Why so many mass shootings in the US?

Editor, The Beacon:

In making special note of Eli Witek’s article on the perils of writing, especially the lines “It would be so much easier if people were all bad, or all good” and “...the truth is, nothing is just one thing. It’s a multitude of things. Never is something black and white and plain; it’s all manner of grays,” I nevertheless find this quote by Dr. Arthur C. Evans Jr., CEO of the American Psychological Association, a poignant summation of guns in America (The Christian Century, Sept. 11, 2019):

“Although the United States makes up less than 5 percent of the world’s populataion, we are home to 31 percent of all mass shooters globally … This difference is not explained by the rate of mental illness in the U.S. The one stark difference? Access to guns.”

Lewis Long III

Lake Helen

Wimpy whine can’t replace beloved courthouse bells

Editor, The Beacon:

A week or so ago, I heard a soft whisper that sounded a bit like an attempt to strike the hour.

I read that the clock on the Historic Volusia County Courthouse was under revision — possibly to some type of electronic works.

Can it possibly be that the wimpy little effort is supposed to be a pleasing revision to our courthouse hourly reminder?

Will it end like the electronic system that accompanied the construction of the administrative center? I think that system was abandoned a decade after the center opened.

In a way, it was a sad loss. It used to play ditties like “Camptown Races” when work began at 8 a.m., at noon lunchtime and at the end of the day at 5 p.m.

The reminders more or less matched the steam whistle from the sawmills in town a century ago. Well, those reminders tiptoed off. They were electronic, you see. All you do is flip a switch.

I’ve heard newcomers to DeLand complain about the clock because it woke them up. It is a reality check based in the history of the city. Chiming bell reminders have been going on for nearly a century.

All I can think is that the quavering, tentative, fake electronic whine is worse by far than the real, honest chime that seriously announced the time of day to people in DeLand.

Fake sounds are appropriate for fake places, and they get switched off because they can’t be fixed. Real bells make real sounds that signify that something real is going on, and they can be fixed.

Joan Carter


Local students can apply for Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship

Editor, The Beacon:

The Rotary Clubs in Florida’s Rotary District 6970 are offering Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarships, each valued at $24,000, to high-school students in Volusia County and other parts of the state. As the local coordinator for this program, I’d like to share the following information from Rotary:

The scholarship covers tuition, room, board and a monthly stipend to study at a high school in one of 33 countries overseas for the 2020-21 academic year.

Rotary volunteers make the program affordable to students of all backgrounds and economic means. The students must be ages 15 to 18.5 at the time of departure.

Each year, nearly 9,000 high-school students around the world accept the challenge to become citizens of the world by applying to become Rotary Youth Exchange students. Applications are now open to apply for the scholarship program.

Living in a foreign country has a powerful accelerating effect on a student’s maturing process. Students learn to appreciate and understand another culture, become fluent in another language, develop lifelong international friendships, and make independent decisions. They return with a sense of self-confidence that makes them better-equipped to handle college and life in our global community.

Universities look favorably on the exchange experience as evidencing unusual maturity and drive in a college applicant. The experience also serves as the basis for a great application essay. Many returning students test out of entry-level college foreign-language requirements, with the potential to save tuition costs or explore additional areas of study.

Rotary invests nine months in preparing each scholarship recipient for his or her academic year abroad. The student is part of the international family of Rotarians while overseas. These Rotarians are professional leaders in their communities and are directly involved in the success and welfare of the Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship recipient they are hosting. Students attend Rotary meetings, and Rotary Club members offer their counsel and support.

Students are responsible for the costs not covered by the Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship.

Interested students must attend an informational session with their parents, and then complete the application process no later than Nov. 1 for departure in August 2020.

Presentations to students will be held at some of Volusia County’s high schools in September. Students who would like to apply for the scholarship must attend an information meeting with a parent; these meetings are held at various times in various locations throughout District 6970.

A local information meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at The Center at Deltona, and another one will be at noon Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Edgewater Rotary Club. Register online to attend one of these meetings or see other locations at www.ryeflorida.org/6970.

Interested students should contact www.ryeflorida.org or call me at 386-801-2607.

Tracy Grinnen


Don’t get into a debate about Green New Deal

Editor, The Beacon:

Sane people need to stop playing along with the Green New Deal lemmings.

You mustn’t dignify their lectures about cow poots and Trans-Pacific rail with an academic retort.

Some of them are dumb enough to believe their own blather, but most are just those dreaded clever people who know what’s best for the rest of us and see an opportunity to act on it.

So when the next environmental warrior ticks off a 10-point plan to throw the world into darkness, the only measured and adult response is to turn and drop your pants.

You can’t reason with willful ignorance, and you shouldn’t debate liars.

Brad Mason