Don't blame Obama
I was shocked and saddened greatly by the Our View editorial regarding the failed gun legislation on the Opinion page of the April 20 newspaper.
The attempt to blame President Obama for the increase in gun sales is incredible. These increases in sales are a paranoid reaction to the tragedies and come from a small percentage of Americans who thrive on living in fear. I applaud our president for trying to promote sensible reforms. In addition, saying our senators, Crapo and Risch, made the right call is incredible! They were only doing what everyone expected them to do, rather than making the courageous decision to vote in favor of common sense reforms.
Doesn't your editorial editor realize that mental health will always be an issue, but that easy access to these type of weapons makes these tragedies all the more likely and devastating?
This editorial was the most disturbing and out of touch with reality and facts that I have ever seen. I have always enjoyed opening the paper every morning, but this kind of editorial makes me question the wisdom of continuing my subscription.
DANIEL APPEL, Boise
Editorial was off base
The Statesman's editorial (Our View, April 20) blaming President Obama for failure of the U.S. Senate to pass any legislation for stricter gun controls is way off base.
It is the supermajority requirement of 60 votes (filibuster-proof) that is the main problem, as it is for many other proposed pieces of failed legislation that have come before a dysfunctional Congress in recent years.
If the Senate were operating under its original rules, five of the seven provisions voted on in this proposed bill would have passed with simple majorities and potentially could have become law following passage in the House and signing by the president.
The ironic consequences you refer to are nothing new. We have seen this same kind of public paranoia many times in the past - even the election of a new president in 2008 caused a marked increase in gun and ammunition sales. This sort of disturbed and irrational behavior is one of the best reasons why we need better gun laws. Laws relating to guns and ammunition should consider the rights and concerns of all citizens.
TOM J. CADE, Boise
The April 20 Our View editorial, "Failed bill has ironic consequences," is so full of illogical conclusions, it's an embarrassment to all Idahoans.
Proposed legislation in the Congress to limit the sales of guns and to tighten up background checks had absolutely nothing to do with the Second Amendment. The "Guns and Bible Goonies" who ran out and armed themselves to the teeth tells us more about Idahoans than it does about the intention of those pushing gun control legislation at the federal level.
If the Statesman wants to be a "rag" for the conservatives, at least have the decency to give credit for good intentions for sensible gun control legislation at the federal level, not cheap shots at President Obama.
Our legislators take an oath to do what's right for the United States, and I'm not alone in believing that the oath supersedes the paranoia of the residents of Idaho. Is being re-elected more important than the overall safety of our state's population?
You owe the president and many others who work diligently to pass sensible gun safety legislation an apology. Your dismissal of Sandy Hook and Tucson are shameless. Had either happened in Boise, the editorial staff would've had a very different perspective.
MICHAEL A. CHITTY, Boise
Editorial hit the mark
Regarding the April 20 editorial on the Opinion page about the failed gun legislation:
I just finished reading this editorial while drinking my breakfast coffee.
Allow me to congratulate you on hitting the proverbial nail right on the head!
Especially good was your reference to placing a sharper focus on the mentally ill as far as firearms are concerned and to your pointing out that the president has created just the opposite effect to what was intended by his mucking around.
ART IMEL, Nampa
NRA talking points
In regard to the Statesman's editorial of April 20 on the failed gun legislation, there is a chimera in science that exposes stupid conclusions.
In Bremerton, Germany, long ago there was a baby boom one year that coincided with an enormous influx of storks, hence the canard that storks bring babies. The Statesman concluded that the sudden increase in gun sales and applications for concealed weapons permits proves that people do not want any legislation for gun checks despite all of the polls and other data to the contrary. Storks and babies - stupid.
The Statesman then made the greasy slide to dismissing the Newtown parents as puppets of President Obama. This was not merely mean, but ignorant and cruel. The editorial could have been written by Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. Indeed the Statesman used every one of the NRA's talking points; not very original.
The Statesman then praised Sens. Risch and Crapo as heroes by leading the effort to filibuster the legislation and vote against it. These men are not heroes, they are cowards. What did they have to lose being radical conservatives from a radical red state? These cowards could vote against mom and apple pie and not lose their lucrative seats.
MARK HILL, Boise
Can editor be fair?
