Letters for February 7, 2013

We’ll go with that

Re: “More about Guns” (Editor’s Note, Jan 17) and “Madness Always” (Letter from Art Seymour. Jan 31)

There is so much obfuscation floating around about guns/ weapons/Second Amendment that I’m unsure where to begin, but, in no particular order …

1. Militia: Traditionally, all residents capable of banding together and acting as a group for military action. Currently, a federally funded reserve component of the nation’s armed forces as authorized on 21 January 1903. Per Nevada Revised Statutes, the militia is redefined as the Nevada National Guard. The Guard has two elements: the active Guard is comprised of enlisted personnel between the ages of 17 and 64 years and commissioned officers between the ages of 18 and 64 years, the inactive Guard is pretty much everyone else: “all able-bodied residents of the State between the ages of 17 and 64 years who:

“(a) Are not serving in any force of the Nevada National Guard;

“(b) Are or have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States; and

“(c) