We need common-sense control — of criminals
The laws are there to protect us, but laws don’t stop criminals.

Last weekend’s shooting in St. Paul was a terrible tragedy, predicted by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher as he patrolled the area the night before. The knee-jerk reaction of Gov. Tim Walz, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Democrats in the Legislature could also have been predicted: Calls for universal background checks and red flags laws.

These reactions ignore the reality of the situation: Criminals don’t follow laws.

Democrats largely overlooked the death of another woman, in Minneapolis last week, who was hit by one of two cars involved in a rolling gun battle. Five Minneapolis children have been shot by stray bullets this year alone and they didn’t roll out the news releases.

But this event — a mass shooting — finally warrants comment.

Even more predictable and laughable is blaming Republicans for gun violence because we stand with law-abiding citizens and their right to own a gun for self-defense.

Our Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committeeheld hearings to review the current laws on the booksaddressing gun crimes in 2020. Several citizens wearing  “Moms Demand Action” T-shirts told me after the hearing that they had no idea we already had so many laws to address gun violence.

Those laws weren’t passed on a whim, hoping they would be followed. We didn’t debate the criminal code at length so it can be ignored. We pass laws to support the work of law enforcement across the state and provide justice for victims.

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People, not guns, are the problem

One of the significant concerns held by the founders of our country was that the government not be allowed to get too big. Our system of government is constructed in such a fashion the people are in charge, not the elected politicians. The politicians are elected to do the will of the people.

The Second Amendment provides that citizens can freely possess firearms. The rationale is for citizens to be able to protect themselves from a government that grows too large. The Second Amendment has been under assault for many years. As the government has grown larger and larger, the pressure in Congress to abolish the personal ownership of arms has been increasing year after year.

The primary argument being pushed to abolish the Second Amendment is focused on civilian gun violence in our streets. Is it a problem? Absolutely. Is removing firearms from the hands of citizens the answer? In my opinion, this is the absolute wrong approach to gun violence in the street. Disarming good, responsible gun owners only gives the upper hand to those bent on doing mayhem in our communities.

The focus on removing gun violence from the streets must be concentrated on the people committing the shootings.

In my 83 times riding this rock we call Earth around the sun, I will raise my right hand and swear, I have never witnessed a gun jumping off the table, running into the street and shooting someone.

A gun is manufactured from metal, plastic, wood and a few other inanimate materials. Some are engraved with beautiful designs. Others are plain and simple. However, to my knowledge, there isn’t a firearm in the U.S.A. that has a brain of its own, has the ability to jump out of its place of storage, run out into the street, pick out a specific individual and shoot them.

The person holding the firearm is the cause of the shooting incident. It is the person who picks up this inanimate object, aims it, squeezes the trigger. And the firearm discharges as it was designed to do once it is in the hands of a person.

It is the person, not the firearm, that causes the shooting to occur.

Knives kill, cars kill, trucks kill, sledgehammers kill, bricks kill and any one of a hundred other inanimate objects used in a manner that results in death.

Where is the cry to eliminate any of these objects? There is none. Nada. Zip. Only deafening silence.

What we need to hear is support for reforming our seriously broken welfare system. Look at the statistics. Where is the highest majority of shooting crimes occurring? In the government housing projects and inner-city ghettos. Interestingly, all were created by government programs to, supposedly, lift people out of poverty. In reality, many of these programs were developed to assure a particular block of votes. It has worked.

Let’s use some of the millions of dollars spent, or should I say wasted each day, to build an education system that works. A system that teaches the young how to survive in the adult business world. Pride in heritage must be emphasized. Law and order brought to the neighborhood. Respect for each other and for people they meet in the future.

Will this fix it overnight? Absolutely not. This project will require thousands of hours and extreme dedication from the people working it even to give it a glimmer of a chance to work. I suspect some will be surprised at the amount of help that will come from the gun owner community. Once it is established, this is not another congressional “feel good” project.

The gun is not at fault; blame for misuse lies with the person holding the firearm.

Train young people to respect firearms and use them properly. Train young people to respect each other. Train young people to take responsibility for their actions. Train young people on the proper way to use a checkbook. Train young people on how to succeed in a work environment. Train up each new generation to leave things in a better condition than they found them.

Will the shootings go away? After a time, yes. Once the young people learn to respect others and themselves, the guns will stay in the drawer and no longer jump out to shoot someone.

Jim Ross Lightfoot
Former United States Representative from Iowa.

