Tuesday January 15, 2013

It’s not the NRA’s job to make policy

Editor of the Reformer:

Why are our elected official negotiating with the NRA, a private organization that is not an agency of our government, nor an elected body or individual who has been voted into office by citizens? Better our elected officials work on learning how to negotiate across the aisle with each other, the folks we actually elected. We put our trust in them, not the NRA, to make policy.

I just heard an interview in which a leader of the NRA objected to a national registry of gun owners on the principal that with such a registry guns could be taken away from some individuals.

Well, that’s the point, and it’s not unprecedented. We have state (and national) registries that are used by law enforcement for exactly that, registries for vehicles, and licensing requirements for driving, etc. The reason is obvious -- if standards are not met, or rules and regulations not followed, a license gets taken away, and so the driver is no longer on the road, and the vehicle no longer used by someone unfit to use it.

Simply, it’s about standards and consequences and, ultimately, accountability.

It seems to me that the NRA and some gun owners actually want gun ownership without accountability and, shockingly, with even less accountability than we have for our cars.


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Do members of the NRA really believe that they are exempt from accountability for carrying a gun? I imagine, most have submitted to regulation under law, and so are accountable for the safety of their neighbors, as car owners?

Any thinking citizen may have already noticed that the phrase "assault rifle" names the problem. This category of weapon was made for the purpose of quick and thorough assault.

If you are a gun owner and/or a hunter, you know that no one needs all those bullets or that power or speed to hunt -- unless you are hunting a herd. So far, the only folks I know who have made multiple kills using assault weapons are humans who kill humans, whether because of mental illness or crime or war.

I know that not all gun owners agree with the NRA. If you are hunter, or a gun owner that supports gun registry and accountability, please speak up to your friends in the NRA -- they will not listen to me, but maybe they will listen to you. And while you are at it, let your state and national congressional representatives know how you feel, also. The national debate needs your voice.

Jackie Gould,

Brattleboro, Jan. 10

A costly decision

Editor of the Reformer:

When walking by the Brattleboro State Office Building, it always struck me as ironic to see by the signs that its renovation was being done by the New Hampshire company, Baybutt Construction. There have been many other state and town constructions projects, big and small, going to out-of-state companies.

I know that these contracts are decided by a bidding process. Now we are finding out that Baybutt Construction was possibly able to offer low bids because it did not pay many hard working and talented subcontractors.

Perhaps the time has come for Vermont’s state and local governments to prioritize hiring high integrity Vermont companies for these jobs. This would better serve the local economy. As we are learning, the state’s decision to hire Baybutt Construction may have been an extremely costly one.

Susan Alper,

Brattleboro, Jan. 11

A simple request

Editor of the Reformer:

Each member of our class is working on a project called the "Parade of States." We are responsible for gathering as much information as we can from a number of sources.

I have chosen Vermont for my state. If any of your readers would help me out by sending any pictures, postcards, a used license plate, facts, products, etc. from your state, it would be greatly appreciated Please send to this address: Cascade Christian Schools, 601 Ninth Ave, SE, Puyallup, WA 98372.

Haylee Hoskins,

Fifth grade, Jan. 8

Editor’s note: We are re-running this letter because, when it ran on Jan. 10, the address where people could send information to was incorrect.