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Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:09

With rights come responsibilities

Written by 

To the Editor:

I believe I can answer the question used as a headline for Quintin Ellison’s story in the Nov. 23 edition about dog’s barking: “Are dog-barking complainers simply howling at the moon?”

Yes. In fact, one is apt to obtain a more constructive answer from the moon than from local officials who doggedly (no pun intended) deny there’s a problem.

Margo Gray is precisely correct that “with owning a dog (or any pet) comes responsibility.” Therein lies the rub. Teaching responsibility was once considered a primary parental obligation, was fostered in our schools and cultivated in our communities. It was an axiom in American culture that along with any “right” came responsibilities. That time has regrettably passed.

Setting community rules is a lot like parenting. A rule is not a rule unless it’s enforced consistently. Otherwise it’s a wish, a fraud, and a child (or a citizen) so misgoverned is a prisoner of uncertainty.

That county managers, county planners, sheriffs and commissioners will doubtlessly find a reasonable solution elusive causes one to conclude silencing a barking dog is something akin to rocket science.

It isn’t. It’s just a matter of having the courage to do the right thing. And the right thing is to protect responsible citizens who play by the simple rules of society rather than providing shelter for those who do not.

David L. Snell

Dillsboro

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