From the writings of St. George Tucker, I’d say it was centuries long

A Decades Long Relentless Attack on the Constitution

For decades our own government relentlessly has attacked the Constitution.  Although gradual, there has been a continual wearing down of Constitutional limitations within government.  Under the current administration the radical left would like to turn the Constitution into a living document.  In that matter they could change whatever they wanted to.

They continue to disrespect the Constitution by removing the constraints that we conservatives hold dearly, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, 5th Amendment, the 10th Amendment, etc.  The goal of the extreme left in the party is to elevate the US government into a national government with supreme authority controlled by the Democratic party.

For decades we have allowed the Congress who should be the enforcers of the Constitution to split ideologically.  We now have a Congress that has irreconcilable ideological views on what the Constitution means regarding the federal power.  If the liberal left gets their way the Constitution will change from limiting the power of the Federal government to empowering the Federal government over state’s rights.

Look at what is taking place in the country today under the Biden Administration.  Progressives are trying to link the Constitution with slavery incorporating the 1619 project claiming that the war with England took place because the English wanted to end slavery in the colonies which is nothing close to the truth. A  project disputed by numerous American historians.  Because of the 1619 project they have created Critical Race Theory and deceive the American people through Woke identity politics.

According to the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, conservative Republicans who supported Trump are White Supremacists and the biggest threat to our Democracy. They have stopped the XL Pipeline taken our energy independence away from us laying off thousands allowing gas and heating fuel prices to double in six months.

Government is intervening to control private property extending a moratorium on rent evictions ignoring the Supreme Court and all property owners who have to pay mortgages, taxes, utilities, and bills. They are pushing to eliminate the Electoral College leaving small states at the mercy of large liberal states like California and New York.

In Washington DC they turned the National Guard into a petri dish for their progressive social ideology.  Protect Washington, DC but let Portland, LA, Baltimore, Georgia, etc. burn. The damage to the Capital was minuscule compared to what took place in those cities.  They have allowed the Defund the Police movement and have let crime run rapid within every major urban center in the country.

They are putting Covid restrictions on US citizens while allowing open boarders with thousands of illegal migrants into the country testing Covid positive while using taxpayer dollars to pay for temporary housing and travel expenses into the interior of the US without any obligation to become US citizens. They seek to stack the Supreme Court.

If successful they will usurp the interpretation of the Constitution as we know it subject to any changes they desire. They seek to nationalize voting over state’s rights leaving taxpayers at the mercy of those in power in Washington.

The ruling elites currently in power seek to create a deep state in the direction of socialism and dependency on government.  Contrary to President Biden’s inaugural speech on unity the Democrats have escalated their politics of division.  The radical left in the party hate the American way of life and is determined to destroy the Constitutional foundation that makes America the country we cherish.  If you are a conservative we have to tell those in Congress this is not the right direction for the country.

William R. Bellotti
Middlebury, CT


An Open Letter to Joseph Robinette Biden, President of the United States of America

President Biden:

It gives me no pleasure to write to you today and publish this in a public forum, but circumstances dictate this will be the necessary vehicle for what I know will be the redress of grievances for many Americans like me.

I must inform you that you, sir, your Vice President, and your entire administration are unfit to govern this country.

The reasons why are legion, and I offer but a summary below, but each is clearly evident from your words and actions to date.

Your lies are brazen, and while Americans have come to expect both lying and brazenness from politicians, seldom have we seen a President who lies with the specific goal of producing harm.

You, sir, are that president.

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I keep coming back to the idea that concentrating on rounding up the worst of the worst gangbangers would be much more efficient. By anybody’s count there are far fewer violent gang members operating in this country than there are guns. Would this get rid of all gun crime? No, but it would make a heck of a dent in it.

Take care of the demand problem and the supply side will surely slow.

Seems to me, she’s come to the same conclusion Bill Whittle did
“Maybe it’s not the guns. Maybe it’s the people holding the guns.”

Are guns really the problem?

The White House is launching a new assault to bring down the crime rate. As you’ve likely heard, crime, especially homicide, has exploded in many major hotspot cities over the past year or so. President Joe Biden says he knows what to do, he’s been at this for years and he’s got a plan ready to launch that includes several definitive steps.

“The first of those that work is stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violent crimes,” Biden told a group of reporters as he was about to go into a closed-door meeting with visiting police chiefs and city officials. “It includes cracking down and holding rogue gun dealers accountable for violating federal law.”

The new plan includes five new federal strike forces, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE), which will embed with local police departments in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Their mission is to disrupt gun trafficking coming into those major cities.

The president says he wants to “supercharge” the crime fighting effort, so he’s also urging communities to invest some of their portion of the $350 billion COVID-19 relief fund in policing and to establish more support programs, such as summer jobs for young people.

