Letters to The Editor – 12-15-19

Published 3:48 pm Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Named after an area code

Editor, Smithfield Times,

I think I like it. Not really sure why. As an “extreme” history nut myself, this numerical moniker ignores everything I love and know about my truly historic and water-blessed home region. BUT, every other name excludes, offends or irritates someone, so maybe we should become the very first geographical area in the world to identify as a number. Why not? It’s sort of a cool number anyway, well-balanced, easy to remember and certainly includes us all. Every human being on our planet probably has some sort of ID number attached to themselves, so why not a region? At least we’d be making history! See, we don’t even have to list our area code anymore because it’s already in our address!

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Albert Burckard



Thanks volunteers

Editor, Smithfield Times,

The holidays are officially upon us, and 2019 is coming to a close. I wanted to personally thank each and every incredible volunteer and donor who has helped to continue Smithfield’s amazing community blood drive efforts! Our most recent effort, the annual Holiday Drive, was once again graciously sponsored by The Smithfield Baptist group helmed by Elaine Abicht, in tandem with The Christmas Store of Smithfield. The canteen at our events never disappoints thanks to the volunteers who serve those donating, like the 80 plus who came out in November, in the end benefitting at least 204 patients.

Throughout the year, Trinity United Methodist Church allows us the use of the hall as was the case this past month. They will be the site for all 2020 drives: Jan. 16, March 19, May 14, July 23, Sept. 24, and Nov. 19. We greatly appreciated Smithfield Baptist stepping in late winter when Mission of Hope was at Trinity. How awesome is our community?!

To Skip Sharpley, huge thanks for those tables coming and going like clockwork. And to the Masons, who are the true unsung heroes setting up/ taking down tables and chairs before and after each drive, we so appreciate you. Danny and Rita Belott, I’m looking at you especially!

We’ll see you Jan. 19th at Trinity. Enjoy the holidays … and be sure to rest and have some iron too.

Leigh Abbott-Leaman



Constitutional county instead

Editor, Smithfield Times,

Should Surry follow many other Virginia counties and declare Surry to be a Sanctuary County? Or should we consider declaring Surry a Constitutional County? I don’t believe we want to live in a county where the local government and police force have the sole right to enforce or not enforce firearm ownership and gun laws.

Instead, let us ask our B.O.S. to declare us a Constitutional County. Sanctuary Counties are refusing to enforce any new gun laws “they consider to be in violation” of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Only one body decides if a law is constitutional or not, the U.S. Supreme Court. Our sheriff’s integrity lies in his oath of office to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Therein lies the decisive difference between a sanctuary and constitutional declaration.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in District of Columbia vs. Heller, struck down a Washington, D.C. ban on individuals having handguns in their homes. In summary, the Court concluded that the Second Amendment does establish an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense and hunting.

Because the Heller ruling constrained only federal regulations against the right of armed self-defense in the home, it was unclear whether the court would hold that the Second Amendment guarantees established in Heller were equally applicable to the states.  The Supreme Court answered that question in 2010, with its ruling on McDonald v. Chicago. In a plurality opinion, a 5–4 majority held that “the right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense” is applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause.

Is Governor Northam, in view of the Supreme Court ruling, over-stepping his authority? I don’t know. Are our Virginia State legislators considering overstepping their authority? I don’t know. I do know, thousands of Virginia citizens have declared opposition to our state’s proposed gun control.

Helen Eggleston