Letters to the editor for January 25, 2012

By Observer Upload January 25, 2013 09:37 am


Another view on gun violence

To the Editor:

As our society fears for its security, we waste precious resources on protection rather than production and sustainability. To me, owning military-style weapons is an act of aggression. It serves no other purpose. 

How can our Constitution guarantee the right to own assault weapons above the right to life and liberty for all? The founders of this nation could not have imagined the destructive power of modern weapons nor the devious agenda of a powerful minority (the NRA) to threaten our democracy. 

Our elected representatives do not always reflect the will of the majority. They are often swayed by special interest groups. I would welcome a straight vote by all the citizens of the United States on the right to own assault weapons and ammunition. This vote should not be influenced by strangely twisted commercials, but only by human beings talking to each other, just like in 1776.

One writer tried to compare the hazards of driving to the chances of dying by gunfire. This is a false analogy because millions of people drive every day and many have no choice if they are to work and support their families. Handling a gun, on the other hand, is always by choice. What percentage of times does it result in a death?

When a U.S. university researched what happens in households with guns, statistics showed that the guns were 43 times more likely to kill someone in that household than they were to kill an intruder. This study was quickly suppressed by the NRA with its powerful lobbies. They also impeded further research into the effect of gun ownership on one’s mental health. In my mind, the NRA behaves as a dictatorship: suppressing the truth, threatening aggression against dissidents, proliferating weapons and disregarding human suffering, death and anguished grief.

The natural response to an aggressor is to look down, not to engage him. If you don’t get many letters like this, it doesn’t mean society condones a pro-weapon stance. It means nature has taught us not to stick our necks out.

Mary Cooke

La Grande



Three cheers for Oregon sheriffs

To the Editor:

Three cheers for Oregon sheriffs. Now that some Oregon sheriffs will be deciding what laws are constitutional and which laws to enforce, the United States Supreme Court will have lots of free time on its hands. 

Perhaps some of the justices can come out here and patrol our highways — which is what our sheriff should be doing. From the letters they’re writing to the vice president, you’d think the sheriffs were spending all their time enforcing federal laws and regulations. I guess if the FBI, the IRS, the DEA and the BATF aren’t doing their jobs, we’re lucky that the county sheriff is willing to step in and do the work for them.

Martin J. Birnbaum

La Grande



ODFW defrauding the public on wolves

To the Editor:

ODFW sends your paper these beautiful pictures of these wolves. That is not their true nature.

ODFW never sends pictures of wolves covered with the blood of cows and other livestock, never sends pictures of them eating the poor helpless livestock alive, while they are bleating and quivering with agony, and the wolves are devouring their living tissue.

ODFW is defrauding the public by not sending balanced pictures and articles to your paper.

And your paper should do a better job of publishing balanced pictures and articles about the wolves.

Nicholas Smith

La Grande