I wonder if during that closed-door White House meeting anyone broached the subject of the criminals holding those illegal guns the president wants rounded up.

The cold hard fact is this: There are some 470 million guns in civilian hands in the United States right now, with new ones — including untraceable, homemade ghost guns — being manufactured every day. Legal, registered gun sales are at record highs. If by some stretch of the imagination we could magically do away with all the guns belonging to criminals, what do you think might happen? Do you believe hardcore lawbreakers would simply shrug, walk away from their criminal life and go get a nine-to-five job? No. They would find other weapons with which to inflict their terror on innocent citizens. Knives, Molotov cocktails, scissors, an ax perhaps. Criminals aren’t just violent; they are deviously creative.

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Just to point out the intellectual level of some people who believe they’re making a salient point about a subject that anyone can easily determine they are totally clueless about

Letter: What does any of this have to do with the Second Amendment?
Portsmouth Herald

June 10 – To the Editor:

In the news the past month or so:

A 57-year old retired NYC police officer is shot accidentally by a friend trying to break up a dispute outside a pizza parlor.

A 6-year old boy, a passenger in his mother’s car, is shot in a road rage incident.

Another young boy, retrieving his bike from the sidewalk near his home, is shot by a neighbor.

Several dozen are killed or wounded over a weekend in gang-related shootouts in Chicago.

An 18-year old from Ohio is found carrying an AK-47 in a NYC subway.

A woman in Texas shoots a beauty shop owner in a dispute about the cost of her pedicure.

A 5-year old boy is accidentally shot by his mother who was aiming at a dog.

Eight people are killed in Atlanta, followed by shootings in a supermarket in Colorado, an office building in California, a FedEx office in Indianapolis, a rail yard in San Jose. A total of 39 people.

Somebody….anybody….Please! Can anyone tell me what any of this has to do with the Second Amendment?

Anthony McManus


Letter To The Editor O’ The Day

As civil unrest grows, guns are essential for protection

Missing the mark

To Jimmy Dorrell: Your thesis that Christians (so-called) often use the Bible and twist scripture to justify their own selfish desires is certainly true, but Texas’ constitutional carry law is not an example of this practice [May 30 op-ed]. Actual examples could include the church’s gradual acceptance of homosexuality, defense of abortion or justification of adultery, rampant divorce, cohabitation and fornication. You chose this more politically correct topic as your hard line on Biblical malpractice but I look forward to your subsequent pieces on the rest of the issues listed above. Regardless, your piece was a mischaracterization of the argument, and the events that you cited from scripture were in no way related to the conversation of self-defense or willfully twisting the Bible for our own selfish desires.

First, you take umbrage with the politicians referring to our “God-given right” to self-defense, but this is a straw man. Nobody be is referencing scripture, but rather they’re employing a turn of phrase that has been used for centuries in America. As an example, you have (and freely exercise) your God-given right to free speech, and assuming that you also use this idiom, no one challenges you, asking where it says in the Bible that you can speak freely. This is because no one believes that you’re actually referencing Scripture when you use this phrase, and you don’t believe that these politicians are referencing Scripture, either. It simply affords you an opportunity to discuss the real issue — guns.

Second, you assert that Jesus’ own disciples twisted his words for their misguided desires but then you cite three seemingly random instances that have nothing to do with your premise. When James and John were arguing about who would be greatest, they were simply arguing what they wanted, not twisting anything they had heard from Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus, but nothing more — he didn’t do so out of some misinterpretation of Jesus’ words. And Peter attacked an officer that was simply trying to arrest his teacher. There was no twisting of words, only Peter acting independently, out of anger and fear. Jesus even rebukes Peter, asking him, “Am I leading a rebellion?” He was not, and neither are your fellow constitutional carry countrymen.

Third, your arguments lack an understanding in the difference between vengeance, which is the Lord’s, and the protection of yourself and others, which is your responsibility as a man of God. A constitutional carry law simply ensures that everyone has the capacity to protect themselves against those that would do them harm.

“For greater love hath no man than this, that he would lay down his life for a friend” — John 15:3.

We need to be prepared to protect those around us, stranger or family, and we need to be willing to die for them. But throwing yourself in front of a bullet doesn’t mean much when there are 30 more behind the one that put you on the floor. You seem to be dismissive of the growing threats in this country, but as our collective conscience wanes and civil unrest grows, violence, whether perpetrated by a lone, mad gunman or a crazed mob, becomes more and more likely. Those of us who enjoy the right to constitutionally carry will peacefully stand by, and on the day when the forces of hell come crashing down, I hope that I’m nearby so that I might have the chance to protect the people that were put in your care.

