March 16 2011 12:00 AM

DHS ’needs reform’

I applied for food assistance through the State of Michigan in December. I was finally recently approved for $52 a month. When I never received my Bridge Card to be able to buy groceries, I contacted the Department of Human Services (DHS). They just keep giving me the run around and refuse to send me the card.

I used to volunteer in a state representative’s office. We dealt with food assistance complaints from the public every day whenever DHS would not do its job. It is one government department that definitely needs reform.

— William McMullin, Lansing

Automatics and open carry

Anne Smiley asked on March 2nd (Letters, “Safe with more guns?”), "How can we possibly think we will be safer with more guns — especially ‘automatic weapons’ capable of killing multiple persons so quickly they cannot respond?" The fact is that automatic weapons possession has been illegal under Federal law since passage of the National Firearms Act in 1934. They cannot be owned or possessed without a special Federal license. Automatic weapons are also illegal to possess in Michigan without that Federal license and proper purchase permitting. She apparently doesn’t know what an automatic weapon is.

And, just what kind of "responding" is she talking about if someone starts shooting? Throwing a library book? I don’t really foresee shootings in the library, but they certainly could occur and have happened in other similar places like schools, colleges and churches.

Anne seemed to be taking about open carry. However, what Anne doesn’t consider is that when she is out in public everyday, chances are great that sometime during the day she could very well be standing next to a person carrying a firearm with a concealed pistol permit, someone who has had a background check and required training, and isn’t even aware of it.

— Jim Hilty, East Lansing