The good and bad
Some among us seem to be promoting an American arms race, saying we need more "good" citizens with guns for protection against an apparently burgeoning population of "bad""citizens with guns.
Don't Christian teachings emphasize that all of us are flawed and sinners but made in the image of God? I thought we were all good and bad! No one mentions the mother of the Newtown shooter, who must have been good, but then maybe she was bad. She was a single woman who wanted to protect herself with a high-powered weapon, good so far. But then she enabled a bad person to commit mass murder.
Statistics say at least 75 percent of school shooters were bullied at their school. Were the bullies good or bad people? Everyone thought Olympian Oscar Pistorius was an outstanding person, but now he may be a murderer, or was it an accident? Seems to me that more and more guns oftentimes allow imperfect people to make permanent, life-destroying mistakes instead of being given a chance to learn through maturity and life experience. Having more of my fellow citizens packing arms doesn't make me feel any safer.
NANCY BASINGER, Boise
More guns won't help
Twenty little children get slaughtered. How does our Christian nation react? By buying more guns. Can you imagine Jesus packing an AK-47?
A Feb. 13 letter to the editor stated "liberal-controlled Hawaii ... has a plethora ... of murders." I Googled "gun violence in every state." Fact: Hawaii ranked last in gun violence in the nation. According to Foxnews.com, Hawaii is the happiest state and scored highest in Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index three years in a row. Thirty thousand people are killed by firearms annually in this country. More than 30 people are shot or murdered each day. Japan has less than 50 gun homicides annually; European countries like German, Italy etc., less than 150; and Canada less than 200.
Every time a gun injures/kills in self-defense, one is used 11 times for suicide; seven times for criminal assault/homicide; four times in unintended death/injury. U.S. taxpayers pay $1.1 billion in lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries. These are the facts. Let us live in love, not fear. Isn't that what Christ would want?
NORMA BAILEY, Boise
Swiss gun laws
Switzerland does not have wide-open gun laws.
1) Young people in the military are issued assault rifles and a 50-bullet sealed package of ammunition. This package of bullets must be returned unopened after the tour of duty unless there was an emergency call to duty.
2) Gun clubs are common and encouraged by the government, but you must bring your gun in unloaded and open.
3) All gun sales are recorded with serial number and records filed for 10 years.
4) All ammunition sales are recorded with name and intended use.
5) Getting a gun-carry permit for five years is complicated.
6) Automatic weapons and silencers are illegal.
7) Sales to noncitizens are illegal if from certain countries.
8) The occurrence of gun crime in Switzerland is very low.
Switzerland does not have people with assault weapons running around on the street, but people do have guns and use them in a responsible way.
ROBERT VAN EYLL, Boise
In the Jan. 28 letters, Mr. Malcohm McGregor made the statement that "The Second Amendment was not enacted to provide a check on the governments's tyranny."
I am sure that Mr. McGregor is an educated man, but it appears that in the Federalist Papers, Mr. James Madison in "No: 46 Madison" refutes that statement entirely, not only suggesting that it may happen, but he goes into detail as to how many militia men it will take to ward off or "appose" the encroachment of the United States Army.
Madison states: "United States an army of more then twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands."
No. 64: John Jay, on the subject of government corruption: "As to corruption, the case is not supposable." He must either have been very unfortunate in his interactions with the world - who can think it probable that the president and two-thirds of the Senate will ever be capable of such unworthy conduct. The idea is too gross and too invidious to be entertained.
Yeah, nice try, Jay.
LANE THOMPSON, Weiser
The First Amendment (first in importance) and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now the Second (cannot take away from the first). You get fined or arrested if you use semiautomatics to kill deer or birds or any other lawful game. These weapons are to kill people. They are military (not civilian) weapons.
BOB TURGEON, Eagle
Church schools are not role models
Except for our present information availability age, I suspect that Catholic elementary and high school education has not changed much from what it was seven and eight decades ago.