Jarek Matthew, Waco

Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals

Our Nation is in deep peril. We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776. The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs. supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.

During the 2020 election an “Open Letter from Senior Military Leaders” was signed by 317 retired Generals and Admirals and, it said the 2020 election could be the most important election since our country was founded. “With the Democrat Party welcoming Socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake.” Unfortunately, that statement’s truth was quickly revealed, beginning with the election process itself.

Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the “will of the people” our Constitutional Republic is lost. Election integrity demands insuring there is one legal vote cast and counted per citizen. Legal votes are identified by State Legislature’s approved controls using government IDs, verified signatures, etc. Today, many are calling such commonsense controls “racist” in an attempt to avoid having fair and honest elections. Using racial terms to suppress proof of eligibility is itself a tyrannical intimidation tactic. Additionally, the “Rule of Law” must be enforced in our election processes to ensure integrity. The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020. Finally, H.R.1 & S.1, (if passed), would destroy election fairness and allow Democrats to forever remain in power violating our Constitution and ending our Representative Republic.

Aside from the election, the Current Administration has launched a full-blown assault on our Constitutional rights in a dictatorial manner, bypassing the Congress, with more than 50 Executive Orders quickly signed, many reversing the previous Administration’s effective policies and regulations. Moreover, population control actions such as excessive lockdowns, school and business closures, and most alarming, censorship of written and verbal expression are all direct assaults on our fundamental Rights.

We must support and hold accountable politicians who will act to counter Socialism, Marxism and Progressivism, support our Constitutional Republic, and insist on fiscally responsible governing while focusing on all Americans, especially the middle class, not special interest or extremist groups which are used to divide us into warring factions.
Additional National Security Issues and Actions:

• Open borders jeopardize national security by increasing human trafficking, drug cartels, terrorists entry, health/CV19 dangers, and humanitarian crises. Illegals are flooding our Country bringing high economic costs, crime, lowering wages, and illegal voting in some states. We must reestablish border controls and continue building the wall while supporting our dedicated border control personnel. Sovereign nations must have controlled borders.

• China is the greatest external threat to America. Establishing cooperative relations with the Chinese Communist Party emboldens them to continue progress toward world domination, militarily, economically, politically and technologically. We must impose more sanctions and restrictions to impede their world domination goal and protect America’s interests.

• The free flow of information is critical to the security of our Republic, as illustrated by freedom of speech and the press being in the 1st Amendment of our Constitution. Censoring speech and expression, distorting speech, spreading disinformation by government officials, private entities, and the media is a method to suppress the free flow of information, a tyrannical technique used in closed societies. We must counter this on all fronts beginning with removing Section 230 protection from big tech.

• Re-engaging in the flawed Iran Nuclear Deal would result in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons along with the means to deliver them, thereby upsetting Mideast peace initiatives and aiding a terrorist nation whose slogans and goals include “death to America” and “death to Israel” . We must resist the new China/Iran agreement and not support the Iran Nuclear Deal. In addition, continue with the Mideast peace initiatives, the “Abraham Accords,” and support for Israel.

• Stopping the Keystone Pipeline eliminates our recently established energy independence and causes us to be energy dependent on nations not friendly to us, while eliminating valuable US jobs. We must open the Keystone Pipeline and regain our energy independence for national security and economic reasons.

• Using the U.S. military as political pawns with thousands of troops deployed around the U.S. Capitol Building, patrolling fences guarding against a non-existent threat, along with forcing Politically Correct policies like the divisive critical race theory into the military at the expense of the War Fighting Mission, seriously degrades readiness to fight and win our Nation’s wars, creating a major national security issue. We must support our Military and Vets; focus on war fighting, eliminate the corrosive infusion of Political Correctness into our military which damages morale and war fighting cohesion.

• The “Rule of Law” is fundamental to our Republic and security. Anarchy as seen in certain cities cannot be tolerated. We must support our law enforcement personnel and insist that DAs, our courts, and the DOJ enforce the law equally, fairly, and consistently toward all.

• The mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief cannot be ignored. He must be able to quickly make accurate national security decisions involving life and limb anywhere, day or night. Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge. We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.

Under a Democrat Congress and the Current Administration, our Country has taken a hard left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government which must be countered now by electing congressional and presidential candidates who will always act to defend our Constitutional Republic. The survival of our Nation and its cherished freedoms, liberty, and historic values are at stake.
We urge all citizens to get involved now at the local, state and/or national level to elect political representatives who will act to Save America, our Constitutional Republic, and hold those currently in office accountable. The “will of the people” must be heard and followed.

