Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 3, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 02/03/2013


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The acts of a few

It has become apparent that the Democratic Party is in favor of restricting freedoms guaranteed within the Constitution. I look at the overwhelming number of American responsible gun owners — those who hunt, those who use guns as a sport and those who use guns to protect themselves as law-abiding citizens that do not need further encroachment on their civil liberties.

But the current administration is pursuing a path of restricting gun ownership. Why? A noble but illegitimate argument that fewer guns will result in fewer atrocities like Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and Virginia Tech.

Do we as a society want freedoms curtailed because of the acts of a very few individuals? This is the primary question. Should we also ban alcohol because of the devastating impact of drunk drivers in America today when 9,878 people died as a result of drunk drivers in 2011? Compare this to the 8,583 gun-related deaths in the United States. Do we have a gun problem or an alcohol problem, or a very small minority that abuses their privileges and liberties?

Liberties are very precious; we should look to all alternatives prior to taking away legitimate rights from law-abiding citizens.

Carl VanDomelen

Boyne City

'Barns' for the arts

As is common knowledge, Traverse City has become a home for the arts in Michigan, and as is also common knowledge, Art Center needs a home. I believe that the "barns" at the Grand Traverse Commons would make a wonderful home for this.

Craig Tandy

Traverse City

Proud to serve

I read with interest the Jan. 24 letter from Mr. Don Duchene Sr. He stated that he worked under the union at the Dodge Main Plant. His take on the union is that it only takes and that they return nothing. I bet that Mr. Duchene never had a problem accepting high union wages and benefits negotiated for him and his many co-workers.

Without this union representing him and protecting his rights, he would not have enjoyed a fine middle-class existence and the benefit package that went with it. The real reason Mr. Duchene is upset with his former union never came out in his letter. I am pro-union and a union steward for Traverse City Area Public Schools and proud to serve and be involved in any way that I can.

Dave Kirsch

Buckley

Trying to change rules

Gerrymandering is the redrawing of congressional district lines to give one party advantage over the other in elections. Even though Democratic congressional candidates won the popular vote by over a million votes in the 2012 election, it was the Republicans who won the U.S. House and both houses of our Michigan Legislature due in large part to gerrymandering.

Republicans engaged in voter purging, voter caging and voter suppression such as intimidating billboards and long lines to discourage certain groups of people from voting in some states. I believe every citizen's vote should count equally.

Now Republicans in Michigan and other states are trying to change the rules by dividing electoral votes. Currently the popular vote determines who wins all a state's electoral votes. Republicans want the electoral votes to be divided by the number of districts won (which they decided in 2010) even though the districts are not equal in population or demographics.

The votes of some people would count more than the votes of others. That is unethical; that is discrimination; that is unconstitutional. President Obama said, "We as citizens have a responsibility to shape the debate." Call your senators and representatives today. Check your phone directory.

Beverly "BJ" Christensen

Cedar