The great discipline in Catholic education stems from seven legalisms called sacraments. Each legalism is supported by one or two passages from the Bible. We were discouraged from using the Bible because we would not understand it. Only members of the hierarchy of the Catholic church who were specially chosen by God were equipped to interpret the Scriptures.
Their members need to go outside the church to find jobs and paychecks for themselves, and those people are in good standing in the church if they contribute money to support it.
The discipline in that church membership is geared to causing people who are not members to be impressed by their model conduct. They know nothing about promoting a government of, by and for the people, advancing freedom, justice and equality under God as promised by the founders of our country. Their allegiance is to their hierarchical structure and establishing themselves as authoritarians outside the church.
Since the Bible gave me better information than the Catholics hierarchy, I left that business organization.
CECELIA LANGLAND, Boise
LOSS OF FREEDOMS
Time to pay attention
The erosion of our freedoms is staggering. Top of my current list is seat-belt laws. Why can I ride my motorcycle without a helmet if I choose but not drive a 3,000-pound car that has air bags without seat belts?
The selective enforcement of these and other laws is becoming so hit and miss. What about the laws in other states such as California that if an illegal is pulled over for any reason, they are not cited, just warned and let go.
America needs to wake up and start pushing back against the erosion of our freedoms.
Go to another country and try burning their flag and see what happens. We need a complete overhaul of politicians at the local and national level. Term limits, and when they are out of office, they revert back to living without their health care and retirement plan. We the people need to wake up and pay attention to what the government is doing.
KEN PEDERSEN, Boise
FELONS IN SCHOOLS
Give education a chance
The article published Feb. 6 titled "Senator's bill to ban felons from schools" is disturbing on a number of levels. Anyone who has done any research would note that recidivism in our system is extremely high.
One of the best remedies to reverse this trend is education, which is proven to provide a means for changing behavior and lifestyle. To have a senator desire to continue punishment to someone who has served his time and "paid his debt to society" simply illustrates the lack of foresight in fighting recidivism and thus, lowering taxes.
I could make a case from purely a fiscally responsible point of view that any action along these lines would be gross negligence for a legislator at best and insane at worst.
If you take away any chance for a felon to integrate back into society and make it even harder for them to get responsible positions that can help feed their families, what do you think they will do next? Perhaps this senator and the Legislature would do well to view the latest version of "Les Miserables" to get schooled themselves on this important issue.
STEVEN J. REIMER, Garden City
Worst fears come true
I'm still reeling from the fact that Obama won re-election. He certainly didn't get there by my support, but it is what it is, and so be it.
He's doing just what everyone should have expected from a lame duck of his ilk. Keystone pipeline, gun control, legalization of 11 million illegals while our Southern border continues to resemble a welcome mat, bowing to the union goons who helped put him back in, and the list goes on.
Space won't allow for total itemization of his disasterous administration, but rest assured we will feel the effects for years to come.
So, what about our elected officials who are supposed to be there to speak up on our behalf? What are they doing? Are they sitting on their hands while the would-be dictator runs rampant over them and us? Are they afraid of him, and if so, why?
What has Obama done to benefit anyone but himself and his cronies? How are we better off for his having been the president?
DON LAYNE, Cascade
Procedures not safe
I'd like to comment on the guest opinion by Hanna Brass Greer that appeared in the Jan. 30 issue.
I think she's mistaken about some things. She seems to believe abortion is safe. It is not. Some women who undergo abortions say they felt excruciating pain. Also, some women die from abortions or complications later. Women who have abortions are at a greater risk for breast cancer; tubal pregnancy, miscarriage and sterility later.
Abortion creates emotional problems later. Some women regret their abortions sometimes as much as 20 years later. Women who have abortions are six times more likely to attempt suicide.
Abortion can have a negative effect on future relationships.
Many women are pressured or coerced into getting an abortion. In the case of incest, many are coerced into getting an abortion, not to help the woman (girl), but to save the family's reputation. Many such women don't want an abortion.
Abortion kills an innocent human being; therefore, it's murder.
HERB KILLAM, Wilder