Signed by: (names follow)

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Carrying a gun saved my life

I write in response to the April 18 letter from Max Schreiber of Cedar Falls. He laments the recent gun laws in Iowa. He said the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment when firearms were single shot muzzle loaders. So, you are saying the only weapons that fall under the Second Amendment are ones in use in the 18th century? I guess that would also apply the First Amendment. This is the one that protects (not gives) your right to express your opinion. I would imagine you expressed it on a computer. Sorry, those weren’t around in the 18th century, so you had no right to express that opinion.

I have had a carry permit for over 36 years. I have never broken a law with my guns. I once had my life saved because I was carrying a revolver when I caught a guy trying to break into my house. I never even pointed it at him. My training kicked in and the sight of it made him want to leave.

I will continue to carry weapons to protect me and my family. If that scares you I suggest you go to a safe room.

Jim Whitmer, Waterloo

Letter: There’s no historical basis for ban on ‘ghost guns’

In referring to the so-called ghost gun loophole, Steve Henshaw called the right to purchase nonfirearm materials for the purpose of manufacturing arms a travesty (“Tighten law on DIY guns,” Reading Eagle, March 20). The only travesty is the belief that others do not have an inherent right to self-defense, and that the right extends to the home manufacture of firearms, an activity that predates the American Revolution itself.

The only historical bases for banning individuals from possessing firearms and related products, e.g. gunpowder, were when those who would be or were in possession were a demonstrable threat to the safety of others, or where they were perceived as a threat due to their status as a racial minority, slave, or freedman — an actual travesty.

There is simply no constitutionally supported basis from precluding the manufacture of firearms — when the Supreme Court issued its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, it specified that the test for determining the constitutionality of gun laws was whether the law was supported by text, history and tradition; “ghost gun” bans are supported by none of them. People who are spooked by “ghost guns” perhaps should look behind the veil and address the actual crimes which they are being used to support, if any.

Logan D. Lecates

Hegins, Schuylkill County


Guns: Boiling the frog has begun

By V. Paul Reynolds

Those hunters I know, who supported the Biden Presidency, told me not to worry, that no matter how hard the progressive bloc pushed for anti-gun legislation, it would never happen. Americans, regardless of their political party affiliations, would never stand for gun confiscation, or any significant usurpation of their Second Amendment rights.

Don’t be so sure. Elections, as they say, do have consequences. When it comes to gun rights, the analogy applies: the frog is being slipped ever so slowly but surely into the boiling water. It may never know what is happening until it’s too late.

The anti-gun activists have learned not to launch direct assaults on the Second Amendment. They have been skillful at sugar-coating the language and conducting gauzy flank maneuvers that can be deceptive and misleading to those citizens not paying close attention.

Political pundits agree that Joe Biden, despite his reputation as a moderate, has indicated in his first days in office by his flurry of executive orders that he is being heavily influenced by the radical left wing of his party.

Here are some of the likely components of the Biden Administration’s gun safety platform:

* Repeal legal immunity that prevent gun manufacturer’s from being sued
* Ban of semi-automatic firearms
* National gun registry
* Ban on high-capacity magazines
* Buyback of “assault” guns
* Limit on gun purchases
* $300 Federal tax on each gun purchased

Without question, this represents the most sweeping and potentially unconstitutional anti-gun agenda in American history.

According to John Floyd, a gun writer for the Northwoods Sporting Journal, “The vast majority of his (Biden’s) positions are adopted from radical anti-gun groups such as March for Our Lives, The Giffords Law Center, The Trace and Everytown for Gun Safety – all innocuously named, but all pushing policies in direct contradiction to the rights of United States gun owners.”

The irony, of course, is that this country’s gun ownership per capita is higher than it has ever been, and during the past year, first-gun purchases have gone through the roof.

So, these Second Amendment issues may well be, in the days ahead, the central focus as a deeply divided country struggles for common ground.

Letter to the Editor: We must resist any attempt to weaken 2nd Amendment
Jan 27, 2021
To the editor,

In recent times, gun regulations have been spoken of quite frequently.

I see the point of gun regulation proponents quite frequently, and I empathize with their stories. However much I understand, I disagree with their idea. In my opinion, the most important thing in America is our right to bear arms.

Some people say that the Second Amendment was created exclusively to uphold militias. They argue that the police force is this militia. When you break it down, that is a foolish understanding of the amendment.

