Letters to the editor, gun laws: 05-05-2013

May 6, 2013 

Don't vote on emotion

We are constantly told to avoid making decisions when we are emotional. It is sage advice gleaned from history and experience as hasty emotional fueled decision-making has produced regret and unintended consequences.

This is why I applaud our senators for choosing to vote against any additional gun laws at a time when intentions are fueled by emotion.

The state of New York is learning their lesson after passing sweeping gun legislation 32 days after the Sandy Hook tragedy. The poorly thought-out law failed to exempt law enforcement, led to an embarrassing case of mistaken identity and the confiscation of an innocent person's guns and has drawn the rebuke of 51 of 58 New York counties.

The message is obvious: If new gun control laws are truly important to the American people, allow emotion to subside and write legislation that is based on well-reasoned arguments that are supported by facts and figures. On the other hand, if gun control proponents are trying to capitalize on people's emotions by fast tracking poorly-crafted legislation then shame on the gun control supporters for exploiting dead children.

"When we are angry we are blind to reality." - Dalai Lama

WAYNE WELTER, Meridian

Give senators an 'F'

As the NRA securely stuffs the two Idaho senators back into its holster, it grins broadly as it muses over its power to control them through the threat of an NRA rating of less than an "A."

Performing as servant ammo bearers for the NRA, the senators dutifully voted against common sense legislation to expand background checks on additional commercial gun sales.

Noting their overriding desire for an "A" grade, the NRA will surely quick-draw the senators so they can shoot down the next round of common sense firearms legislation; thus insuring America continues to fight gun violence with only a fraction of the arsenal of preventive measures that could have been available.

It takes courage and wisdom to be a statesman, but instead of challenging the NRA's threat of a poor grade, it appears the senators willfully allowed themselves to be held hostage to the NRA's highest rating.

Maybe it's time the citizens of Idaho implement their own rating scheme for the senators.

A citizen rating of "F" seems appropriate.

ED SMITH, Filer

Senators get it right

Thank you Senators Risch and Crapo. Please accept my sincere appreciation for your recent votes on the Schumer/Toomey/Manchin legislation and related amendments.

In the wake of the tragic and emotional events at Sandy Hook Elementary School Risch and Crapo are to be commended for their comprehensive review of the mountains of data on violent crime, violent offenders, historical success/failure rates for current federal and state firearms legislation, and an ocean of statistical information on mental health, the influence from media on violent behavior, the affects of violent gaming and many other topics that provided the foundation supporting their vote. I have little doubt they represent the vast majority of Idaho residents in this matter.

I hope they continue using substance over sensationalism as the basis to guide their efforts in the Senate on our behalf with the knowledge that most Idahoans hope their practice of thoughtful and informed decision making will rub off on a few of their colleagues.

JOHN FURNISS, Boise

Vote unjustified

Your editorial of April 20 does provide some cover for our two ultra conservative senators who voted against a modest effort for some gun control.

However, unintended consequences do not justify their desire to keep getting re-elected as more important than some common sense measures likely to lessen gun violence.

Yes, the crazies went wild for gun purchases, but blame their paranoia and ignorance rather than the sane majority of the American people who overwhelmingly believe in background checks for gun purchasers.

When will senators from NRA ruled states decide that the general welfare is a higher priority than the narrow interests of their constituents? By the way, I am a gun owner and a hunter!

HARRY A. DENNIS,Boise

Liberals should wake up

On and on it goes. .... The diatribe from anti-gun fanatics and their left-leaning socialist viewpoints. They spew hate towards honest American gun owners and claim our government would never attempt to confiscate my guns. .... Oh really.

A quote from Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of Americans to feel safe." Did you get that? "Banning guns"?

Another quote from Sen. Charles Schumer. "We're going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy, we're going to beat guns into submission." What? "Beat guns into submission"?

This is and has been the mindset of a cadre of anti-gun representatives in our government for years ... and believe me, they are relentless.

Your nefarious president is one of the above group and was adamantly anti-gun while in the Illinois Senate. Big surprise.

When will you folks wake up? When it's too late?

