Letters for January 17, 2013

Call out the militia!

Re “More about guns” (Letter, by Garry Cooper, Jan. 10):

Many in the last month are convinced we need added restrictions on firearm possession to curb our rampant gun violence. Garry Cooper wrote to dispute any new firearm restrictions. The crux of Cooper’s argument is that the Second Amendment authorizes violent revolt if you believe government is tyrannical.

Cooper didn’t provide evidence for his interpretation of the Second Amendment, and that’s the deficiency in his argument. Many probably find Cooper’s view inconsistent with the well-known fact that violent revolt against government is a crime. Moreover, it seems contradictory that the Constitution creating our government and describing the democratic process to change it would include a measure authorizing government’s destruction by violence.

I’d invite Cooper to provide the basis for his Second Amendment interpretation. Without convincing support, his view seems to be nothing more than his wishful thinking.

Dave Weiner

There is confusion about the Second Amendment. A “well regulated militia” is in reference to the states’ right to protect themselves from the federal government. We should be upholding our laws, democratically passed, with our state militias. Every time the feds threaten to close a marijuana dispensary our state militia should be guarding the doors to protect us from a tyrannical federal government.

R. Sterling Ogden

He’s ‘a reasonable man’

Re “What were they thinking?” (Year in Review cover package, Dec. 27):

You state that [Chico City Council candidate] Toby Schindelbeck “was known as much for his gaffes as anything.” I challenge you to present any supportive data beyond your narrow-minded rebuttals.

First you state that police data does not support that low-income housing draws crime. I invite you to spend a week living in some and report back on the amount of crime you witness in relation to upper- and middle-class neighborhoods. Just because you lack the ability or will to find it recorded in black-and-white police data, are you so naïve as to believe it isn’t the case?

And I absolutely love your defense that money wasted on paintings years ago couldn’t possibly affect the outcome of having that money now! If the money hadn’t been spent years ago it would still be available today! Oh wait, that’s right, it would be gone, because some puke like Obama would take the money that I had to work hard at a job that I had to drug-test for and give it to perfectly able-bodied losers who sponge off society while not having to drug-test to receive it.

It is too bad that there are many people out there without enough common sense to avoid falling for your type of reasoning, or lack thereof, and hence why a reasonable man like Toby didn’t win.

Kevin Shallenberger

Two on the Second

Re “Freedom and fear” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Jan. 10):

You should become more acquainted with the Second Amendment. Suggesting that people who want to protect themselves from a tyrannical government are seditious is insulting!

The amendment was written during a time when government, and more specifically a tyrannical monarchy, was at our doorsteps. Today we have the same problem—a tyrannical government that feels it needs to invade every inch of our privacy. Case in point: airports!

Instead of challenging our right to defend ourselves from any and all enemies that threaten our way of life, this government needs to focus on how to protect us from all enemies, even themselves. Like it or not, sir, your way of life is defended by a person with a gun.

I am truly sorry you do not own a gun. What happens when the not-so-vicious dogs you have are confronted by a robber in your house, and he has a gun? He will most likely shoot your dogs; sorry to say, but it is true. So how then will you protect yourself and loved ones?

Learn how to use a gun! In the right hands it can be a lifesaving tool. Whether that life-saving moment is killing a deer for food or killing a burglar who has entered your home and threatened your life, the gun is only the tool. It is the person behind the trigger who makes the decision on how to use that tool!

You seem to be just spouting off your own personal beliefs. Learn about firearms, and perhaps even how to use one. Who knows, you might enjoy it!

Chris Falkenstein

Let me correct a few misconceptions here. The reason for the Second Amendment was first and foremost to provide the populace with the means to effectively, physically resist tyrannical actions by government, by assuring that government did not possess a monopoly on armed force. This capability was specifically intended to be independent of any governmental authority.

As the holder of a Ph.D. in American history (UC Santa Barbara, 1970), specializing in the Revolutionary period, while writing my dissertation I read all of the extensive correspondence among the Founding Fathers on this issue while the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were being drafted and debated. This correspondence is unequivocal as to this purpose of the Second Amendment.

As for the National Guard being the “real militia,” the Guard is a branch of the U.S. military and would not meet the test of independence posited by the Founding Fathers. It in fact could be an instrument of tyrannical oppression, like any other armed force at the disposal of government.

I agree that it is appropriate to close loopholes that allow the sale of guns without a background check. But there is real danger in restricting access to them by law-abiding citizens. Do we want to become like Great Britain, where it is now illegal to use any force whatsoever in self-defense?

Chad Wozniak

Oroville = Fallujah

Before we can even dream of a solution to gun violence, we have to understand the facts and make reasonable decisions. There are more than 4.5 million AR-model weapons (like the one used in Connecticut) in mass circulation. Oroville alone has more destructive capability than Fallujah.

