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RALEIGH County Sheriff Steve Tanner has joined a growing group of law enforcement

officials across the country who vow not to

enforce any new restrictions on guns that Congress may pass.  

"It's not the pencil's fault we misspell words," Tanner told Mannix Porterfield of the Register-Herald.

"It's not the spoon's fault we have fat people. It's not the gun's fault people are shooting each other. Blaming the gun is ridiculous. I don't hear anybody blaming cars for drunken drivers."

Passage of such a law is about as likely as discovering life on the moon, but the open resistance to the proposal by law enforcement officials is telling and also not unprecedented.

For decades, some cities along the Pacific coastline and elsewhere in the country have refused to enforce federal border control laws, labeling themselves as "sanctuary cities."

The federal government under both liberal and conservative administrations has not pressed the

issue. However, when Arizona tried to enforce federal immigration law, the federal government sued.

Having laws that are unenforced is useless. Congress should bear this in mind when it comes to gun control and other issues.

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THE Kanawha County school excess levy that will go into effect in 2014 is capped at $44.2 million in revenue per year.

School board member Becky Jordon said members of the state School Building Authority scolded county officials for doing so.

"We're the largest school system, and we're the only school system to have a capped levy," Kanawha board member Becky Jordon said. "They don't understand why they're giving us tax money."

With all due respect, state officials are not "giving us tax money." They merely are returning our tax money to be spent at the local level.

As the most populous county in the state, Kanawha County residents and businesses generate the most personal income taxes, corporate net income taxes and sales taxes in the state.

Its schools deserve education funding that reflects that contribution and is proportionate to its needs.

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UNITED Bankshares Inc. announced this week its acquisition of Virginia Commerce Bancorp. Inc. of Arlington, Va., for $490.6 million in an all-stock transaction.

This comes a decade after Richard Adams, the company's chairman and chief executive officer,

announced in 2002 that the No. 1 priority of "West Virginia's bank" is expansion in the nation's capital and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.

The acquisition also comes more than two years after a panel discussion at the 2010 Business

Summit, when Adams said:

"What separates the environment in West Virginia and Virginia? The answer is clear to me: It's all about policy: tax policy, judicial reform policy, education policy.

"There is no question: If West Virginia is to succeed from an economic standpoint, every issue faced in the Legislature, we should ask, 'Are we competitive if we pass this legislation?"

That was true then is true today. When a top banker at West Virginia's bank speaks, prudent legislators should listen.

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IN 2009, New York State decided to raise taxes on those with income of $500,000 or more a year to a whopping 8.97 percent.   

In 2010, some millionaires decided to move to Florida where the income tax rate is zero, the New York Post said. And in some cases, they took their companies with them.

"Florida is a state of choice," said Thalius Hecksher, global development chief for Apex Fund Services, which moved many of its operations to Palm Beach.

"It's organically grown. There's no need to drag people down here. It's a zero-income-tax jurisdiction."

Many people warned New York that it would lose revenue on the deal. Last year the state relented and dropped its rate to 6.85 percent for income of between $300,000 and $2 million. But after that, it is a whopping 8.82 percent.

Does anyone seriously think a drop of 0.15 percent in the tax rate will lure any double-millionaire back from Florida?

As West Virginians have learned over the years, it is far easier to drive successful people away than it is to attract them.

RAND University — Randy Moss's fictional alma mater — will not be the only Kanawha County institution represented at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

The very real University of Charleston sent 21 students, five faculty members and two alumni to Louisiana — not to spend the week partying but rather to work at the pre-game festivities.

The students are sports administration majors who are volunteered for the work so they could gain hands-on experience. The list of activities scheduled included a celebrity flag-football game.

"It honestly will be a huge experience just to see how many sponsors there will be at the game and just see how many things have to be on time, how long it takes, the duration and all that different stuff will be pretty neat to see," Mary Beth Romine told WCHS-TV.

Practical experience is a good way to buttress classroom learning. The experience they gain will be worth more than money.

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MONONGALIA County Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown is taking some heat for charging a man with the misdemeanor of causing a death while driving under the influence instead of the felony version of the law.

To be a felony, the law requires the act to be committed "in reckless disregard of the safety of others," a bar Ashdown said she cannot meet.

She knows the law and the evidence.

The case points out what may be a flaw in the law. The driver, Donald E. Watson, 54, of McMurray, Pa., had a blood alcohol content of .277 according to the criminal complaint — or more than three times the legal limit.

Legislators should consider making the act of getting behind the wheel when one is three times the legal limit for drinking as driving "in reckless disregard of the safety of others."




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