Letters to the editor for March 4, 2013

By Observer Upload March 04, 2013 09:32 am



It’s not about guns, it’s about attitudes

To the Editor:

My name is Mike Voss, and I am one of the owners of Ruff N Rustic Mercantile here in La Grande. 

Several weeks ago I wrote a letter to the editor regarding gun rights. I would like to thank all those who either called or came into the store with positive remarks regarding the letter. 

I would like to take a step further. We are gathering as many responsible gun owners as possible to start a local organization to show that we are not just a bunch of crazy gun fanatics. We are people who really care about our rights and the rights of others. If we stand together, we can show in a positive way that we care for all our citizens’ rights if they believe in guns or not. 

I will say again, the problems that we are having in America today has nothing to do with guns. This country was built by our forefathers on the foundation of  “in God we trust.” Look at Madalyn Murray O’Hair. She fought her whole life to push Christianity out of the very foundation that this country was founded on. Where did all this anger come from, and where did it get her? Here’s the answer: her son, her granddaughter and herself were all murdered by the very person she trusted in her atheist organization, and guess what? They did not use a gun.

Again, it has nothing to do with guns. It’s all about attitude. I am not asking you to believe what I believe. I am asking you help stop all the madness. If you are interested in joining with us, and in standing united, I urge you to contact me at my store or call 541-786-1900.

Mike Voss

La Grande




Clarifying details of sheriff’s open forum

To the Editor:

The recent Community Comment by Mr. Philip Howell was well-reasoned and well-crafted, and as such is welcomed by our office as a useful contribution in the on-going public debate over this matter, which evokes strong feelings on all sides.

So there may be no misunderstanding, please allow me to clarify several points. First, no public funds were expended on the open forum hosted by our office. 

The deputies were on their own time, and Sheriff Rasmussen paid for the hall rental out of his own pocket. I truly don’t know if the same can be said of those officers who appear as a phalanx behind the president when
he speaks publicly on these issues. 

Secondly, a particularly intelligent, well-informed and well-respected member of the “loyal opposition” was offered the podium that Tuesday evening to express the alternative viewpoint, but declined our genuine offer. I will cheerfully admit that that particular crowd would have been a hard sell.  

It is absolutely true that any given law’s constitutionality be determined by the courts, and I agree wholeheartedly and enthusiastically with Mr. Howell’s view of the separation of powers. 

His point is well taken (and civilly advanced, for which I thank him) that for sheriffs or citizens to pass individual judgment on society’s laws puts us on a slippery slope. I have a full appreciation of that. 

However, this particular issue far transcends the garden variety interpretation of the body of law, and edges dangerously close to the restriction of freedoms of law-abiding citizens through the use of prior restraint. It both saddens and amazes me that as a society the best we can do in answer to such tragedies as Sandy Hook is to punish everyone who didn’t do it.  

I would further point out that the lawsuit which successfully challenged portions of the federal Brady Bill was filed by two sheriffs.   

Finally, students of history will readily recall that some 70 years ago, at a place called Nuremberg, civilized society soundly rejected the defense that “I was only following orders.” 

Craig Ward


Union County Sheriff’s Office

La Grande