The Bill of Rights was established to give rights to the people and to limit the government. The question is would it really make sense for the government to give itself the right to have guns. Ultimately that makes no sense.

So, we have now established that the Second Amendment is established for the people to bear arms. Once we get to this point, many people say that it is only for hunting and self-defense. Once again, upon further examination, this can be concluded as false.

The Second Amendment was established swiftly after the American Revolution. The thought of a revolution was fresh on everyone’s mind. It is entirely reasonable then that they would plant the tools for independence should the event arise again.

So, it can be clearly stated that our right to bear arms in the U.S. has been infringed far past its extended existence. My end point is that we should not stand for gun control any longer.

There is a saying that says “give them an inch and they will take a mile.” This applies especially to the government. We must not give them an inch, or they will take a mile.

Therefore, we must resist so that we may have a more-free future.

Duncan Lamb



 Ginsburg was a liberal politician disguised as a judge

To the editor:

As a Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg failed to distinguish between her previous role as general counsel to the ACLU and her role as a judge.

Ginsburg went rogue regarding her judicial duties by imposing her own beliefs in the culture war upon the Constitution and acts of Congress. She was an uncompromising supporter of abortion despite the fact that abortion is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. She supported partial-birth abortion, joining the majority in striking down Nebraska’s ban on the grisly procedure and dissenting when the Supreme Court later upheld a federal ban.

But the Second Amendment apparently did not appear in Justice Ginsburg’s Constitution. She dissented from the Court’s ruling that the amendment protects a constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense within the home.

Justice Ginsburg joined the majority in mandating gay marriage upon the states, and rewriting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prevent employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Ginsburg’s most famous dissenting opinion came in Ledbetter v Goodyear Tire & Rubber (2007) and is another example of her failure to understand the proper role of a Supreme Court justice. The majority dismissed Ledbetter’s equal-pay lawsuit because she had filed it after the 180-day deadline set by Congress. In her dissent, Ginsburg argued that the Court should ignore the will of Congress. What is most interesting here is that the Court did its job in following the mandate of Congress, and then Congress did its job by passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that scrapped the 180-day deadline.

The Notorious RBG was a liberal politician disguised as a Supreme Court justice. She and he allies have turned the Court into a permanently sitting constitutional convention and super-legislature that changes the law at their whim.

Voorhees Dunn, Ph.D.


The hypocrisy of anti-Second Amendment veterans

SOME VETERANS in politics and media have taken it upon themselves to rescue Americans from the “dangers” of firearms, specifically the AR-15.

Their contention is that these are “weapons of war” and therefore unfit for civilian use. Pat Ryan, an Iraq War veteran who had run for Congress in New York’s 19th district, ran a campaign ad in 2018 expressing his desire to “get rid of assault rifles.” In the wake of the Orlando shooting, Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine officer, stated on Twitter that “I know assault rifles. I carried one in Iraq. They have no place on America’s streets.”

As a Marine trained on the use of numerous military-grade weapons, Seth and others should know better.

The original definition of “assault rifle” from a 1970 Army Field Manual (FSTC-CW-07-03-70) has been re-purposed by the anti-gun movement to nebulously define firearms they believe civilians should not own. One of the four requirements for the field manual’s definition of an assault rifle is a “select-fire” option (i.e. you can toggle settings between single shot and fully automatic or burst). The fact that the AR-15 currently sold to civilians in America only has a single fire option means it does not meet their definition of an assault rifle. And, just in case anyone’s wondering, the “AR” in AR-15 stands for “Armalite Rifle” not “Assault Rifle.”

But details like these don’t matter to the gun control lobby, and the issue with these anti-gun veterans is that they believe they know better than the rest of us. They tout their combat experience with these “weapons of war,” demanding that we trust their message and heed their warning.

The irony is either they do not know what they are talking about, or, worse, they have suppressed that knowledge in order to appease the politics of the time. At its core, this issue is less about civilian ownership of AR-15s and more about the elitist mentality of any veteran who believes civilians are incapable or irresponsible when it comes to firearms.

As a Marine Corps officer, I carried the same M4 in Iraq that Seth Moulton did. During my time in Iraq, my Marines investigated an officer who had experienced a “negligent discharge,” where he almost accidentally shot and killed another Marine.

In Iraq, I also witnessed a court martial trial for one of my Marines who had threatened to shoot an NCO in his chain-of-command. Tragically, we also saw a Marine who used his rifle to take his own life.

Human error and human factors affect members of the military just as much as civilians. Should we prevent veterans from owning firearms because they have a higher-than-average rate of suicide compared to the rest of the U.S. population?

