I thoroughly enjoyed the cartoon map depicting the Legislative Building and the players who work there there ["Circus Maximus: Navigating the Legislature," Jan. 16].
There is an arrow pointing to a room on the second floor with the notation "Raleigh's smallest ladies room." There is an explanation for its small size. Symmetrically placed on each side of the chambers are large, equally sized men's and women's bathrooms. But next to the men's bathroom is the small bathroom noted on the drawing. The reason it is so small is that in 1963, when the building was built, they still had separate (but certainly not equal) bathrooms for blacks. There were no black legislators, nor was anyone concerned over luxury for "coloreds" in bathroom accommodations.
I do not know the year it was converted for use by women and this piece of shameful history was changed.
Ellie Kinnaird, Chapel Hill
The writer is a state senator representing Orange and Chatham counties.
I read the article by David Fellerath ["Double action," Jan. 23] after I had my double-take at the [photo of] two cans of Busch beer sitting next to his rifle as he walked down range on his property in the Occupied Territory of Illinois. As a life member of the NRA who holds certifications as a firearms instructor, I can say with confidence that the disfavor Fellerath holds regarding the NRA is more than mutual. His is not proper conduct, and the beer is as out of place as it would be in the cockpit of an aircraft or the console of a car.
I do not hunt. I hunted crows as a boy with my .22 rifle for the $2.50 for each pair of crows' legs I turned in. I was paid 50 cents for cutting grass, but found I had no taste, despite the bounty and the test of a worthy foe, for hunting.
The Second Amendment is not about hunting: It is to ensure a well regulated militia, an army of the people who drill, have a rank structure and cooperate under the rule of constitutional law, and who keep and bear their arms, in whatever configuration they come. The discussion of technical aspects of a modern firearm is nothing but a red herring. It is the violent nature that has found a home in American culture that is held to account for the recent tragic shootings.
Don't waste time debating the number of angels on a pinhead, or the number of rounds in a magazine, or how a certain rifle operates. Listen to the world around you, and calm the anger, resentment, envy and brutality that have brought so much sorrow into our lives.
Francis J. Hale III, Raleigh
Editor's note: The photo caption was unclear; the photo was not of the writer.
I am writing to thank David Fellerath for his thoughtful, common-sensical article. I am not a gun owner. I am generally liberal in my views, and I am in favor of sensible gun control. I am not hoping our government will strip all owners of their guns. I am in favor of the following:
1. Background checks and safety training. (Why do we consider it reasonable to make people wait for bank loans, mortgages and driver's licenses, but not guns?)
2. A ban on assault weapons. These cannot be used for hunting or target practice, therefore I do not see the need for any responsible gun owner to have one.
3. No concealed weapons. You have a right to carry a weapon; I have a right to know you are armed.
I think a majority of people (gun owners and not) are willing to listen to reasonable proposals. Unfortunately, as with much in our society, the squeaky wheels and outlandish statements get the media coverage and the majority is unheard.
Beth Clarke, Chapel Hill