institution can survive without the other. Imagine the Jambar and Vindicator articles years from now that detail the history of the powerful collaboration that began with two new individuals leading the charge for Youngstown, its students and its citizens. I want to read that article. We must avoid stagnation of the revitalization.
Eric A. Shehadi, McDonald
The writer is a YSU mathematics student and university scholar.
Freedom and firearms go together
In last Sunday’s Vindicator there were “pro and con” commentaries on the gun issues that have been in the news so much recently. Atty. James Denney defended the guns-rights position and Ohio Rep. Bob Hagan presented an opposing view.
The contrast between the two positions was striking. Denney spoke of the high purpose firearms served in the birth of our country and maintaining its freedoms, while Hagan focused on all the firearm deaths.
Denney had the easier task, as a multitude of quotes from the Framers give clear proof that they understood the important role of firearms and supported private ownership, while Hagan had no such advantage. In fact, I have never read or heard a quote from a single Framer advising against firearms.
After pointing out that people in Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan were being killed by assault rifles, Hagan made the claim that the same thing is happening in Chicago. That is a distortion, as the vast majority of killings in Chicago are handgun murders, which the current attempts at greater gun control don’t even address.
Hagan then goes on to say that when it comes to guns and gun violence, we’re no better than the third-world countries that we like to sneer at (his words). In truth, those countries he speaks about, like Syria, Egypt and Iran are “hell holes” precisely because they are dictatorships who do not allow their people to have guns.
Hagan closes with a breathtaking demonstration of how little he understands about the founding principles by saying this: “We are the freest nation in the world because we are free of so many of the hazards that make life in Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Libya, and other lesser developed nations so damn deadly.”
If our representatives in government think our freedoms stem from a simple “lack of hazards” we are more than likely not going to be able enjoy our freedoms for much longer.
Daniel Moadus, Girard
Not every freedom fighter is armed
James Denney’s article lAst Sunday brings up a rather baffling mystery. He says that “the Communist Party disarmed its own citizens when it took over.” I’ll assume he’s right, though I confess that I haven’t fact checked it. How then were the Russians able to defeat the invading German army in WWII? When D-Day was occurring, 80 percent of the German army was bogged down fighting against the Russians at the Eastern Front and retreating steadily. How were the Russians able to do this without guns?
And then there was 1989, when the Russian people revolted and overthrew their Communist government. In fact Communist governments were overthrown all over Eastern Europe. In East Germany thousands of people simply swarmed over the Berlin Wall and tore it down piece by piece by hand. Governments came crashing down in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Latvia, Georgia, Romania, etc. Somehow they managed to overcome the second most powerful military in the world (and in history) without firing a shot.
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison for standing up for civil rights. He was elected the first black president of the nation of South Africa without the use of guns.
It seems to me that there are people who have actually lived under a tyranny and then there are those who are spoiled rotten and fantasize about what they would do if they lived under tyranny. NRA members have posted videos online warning us that they will take to the streets and start killing people if we try to restrict them from obtaining the most deadly military weapons. Nobody has ever threatened to take their guns away. They have no shame and no pity for the victims. In fact it is not tyranny they fear. What they fear the most is the voice of Reason.
Roger Lafontaine, Youngstown