COVEY RUYLE, Eagle

Majority does not rule

Recently we had a bill before the U.S. Senate, oh my, the Second Amendment! Can I keep my guns? The Senate voted 54-48 for background checks and the bill did not pass? Why? Sens. Crapo and Risch voted no. While they fought for your constitutional rights they did not do this for me. If you read the Constitution nothing happens without a simple majority - so if the U.S. Senate truly upheld the Constitution then all that's needed is a simple majority not 60 votes. Does 60 equal 50+1? Not in my math days.

So you Second Amendment constitutionalists remember that we all have constitutional rights in a nation that was founded on that simple majority so that change may occur.

Webster's majority rule - a political principle providing that a majority, constituted by 50 percent plus one of an organized group (Senate) will have the power to make decisions for the whole. (Get it?)

So if you want change tell your senators you want true democracy not corporation majority, change the senate rules to 50+1. Our lives might be easier if we all played by the rules that our founding fathers set forth in the Constitution.

RICH RANDOLPH, Boise

Thanks to the senators

Common sense gun laws, are a step in the right direction? What does that mean?

In the 1920s' war against beer, gangsters fighting over market share, sawed off shot guns making them easier to conceal. The argument at the time was that no one needed a short shotgun to shoot birds, therefore a law prohibiting the practice was only common sense.

In the 1990s, undercover federal agents, on a campaign to destroy political undesirables, conspired to befriend an otherwise innocent Randy Weaver and persuade him to saw off a shotgun.

The result was the murder of his wife and son in a hail of federal gunfire, all while flying the flag of common sense gun laws.

Is the right direction a path from freedom to tyranny? Won't there always be one more loophole? Will disappointed criminals ever give up their evil ways because there are no guns to be had and no other criminals can supply them?

Does the future really hold the promise of a happy, happy land where no one can possibly violate the principles of political correctness? Is there really a Santa Claus? Easter Bunny?

Will the liberal dream please wake up.

Thank you Crapo, Risch.

GRANT HAWK, Idaho City

Senators side with NRA

The recent Statesman's Our View on gun control, was at best myopic in it's analysis of the failure of the Senate to pass a bill expanding background checks for prospective gun owners.

Their selective use of examples to make their point lack any factual basis. They suggest faulty polling techniques while ignoring that an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of Americans were in support of the bill.

To credit the spike of gun sales and concealed weapons permits on the president is political rhetoric.

The abnormal increase in gun sales and CCW permits has enjoyed a wave of paranoia created by the NRA and gun lobby almost immediately after the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

The Statesman gives credit to senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch for making the "right call." However, they conveniently chose not to reveal that both senators have earned an "A" grade on the NRA report card and both senators also have accepted monetary campaign funds from the NRA. Instead of demonstrating some backbone, both Crapo and Risch made the "call" to deny the will of the people in favor of their own self interests, the NRA, gun lobby, and political ideology.

BOYD L. MAUER, Boise

Critics are correct

The previous writers in this section over the past few days have said it all in expressing their outrage over the Statesman's support of Idaho's two senators, Crapo and Risch, in blocking the passage of criminal background checks. Idaho's senators were not responsive to all the citizens of our state.

Oh, they invited you to call, write or email your thoughts and concerns to them. And yes, you would get a reply, but do not expect the reply to really address your concerns. Do expect a form letter that further reiterated the all too familiar rhetoric you heard from all those who were spokespersons for the gun lobby. How do everyday citizens compete with the mega-millions of dollars organizations such as the NRA contribute to campaign war chests? Writing letters, and marching in protests seem to be ignored.

The only real power everyday citizens have is the ballot box. If we the citizens keep sending the same people to represent us we will keep getting what we deserve. Writing Letters to the Editor will be the only recourse for venting our frustrations.

CAROLYN MAUER, Boise

Moderation is gone

What has happened to the Opinion Page of the Idaho Statesman? The letters to the editor, challenging the Our View opinion on gun control legislation, were certainly and absolutely accurate. Gone from the Opinion Page is considerate moderation. I know the infamous Koch brothers are intent on purchasing the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune -I did not realized that they had already purchased the Idaho Statesman.

JANETTE MCFARLAND, Fruitland

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