At the end of the day, if a person is responsible and knowledgeable about the firearms they own, what difference does it make if he/she is veteran or civilian?

Governor Chris Sununu has done a great job stemming the tide of anti-gun legislation coming through the New Hampshire Legislature. Unfortunately, anti-gun veterans threaten to tip the scales of the discussion in favor of more gun control because they claim to know better than the rest of us.

Most veterans I know do not want to outlaw AR-15s or limit civilian firearm ownership and it is time for the silent majority of pro-Second Amendment veterans to speak their minds, especially in an election year.

If we fail to do so, we are foregoing a responsibility to speak out against the same injustices we joined the military to defend against. And sadly, this issue extends beyond just the discussion of Second Amendment rights.

The “I-know-better-than-the-average-civilian” mentality has become the de facto stance of the corrupt and powerful in our government. Look no further than the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, where a handful of rogue officials sought to undo the will of the people.

Mike Judge lives in Mason.


Readers respond: Gun rights aren’t ‘so-called’

A recent letter writer believes Americans’ “so-called ‘gun rights’ ” should be included in the national conversation on violence. (“Include gun control in the conversation,” Aug. 3). The right of Americans to own and carry guns is far from “so-called.” They are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution and in Oregon’s Constitution and have been recognized and upheld by the Supreme Court with the Heller decision in 2008.

As of this writing, Portland has recorded its deadliest month in the past 30 years (“Portland police record highest number of death investigations in single month in more than three decades,” July 30). Stabbings, shootings, assaults and home invasions are a regular occurrence. There is a call for law enforcement to be defunded, and ineffectual leaders have hobbled the police bureau for their own political gain. Gun sales are at an all-time high, background checks take many days instead of several minutes, and ammunition is in short supply. This is a result of concerned Americans wishing to protect themselves from violent criminals when local governments refuse to.

One can be displeased by the fact that Americans enjoy a unique right to self-preservation, but to deny the Second Amendment and falsely claim the right to keep and bear arms as “so-called” is intellectually dishonest. Law-abiding gun owners have every right to arm themselves. Thankfully, the Founding Fathers added no provisions in the Bill of Rights protecting the timid from never encountering things that make them uncomfortable or that offend delicate sensibilities.

Norwood Paladin, Portland

Letter to the editor | Don’t be fooled by changes in language

Language can be a powerful but cunning tool. Change words slightly and presto, the context changes beneath one’s feet.

For example, have you noticed how the language regarding guns has evolved recently? It’s no longer “gun control”; instead it’s “gun safety.” What a clever shift. No one can object to gun safety, right? It’s just plain reasonable. If you criticize it, you must be one of those crazy gun nuts.

The latest language shift is the characterization of “open carry” of firearms as a “loophole.” Obviously, if the Founding Fathers had any idea that citizens might run around carrying firearms openly, they would have forbidden it. It’s perfectly clear to “reasonable” people that “open carry” is a loophole they forgot to close. But never fear, we can make this minor fix to the Second Amendment for the “safety” of all.

Of course, the open carrying of firearms is not a loophole in the Constitution. At the time, virtually all firearms were carried openly. It wasn’t possible to carry them any other way. It wasn’t until firearms became compact enough to conceal that concealed carry became an issue. Consequently, laws were drafted to require permits to ensure that the scary person next to you couldn’t be carrying a hidden firearm unless properly screened and trained. (We can debate the constitutionality of such regulations another time.)

My point is, we need to read between the lines to avoid the snares set by clever shifts in language.

Mark Sherbine- Portage

Self-defense is not immoral, and neither is arming oneself

In his response to Jeff Jacoby’s recent column about rising gun ownership among Blacks (”Must self-preservation be the top priority?” Letters, June 29), Remy Trahant praises 1960s civil rights protesters for their willingness to die for a cause. He contrasts them with present-day gun owners, who selfishly indulge “the urge to protect [their] own life and family and property and to heck with everyone else.”

I wonder what Trahant believes “everyone else” loses when a person acts to protect their family or property. Other than the criminal, I can’t think of anyone who suffers when a crime is prevented.

The morality of self-defense probably isn’t a hot topic in the cities still smoldering from riots, and the potential need for self-defense is obvious where city governments refused to protect their own citizens. No one should be surprised that people are arming themselves in this environment. Their logic is impeccable.


Why , yes. Yes I do have an answer for you, Karen.
Let me inform your ignorance, as the 9th amendment reads thusly:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This one, conflating the Declaration of Independence’s statement of certain unalienable rights being ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’ as being in the Bill of Rights, still is so ignorant she can’t even remember to quote them correctly.

