Congress must acton assault weapons
I just read a CNN article quoting the NRA as saying they’re “...shocked, saddened, heartbroken...” about the recent premeditated murder of 26 innocent people, most of them children. How hypocritical can the NRA get? Those people were murdered precisely with the type of weapon that the NRA has long fought to make legal, along with armor piercing bullets and large ammunition clips.
I am not against guns, per se. But I am adamantly against firearms that belong only in the hands of the military or the police. Is there an NRA member alive who will tell me why they just “must” have a rifle that fires hundreds of rounds per minute in order to go deer hunting?
Congress must act. The Constitution doesn’t say we have a right to a weapon capable of mass murder. Congress must make a clear, legal distinction between weapons that are reasonable for ordinary citizens to have, and those which are not.
Congress needs to be reminded they swear an oath to defend the Constitution, not to do the NRA’s bidding, no matter how much money the NRA contributes to their campaign funds. And, they have a Constitutional duty to “...ensure domestic tranquility.”
JACK STEVENS, Boise
It’s up to citizensto protect themselves
I was waiting until our tears dried before addressing the expected cries for more gun control. The Statesman beat me Tuesday.
To set the record straight: Current gun laws prohibit persons with a felony or mental health issues from legally obtaining or possessing a weapon. Gun dealers and personal sellers are required to follow these laws.
As NYC Mayor Bloomberg stated in “Meet the Press” Sunday, it is illegal guns that kill. True. New York and Connecticut gun laws are tougher than federal requirements but that still does not stop excluded persons from obtaining a gun. The mental health delivery system component of protecting society from violent people is sorely lacking. We can’t stop criminals from having guns any more than we can stop an alcoholic from getting behind the wheel of a car and hitting a school bus. Police are reactive to crime. That leaves private citizens to protect themselves.
As Bloomberg further stated, it is not gun control, but sensible regulations that are consistent with the Constitution, that can solve the problem. The Constitution does protect our gun rights. Do we disregard the rights of one-third of the population to protect the rest?
RANDALL MELSON, Caldwell
Service cuts must stop
This extreme tragedy of babies being brutally murdered has, once again, brought the subject of how, as a society, we deal with the issues of the mentally ill. Let’s be clear, I make no excuses for the sick, vile actions of this “person.” What I want to do is bring to the forefront the manner in which we, as a society, treats those most vulnerable among us.
With the Legislature about to reconvene for its 2013 session, hopefully the tragedy will burn brightly in the hearts and minds of our elected officials when they consider more insidious cuts to mental health programs.
As someone with a family member with mental health issues, I can tell you that your recent cuts have been devastating to that community. I deal, in some way, nearly everyday with issues that arise with my family member and the support she receives from community-based mental health organizations has dwindled drastically the past few years.
What I’d like to see is for the mayor to be less concerned with his doubling of the police budget and more with taking care of our mentally ill and school children in our community.
ROD WALLACE, Boise
ISP is unresponsive
ISP is unprofessional and grossly violated my civil rights as a disabled individual! I filed two legitimate and very serious complaints. Their website thoroughly explains the process that takes place when a complaint is received. None of this occurred. They didn’t even try to contact the two witnesses I listed or interview me.
Yes Idaho, this is the same ISP that not only kept but promoted the same trooper that the Idaho Supreme Court overturned a murder conviction because they ruled he perjured himself on the stand. No big surprise, they also kept a trooper that poached a moose. Northern Idahoans were very angry, and he was moved to the Boise region. Great! It’s obvious ISP places itself above the law.
It’s no surprise that they refuse to give the public more information about the trooper whose loaded gun was found in the parking lot of a restaurant. This department should no longer be allowed to do its own internal investigations as their broom is worn out with all the hogwash they have swept under the rug!
Thankfully, Idaho does have many respectful and honorable police, and I truly appreciate them.
VALERIE FRANKEN, Meridian
Killing animals for funis not acceptable
At the Summit in August, conservationist Shane Mahoney (posted at the Summit website) reminded Idahoans how lucky we are to live in a state with the wealth and diversity of wildlife. Many are unaware of this gift and the lack of wildlife in most other places. The Twin Falls group that is planning the coyote and fox derby doesn’t understand this.
Hunting for food makes sense, but because biologists recognize the great importance of predators to an ecosystem, this coyote and fox hunt really troubles me.
Fish and Game’s website says: “Idaho’s wildlife belongs to you ... we all share responsibility in preserving, protecting and managing Idaho’s wildlife.” The deaths of these animals for the sake of these people’s “fun” is unacceptable and unethical. Please join me in asking Idaho Fish and Game to end this practice.
CHRISTINE GERTSCHEN, Sun Valley
Ups and downs
Usage of the word “up” by print media has become excessive, unnecessary, and sometimes ridiculous. Example: Statesman headline Dec. 13 reads “HP suffers as demand for printers dries up.” This implies a “dry down” condition exists? What’s the difference between “drying up” and “drying down?” Pity anyone who attempts to learn proper English.
BOB HANSON, Boise
OPEN ON THE HOLIDAYS
Waiting for complaints
I was surprised at the uproar when Walmart announced their Thanksgiving hours. Some said they are ruining employee lifes, they are being totally insensitive to an American tradition and others demanded boycotts against them. I am waiting for those same folks to attack Starbucks (State and Veterans Memorial Parkway) for remaining open on Christmas day.
BARRY GOFF, Eagle
SOCIAL SECURITY CUTS
Seniors not gettingtruth from politicians
We read about cuts to Social Security to reduce federal expenses. Seventy percent of our retirement income is Social Security; for many it’s 100 percent. Social Security is not included in the federal budget or the deficit; it is not entitlement, it is self supporting having $2.6 trillion in the trust fund. Politicians are lying to us.
That reduced payroll tax all workers are temporarily receiving is achieved by reducing the 6.2 percent Social Security tax to 4 percent. That’s $81 a month/mo for the Idaho median income household.
They claim Social Security is going broke and yet the government reduces the funding? The retired received no additional income. Recalculating the Social Security cost of living adjustment is being considered using a method to reduce the annual increase. This scheme had better include all government employees including politicians, military and pensions; not just Social Security. We’ve all seen prices rise this year. The 2013 COLA is 1.7 percent; $55 a month for us combined. However, a 5 percent Medicare premium increase reduces that to $45, for a net COLA of 1.5 percent. An average Social Security recipient will receive $18 a month. I wonder what Congress awarded themselves?
ALAN BENFER, Boise