Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Guns, steelhead, McGee


I had to respond to Linden Bates’ letter of Sept. 13. The letter attacked Republicans in part for “...their self serving interpretation of the Second Amendment...” Sadly the writer does not see the irony in the letter. I am reminded of a better legal argument.

“What is a moderate interpretation (of the Constitution)? Halfway between what it says and halfway between what you want it to say” – Justice Scalia.

I fear Linden Bates confuses what the Constitution says and what the founders intended with what Linden Bates wished it said and wanted it to mean. I suggest Bates read Heller. Before one writes a letter full of opinion all gussied up as fact one might considering knowing something about the issue being discussed. The founders were clear. They left a record.

“On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adapted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning might be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge Johnson, June 12 1823.

Jim Verdolini, Boise


Not enough is being done to recover Idaho steelhead and chinook and sockeye salmon. In 2019, steelhead and salmon returns are less than the 10-year average. Since the steelhead and chinook and sockeye salmon were listed as threatened species in the 1990s, the current efforts have not produced the return goals for steelhead and salmon returning to Idaho.

The multipurpose Federal Columbia River Power System projects in the lower Snake and Columbia rivers main stem corridor remain a primary threat to the viability of Snake River salmon and steelhead. The system of dams and reservoirs continues to affect these species during their juvenile and adult migrations. The fish must pass up to eight large main stem dams on their journey to the ocean and back.

Gov. Brad Little tasked his Office of Species Conservation with establishing a work group dedicated to addressing salmon and steelhead issues. The purpose of the governor’s salmon work group is to develop a unified policy recommendation for Gov. Little to assist him as he shapes Idaho’s policy on salmon and steelhead recovery. The salmon work group’s recommendation should include removal of at least two of Snake River dams and updated barge loading facilities downstream of Little Goose Dam.

Don Vernon, Middleton

BSU attendance

In response to BSU attendance being down, as they say, follow the money. Seven years ago, AD Mark Coyle and President Bob Kustra signed a contract with ESPN. With little discussion with concerned participants, ESPN got seven years of control, a la night games, then they went to the Mountain West and told them because we are such a big draw, we want more conference TV money than the other members. They got it. Coyle left the following year.

After the impact of night games attendance slowly dropped, no more high school kids and family, a la ESPN Friday night games, no more seniors, it was a big blow. But the money, BSU went on a spending spree, new state-of-the-art training facilities and more. Then the hike in ticket prices was an unwelcome hit to fans. Bob Kustra doesn’t say much about it all, except now money can go to other BSU needs. So now our AD is trying to come up with some magic to get the attendance up. All that money was to help build a tougher schedule, but this year’s home schedule is the worst. So next spring, ESPN’s contract is up. Follow the money.

Don Weatherhead, Meridian

Gun violence

I’m writing in response to the recent editorial arguing that gun owners should be supporting CDC studies of “gun violence.” Your article continued the myth that the Dickey amendment has prevented research from occurring. Actually there is considerably more research being done than before the Dickey amendment was enacted.

But a bigger question is why the CDC (and anti-gun political forces) only want to study “gun violence” and not any other kind of violence. It sounds like perhaps they don’t really care about violence, but are going after guns, and gun rights. Anti-gun activists frequently talk about “gun violence” or “gun deaths,” and that is a clue that they are fudging their numbers to make it appear there is some sort of crisis.

For example, Idaho and Utah have about the same homicide rate as Canada, yet all we hear about is how we have more “gun homicides” (as if being killed by knives, fists or blunt instruments is OK), or how we have more “gun deaths” (because they include firearms-related suicides). In reality, Idaho and Utah are just as safe as Canada, despite the prevalence of guns. Perhaps there is more to the violence issue than just guns.

Mark Weaver, Kuna

Support McGee

I would like to express my support for John McGee for Caldwell City Council Seat 6. I would categorically vouch for Mr. McGee’s character and integrity. I am aware of John’s political journey. Like all of us, life is a journey and the reality is that the destination is the goal. I am glad to say that throughout the journey he has always had concern and care for his community and has never stopped finding ways to serve.

I know that family and faith are important to John and both his family and his church support him in this next endeavor. Indeed, without that support it would be unlikely that I would express my own, but knowing that John is a loving and good husband and father, as well as an active participant in his faith community, I am glad to see his return to office and official public service. John brings experience, knowledge, leadership and creativity to our city. Along with his character and broad support from community members, I am certain that John will contribute significantly to leading Caldwell further along.

I strongly urge everyone to vote McGee for City Council.

Geoff Williams, Caldwell