And we can’t stop people from getting them. Go to YouTube and search for CNC gun and you will see people making ARs in their back yards. Three-dimensional printers will be spitting them out in just a few years. I’m afraid we are going to keep debating about what we think we can fix while the problem continues. We need to look for a reasonable solution.

An obvious start is not letting people who have been diagnosed with mental-health issues or on meds buy them. Though this won’t solve it because, as you know, if someone wants a gun, they aren’t hard to find. I applaud the vice president for not just inviting the NRA to the table but also game-development companies and distributors. This is a start.

John Adams

Articles ‘sickly ironic’

Today’s news (Jan. 10) contains two related articles. The first is that of a teen shooting two fellow students with a shotgun he brought into a school in Taft, Calif. The second is a conservative coalition that announced the first national “Gun Appreciation Day,” on Jan. 19. Am I the only one who finds the coincidence of these two news articles sickly ironic?

Jeff Straub

68 degrees? No way!

Re “Five green resolutions” (Uncommon sense, Jan. 3):

What, how can you possibly call 68 degrees conservation? I call it selfish, foolish profligacy. I don’t heat the bedrooms, and my utility room is cold enough to store beer, since I leave that window open a crack. Sleeping or out of the house it is 55, 60 when I’m home, 65 when I have company.

My utility bills are so low that it would take 40 years for me to save money by installing solar. Also, pets are great little lap heaters.

Jim Dwyer

Consider the consequences

Re: “Tragedy and the Greeks” (“Top 10 of 2012” cover story, Dec. 27):

I was moved to see the picture of the poor Greek frat boys and tearful sorority girls listening to Paul Zingg suspend their “activities.” Not!

Questions for the party people: Is it better to spend time working on your chosen field of study or being found dead of alcohol and/or drug poisoning? Is it fairer to your parents for them to pay for an education that you use to move into a career or being arrested for being drunk and disorderly and getting suspended and kicked out?

Please think about the consequences when someone you hardly know says, “Dude, have another….”

Mike Wiedeman

Penn State President Graham Spanier did nothing while having knowledge of young boys being raped and molested by an instructor at the university. Mr. Spanier’s inaction and tolerance of vile and cruel acts are now the reasons for his dismissal and indictment.

Since early in 2009 Chico State University President Paul Zingg has known that Chico State students were dying at an elevated rate from prescription drugs, at that time one every 227 days. Mr. Zingg was given data regarding the elevated rates of death in a statement warning of the next projected date of a potential death. No action was taken. The next prescription drug death did occur (October 2009) prior to the forecasted date.

Following that death a three-hour prescription drug presentation was hastily held at Chico State. It was held in a small room, about 100-plus attended, and just over half were students.

Since these sad events at Chico State University three more students have died from prescription drugs and five from alcohol. In just over six years, eight Chico State University students have died from prescription drugs. This brings the total of student prescription drug- and alcohol-overdose deaths to 13.

When horrific and deadly things happen to students, those who are in positions of authority have a moral and ethical obligation to protect those students no matter the outcome. When those in authority fail to protect the innocent, they become compliant. Graham Spainer was fired and indicted.

James Bettencourt
Chairman, Not In Our Town


Story is appreciated

Re “Community healing” (Health & Fitness cover package, by Melissa Daugherty, Jan. 10):

Thank you, Melissa, for the great piece. Thank you, Kyle [Delmar], for the fantastic pictures. We really enjoyed having you in the [Chico Community Acupuncture] clinic. It was wonderful to read an article that went beyond “what is acupuncture” and told the story of what it means to the quality of people’s lives when they make use of affordable acupuncture on a regular basis.

Olivia Peters-Lazaro

Good words for Shalom

Re “Godsend in Chico” (Health & Fitness cover package, by Ken Smith, Jan. 10):

Shalom is a life-saver. I have no insurance, and the co-pay on my Medicare is too high. I have gone to Shalom many times for one thing or another, and I must say that it has always been a pleasant experience. The doctors are very helpful, and they are real doctors. My thanks to you, Shalom, you’re the best.

Clarence Stevens

Each second spent reading [this article] was graceful aging. Perhaps I gained those seconds back reading something this uplifting? Shalom.

Bill Mash

On the Second

I do not believe the Second Amendment “gives” me any rights. The Constitution and the amendments protect the rights I have as a human being. I have a natural right to protect myself from anyone who would want to take my life. I can choose to protect myself with my bare hands, a knife, a stick or a gun.

I am licensed to carry a gun and I train regularly. During the course of a normal month I train more than an average police officer trains in a year. I will oppose any legislation that makes it more expensive or limits the time, place or means of my self-defense. My ability to protect myself benefits you as a member of society since a criminal can’t tell us apart as we walk down the street.

Frankly, I don’t understand your desire to “feel” safe instead of “being” safe. I would suggest that you take care of your unreasonable fear of an inanimate object. By becoming familiar with the options that you have to defend yourself and those you love, you can actually be safer and feel safer. Good luck.

Dale Lawrence
Minneapolis, Minn.