As a journalist who "crossed over" to the political side, I am concerned about the background of the Statesman's new editorial page editor.
Even if I had wanted to return to journalism, I would not have expected to work in an editorial capacity for reasons of credibility. I had shown my colors, as Robert Ehlert did by working for one of the more conservative members of Congress.
The public will wonder if he can be fair.
If he authored Saturday's editorial, the signs aren't good. It was one of the most poorly reasoned pieces I've read, stretching facts way out of shape to fit a preconceived notion.
In one instance, the author dismisses multiple reputable polls that have shown strong support for gun background checks, with no foundation beyond a vague call for "on-the-ground reality polling" - whatever that may be. (Of course, the Statesman regularly cites these same pollsters in its news stories and editorials, usually without question.)
Worse is the underlying implication that gun owners - and gun owners alone - should determine national gun policy. This is anti-democratic and dangerous.
I wish Mr. Ehlert welcome to Boise, but he will need to earn his credibility over time.
JEAN MCNEIL, Boise
Must be brain-dead
I was going to write a letter to the editor refuting the illogical, irrational and ridiculous points in the April 20 Our View editorial concerning the failed background check bill. Fearing "ironic, unintended consequences," I "commissioned" an "on-the-ground reality" poll. The poll indicated that the editorial writer was brain-dead and I was wasting my time. So I decided not to write the letter.
BOB FRITSCH, Boise
Straight from the NRA
After reading your view on gun control, April 20, I don't think the NRA could have written a better article. Calling the president reckless for trying to bring common-sense legislation to this matter is ridiculous and obviously targeted to the misinformed reader in your circulation.
Interesting that your column did not mention any of the misinformation the NRA and its bought senators used to scare people on this subject. The constant right-wing fear mongering and the conservative media bubble have created the exact response the gun lobby wants: intimidated senators along with more gun and ammo sales. This is the reason for the spike in gun sales, not a bipartisan piece of legislation that did not infringe on the Second Amendment and was supported by 90 percent of the American people.
Finally, accusing the president of exploiting the tragedies and the families of those so sadly impacted by this senseless gun violence is absolutely shameful. We live in a country that is supposed to operate under representative government. The people impacted by these tragedies deserve as much representation as they can get on this matter, and they should not be silenced or disrespected in such a disingenuous way.
BRETT WALTERS, Meridian
Obama hit piece
Daniel Patrick Moynihan stated, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." You are allegedly journalists and should be held to a higher standard regarding facts. If your April 20 Our View editorial was written by an individual or the NRA as a hit piece on President Obama, the language used, such as "exploiting the tragedies" and "reckless" gun proposals, might be understandable, if not excusable.
Your last paragraph assigning all credit or blame to the president for the spike in gun sales and concealed permits assumes that we live in a bubble and only what the president says or does gets through. Come on, let's give the NRA and its reckless and exploitive "Stand and Fight" propaganda its due. They should get their fair share of the blame or credit.
I hope that, in the future, we will see a much higher standard of journalism practiced by the Statesman editorial staff. I would prefer to see ideas supported by factual information rather than biased opinions.
FRANK DRISCOLL, Meridian
Distraught Sandy Hook parents are being exploited by shameless politicians who manipulate them like tragic marionettes in a game of deception, the true tragedy of which, for the nation, is comparable to the heart-wrenching loss of the parents.
These distraught parents have been led to believe the gun legislation proposed by Obama/Feinstein will eventually prevent a similar catastrophe, when, in fact, this charade is being perpetrated by skillful politicians to extricate themselves from having to admit that our society is in total moral and ethical decay.
Any attempt to pass a gun law is a red herring that allows Congress to slither out the back door and proclaim victory for the Sandy Hook children when they are actually dancing victoriously on their graves, having successfully deceived a gullible electorate, and can now take the next step that has already been proclaimed by Mario Cuomo, the confiscation of our guns and the destruction of the Second Amendment, with the rest of our inalienable rights to follow.
If there is another mass shooting, Obama/Feinstein will say, "The NRA stopped us the last time, let's do it right this time and take their guns."
But 2014 is hanging over their heads.
TONY SNESKO, founder, Idaho Carry, Open & Concealed, Hidden Springs