Friday January 18, 2013

The other side
of the gun argument

Editor of the Reformer:

In response to Jackie Gould’s letter (Jan. 15) claiming that it’s not the NRA’s job to make policy, I would like to make a few points.

The government exists of, by, and for the people (citizens). Citizens have every right to speak for themselves (free speech), or, band together for the purpose of endorsing a spokesman which champions their cause (second amendment right). The NRA represents a large body of citizens, which citizens exercise their right to choose to be represented by the NRA where it concerns issues surrounding, The United States Constitution.

When you say in your letter that we put our trust in elected officials to represent us, and not the NRA -- who is, we? Do you mean the citizens who have the right to free speech, and also the right to choose a representative of their liking? Since we can agree the answer to that point is yes, can we safely assume that the citizens who choose to be represented by the NRA agree that they present with their ideologies as a "private organization" -- much like a corporation, and not citizens? I would say absolutely not -- but it seems likely, the collective answer to that question is yes, since we know the outcome of Citizens United -- that corporations are persons. The Supreme Court has ruled that even persons (corporations) have the right to free speech.


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If a corporation’s free speech can be in the form of monetary contributions to a favorite political candidate, then why not also in the form of actual free speech?

You seem to be advocating in opposition to citizens owning assault rifles because of what you perceive as the excessiveness associated with owning one. You say, who needs all that power and speed. Well ... what sort of automobile do you drive? How much power does it have, and how fast will it go?

The average American seems to forget all too easily that this country is all about owning things far in excess of their actual needs. There is no good reason to own a vehicle which weighs 4,000 pounds, makes 300 horsepower and is capable of traveling down the road at over 130 miles per hour -- all the while, guzzling gas at the rate of 17 miles per gallon. And in the hands of an irresponsible person, that automobile is certainly not "safe." But these sorts of vehicles make for great grocery getters.

And as far as assault rifles are concerned, as a former Sheriff’s Deputy and father of two young boys, I see nothing wrong with responsible citizens owning and operating these firearms. Do unto others as you would have done onto yourself, or else, declare this society to be defunct and trade in your gas guzzling beast for a Yugo -- Yugo first though.

Kris Knutson,

Vernon, Jan. 15

An apology

Editor of the Reformer:

This letter is being written in the form of an apology to the readers of the Reformer and specifically the Jewish readers of the Reformer. As they know, my letters to the Reformer have been critical of Israel since the six day war in June 1967. But this latest episode between Hamas and Israel resulted in a truce between the two remind me of the comments made to me by an Arab friend of mine. He got into some legal difficulties and is now in Texas. But there were some comments he made about the Arab countries that bear repeating. I recall his telling me on more than one occasion that the Arab countries were corrupt and dictatorial.

To sum up, once again I wish I had brought this up sooner.

Lou Waronker,

Brattleboro, Dec. 2