Letters for February 14, 2013

Amendment exemption

Re “Editor’s Note” and “We’ll go with that” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31 and Feb. 7):

George Washington said the Second Amendment is second in importance only to the Constitution because it is the “People’s Liberty Teeth”! The Preamble to the Bill of Rights, which is not taught in schools, “exempts” the first 10 amendments from the amendment provisions of the Constitution; this is the only reason the states agreed to the Constitution. You can Google the right to keep and bear arms report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on Judiciary United States Senate, 97th Congress (1981-82). It shows that courts and government have studied the meaning of the Second Amendment from all perspectives and concluded that every private individual has the natural right to carry firearms. “People own the government, or the government owns the citizen.” Which one are you?

J.R. Haren

True story

Re “Editor’s Note” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31):

Regarding militias and the Second Amendment: District of Columbia vs. Heller in 2008 was where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that does not require militia membership. By the way, Heller was/is a Washington, D.C., policeman, not a Nevada politician.

Mike Creed

Enemies within

Re “Madness always” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31):

I would suggest to those who believe that they need weapons to overthrow a tyrannical (i.e., unrepresentative) federal government that they should first fight like hell to protect the electoral process that makes our elected government answerable to the people.

Every American should have access to a balanced, fact-based media that isn’t unduly influenced by the wealth of powerful individuals and multi-national corporations. Unfortunately the recent, abhorrent Citizens United decision by the five GOP appointees to the Supreme Court removes almost all limits on the amounts of political propaganda to which we are subjected. (Note that political propaganda is not subject to truth in advertising laws). This decision by the Court fails to protect the American electorate and must be overturned. The second threat of a “despotic” government to our electoral process comes from electronic voting. Instead of focusing on the unlikely possibility that some illegal alien might risk deportation or jail to cast one relatively meaningless vote, we should be focused on the electronic voting system which Sen. Heller [as Nevada secretary of state] implemented locally and the GOP implemented nationally in 2002.

In doing so they took away the ability of American citizens to monitor the counting of our votes. The software that runs these machines is private proprietary property and is immune from inspection by government officials. The so-called verifiable paper trail which is supposed to mirror the electronic votes is immune from an audit by the public. Only in cases where victory margins are less than half a percent is a candidate allowed to request an audit (at no cost) of the electronic votes and paper trail. And then only 5 percent of the electronic vote is sampled and compared to the so called paper trail. This audit is done by a private committee appointed by the county commissioners.

At no time is the so called verifiable paper trail available for review by the public. Both Heller and Brower’s recent victory margins were in a range that could have been easily flipped without detection. This kind of uncertainty fuels speculation that our government may indeed be illegitimate and should be overthrown by force. The voter ID requirement is just a false flag by the right to divert attention from the real threat to our democracy that electronic voting presents. Voter suppression laws and efforts by the GOP to alter Electoral College rules state by state are just more examples of a despotic and tyrannical movement aimed at thwarting the will of the people, while inciting a misinformed minority to take up arms against the very democracy that protects us all.

Ron Schoenherr

Sounds delish

Re “How are the resolutions going?” (Streetalk, Feb. 7):

A torte is a rich, usually multilayered, cake that is filled with whipped cream, buttercreams, mousses, jams, or fruits. Ordinarily, the cooled torte is glazed and garnished. A torte may be made with little to no flour, but instead with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, as well as sugar, eggs, and flavorings. One of the people in Streettalk is described as a ‘torte claims manager.’ Perhaps you meant tort, instead.

R. Richard

Right interpretation

Re “Editor’s Note” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31):

In your Editor’s note you state that the militias referred to in our Constitution referred to “state militias.” Who on earth do you think “the militias” were made of? There was no National Guard in those times. The militias (which, in part, were the founding of our National Guard) were made of citizens like me who were called upon to take our own weapons, livestock and supplies, and defend our people. Hence, the rest of the introduction of the Second Amendment that you conveniently omitted, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The “shall not be infringed” is most often interpreted as meaning the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. It is a small minority view typically confined to left-leaning law programs like the Boalt School of Law at Berkeley and the New York Times that claims that the Second Amendment refers only to militias.

As you are a writer and editor, the accurate way to describe the debate over the Second Amendment is this: Gun-control advocates interpret the Second Amendment as providing no right to bear arms guaranteed to the citizens, while our courts have overwhelmingly interpreted the Second Amendment in its more widely accepted interpretation, to wit: the rights of the citizens to individually keep and bear arms is a protected right guaranteed by our Constitution.

J. Tyler Ballance

Guns are good for business

On a recent trip to California, local TV had all the democratic California legislators on talking about how they were going to set the example for having the toughest gun laws in the nation. Then the next story was about how ridiculous it was for Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be visiting San Francisco and trying to lure in new companies to move from California to Texas. Tough gun laws, just another reason for the mass exodus from California, high taxes, higher regulations led by liberal leaders that has taken the Golden State to all time lows in fiscal responsibility.

Mike Arp
Reno NV

The Truth heals

Re “The Game” (Feature story, Feb. 7):

I love this story. Thank you for writing and publishing it. This really goes counter to the culture we live in. To talk about prostitution as not healthy and not always the choice of the woman (in legal or illegal prostitution) could be a threat to the status quo. Right on! We need to hear the Truth.

Shawn Pennell


Re “The Game” (Feature story, Feb. 7):

We incorrectly identified Michon Martin as Michon Miller. We apologize for our error, and we’re sorry for any confusion our error caused.