Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 30, 2012

Letters to the Editor: 12/30/2012


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Represent all of us

The right-wing GOP has no regard for democracy or Michigan's electorate. In their lame-duck session they've pushed through anti-choice legislation, further restricting a woman's right to control her body, her access to abortion and birth control.

The GOP has rammed down our throats an emergency manager law we just turned down as an electorate; this new devious legislation doesn't allow discussion or a public vote.

The right wing snuck through the law designed to destroy unions (ugly politics at its worst); right to work for less money is the reality. Republicans stripped funding from education and seniors to provide business tax cuts with no discussion.

The GOP plans to radically change public school education with little public support and no research to back up their assertions of higher quality. Public education is the foundation of any democracy.

Who knows what else they plan (count on an assault on our environment, including water diversion and polluting our lakes — fracking for one). In general, they say one thing and do the opposite.

Please help remind our representatives, Gov. Rick Snyder, Sen. Howard Walker and Rep. Wayne Schmidt, that they need to represent all of us, not just the extreme right wing and ideology of their party.

John McDonald

Traverse City

Mass shootings' price

The 1994 assault weapons ban was at least a start and something to build on to curb the never-ending gun violence and mass shootings we are accepting as the price of Second Amendment rights. This law was allowed to expire in 2004. Since then, the sale of high-capacity magazines and previously banned assault weapons has exploded.

Had the ban remained in place the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre would not have happened as it did. The shooter's mother would not have been able to buy the military-type weapon with its 30-round capacity magazine, which was banned under the 1994 law.

Since this tragedy, not one of the supporters allowing the assault weapons ban to expire in 2004 has come forth to justify their position in allowing the law to expire.

I'm a retired law enforcement officer with 34 years of experience, a gun owner, and support the right to own and carry a handgun with proper authority, i.e., carrying a concealed weapon permit.

Our system of highly paid lobbyists (over 30,000) with unlimited resources representing special interests must stop. Do we really want the best government money can buy? I think not.

William Hoff

Suttons Bay

Irrelevant at best

Thomas Sowell, with whom I rarely agree but whose arguments I find for the most part strong and thought-provoking, has utterly failed to make his case for the ineffectiveness of stronger gun control laws ("Invincible ignorance" Dec. 20).

First, no sensible politician is advocating to "disarm law-abiding citizens." Second, rates of gun ownership by race, murder rates in urban vs. rural areas, and the history of British gun violence are so remotely tangential to the massacres at Colombine and Aurora, at Virginia Tech and now Newtown that they are irrelevant at best.

Sowell ignores the crux of the issue: Certain people with certain guns are the problem. The National Rifle Association will have to come up with a better spokesperson than Sowell to make a case for leaving our shameful gun restrictions unreformed.

Rowland Johnston

Elk Rapids

Action was acceptable

The First Congregational Church is one of over 40,000 Christian denominations that have broken off from the original Christian church, the Catholic church. I am sure that many of these churches would not allow readings at their pulpit that differ from their beliefs. I agree with Glen and Carolyn Swoveland's defense of Pastor Walls, but some of their facts are a bit off. The Mayflower Compact was signed by less than half of the crew of the Mayflower and was lost shortly after it was written. Three rewritten versions of the compact exist today.

Their letter says "The United States was founded as a Christian nation." More accurately, the United States was founded as a nation that has freedom of religion. They go on to say "our framers clearly acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord." Jesus is not mentioned in the Constitution and this would have drawn some disagreement from some of our Constitutional Framers, considering many of our Founding Fathers were not Christians. Our founding fathers were a mix of Christian and non-Christian religions. Deist, Unitarian and other religions were also common.

We don't need to bend the facts to defend an action that was acceptable.

Joe Lueck

Traverse City

Increase debt limit

The U.S. needs to increase its already high debt limit immediately in order to pay its heavy debts. Otherwise, it goes into a default that would diminish the U.S. permanently, as well as hurt other world economies.

Republicans won't agree to a debt limit increase unless Democrats accept cutbacks on benefits to the poor and most of the rest of us, but benefit the top 1 percent by giving them even tighter control over us.

Congress needs to agree immediately to a temporary debt increase accompanied by deep cuts in military spending. Do we really want the military expense of two wars and of defending a U.S. "empire," an expense that enfeebles us at home? It robs our children of a good education, thereby weakening our nation's future as a world power.

Read "The Price of Inequality" (2012) by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, for the details.

Marian Gyr


Protect us from what?

What this country needs is more guns, high-powered guns. We need more National Rifle Association legally bribed politicians to back up their position that these weapons are needed to protect ourselves. From what? The lives of 26 families are destroyed forever as well as the lives of the children who witnessed the carnage. Right on, NRA. We need more of this weaponry in the hands of irresponsible parents, the mentally ill and "big game hunters." If you want to use this type of weaponry, join the National Guard or military. No? Why? Oh, the target fires back.

Maybe now all the gutless wonders who belong to the NRA will stand up and support a ban on assault weapons and high-count magazines. Just remember, all you NRA members and politicians, you, too, are responsible for this massacre.

Prayers and money will not absolve you of your complicity in this crime. NRA, you disgust me.

Barbara Browne

East Jordan