This is the willful ignorance, informed only by propaganda, we should be concerned about: That in today’s time of the internet where an answer to “What’s in the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence” can be summoned at the push of a button or two, but she can’t be bothered to look it up.

Does she really care, or is she just too stupid to want to learn?

Letter: All amendments matter, not just the 2nd Amendment

To the Editor:

During this prolonged period of social distancing, I find myself spending far too much time mulling over questions of which I have yet to provide answers. Like a pesky mosquito, my pondering persists.

Perhaps someone much wiser might provide answers that could ease my angst:………….

• Why is the Second Amendment the single go-to amendment for the assault weapon-toting people concerned that gun regulations take away their constitutional rights? Why not take a moment to read a bit from the Ninth Amendment advocating for my constitutional right provided by our government for “…obtaining happiness and safety”? I am finding it difficult to feel any sense of safety knowing someone could be packing heat at my grocery store, movie theater or local bars. Any answer for me?………….

Certain there are answers to my questions but not so certain there will be any change.

Joan Skiba


Rethinking Hoosier ‘deplorables’

Coming from the Bronx, I was acquainted with riding the subway or bus or navigating the busy and often treacherous streets of New York.

There I learned to survive in the city, but I knew nothing of hunting, fishing or surviving in nature. Coastal elites have disdain for those schooled in such things.

They assume that food, water and other necessities and amenities just appear. They lack awareness of the complex grids, structures and platforms that maintain their comforts. Or the sources of the electricity that powers their computers and air-conditioning, or of the gasoline that fuels their cars.

They do not appreciate those who make these daily, secular miracles possible, the commonplace wonders of modern, electronic civilization.

But my neighbors in Indiana hunt. They can survive in the forest, hills, lakes and rivers here. They understand the world of nature, its vicissitudes and even barbarism.

Appreciating its transcendent beauty and cadences, they also accept its fierce cruelties. They do not worship nature; they seek reconciliation with it that they may endure and protect their loved ones. They admire the natural world, its towering majesty and microscopic complexity, but they do not hold it on a pedestal, pristine, viewed from a distance.

Theirs is a realistic appraisal of nature and what is required to survive.

Many Hoosiers preserve food. Some steam or pressure can. Or dehydrate, pickle, freeze-dry, smoke, or salt items. Knowing how to farm, they cope with caterpillars, aphids, and cutworms; and guard against hedgehogs, fungi and lack of rain.

Some have gas tanks and generators. They have water filters, propane stoves, purifying tablets, first-aid kits, pick-up trucks, drills, hammers and wrenches. They can repair a car, a machine, or a leaking pipe. And yes, they also know how to install Wi-Fi, use computers, navigate the internet, and operate smartphones.

They have guns and ammunition. Well-trained, many are veterans, serving in the national guard or law enforcement, and are defenders of the Second Amendment. They have shotguns, bolt-action rifles, AR-10s, and other semi-automatics. They own handguns and an array of shells, including expanding, home-defense rounds.

Many have night vision, tree stands, bows, arrows, camouflage, trail cameras, scents, GPS devices and two-way radios. They hunt duck, quail and deer. Floating down a river or walking the fields, they recognize the rhythms of the animals they track and fish, their migration and trail patterns, all driven by the weather, mating seasons and food sources.

In a pandemic, a time of plague, with the economy crumbling, hospitals closing, streets emptied of life, perhaps the rootless cosmopolitans may want to reconsider their contempt.

What is certain is that our elites, in the media, academia, and elsewhere, cloistered in liberal ghettos, among fellow members of the chattering class, would not survive without the welders, assembly line workers and equipment operators, those whom they refer to as hicks, rubes and deplorables who cling to their guns and Bibles.

Maybe they should thank them.

Dr. Richard Moss is a surgeon practicing in Jasper. Contact him at richardmossmd.com or Richard Moss, M.D. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Guns and behavior

Dear elected representative, I am Angie from TC High and we are learning more about guns and school shootings and speaking our opinions about it and I guess we are now writing to you. So I gotta start somewhere.

This gun situation needs to be brought up more in schools, anywhere it can influence a person to not do this type of thing. I remember in middle school we talked a lot about opioids and discussed almost every day. And have checkups on kids psychologically and do more studies to see the red flags for this behavior.

But don’t take away guns. It’s not the guns killing people; it’s the people killing people. The Second Amendment says we have a right to keep and bear arms so you can’t really take away our guns. Help the people who are thinking of doing this thing. We have to keep America safe if we want to have better lives and a better future.

Angie Maddasion

Traverse City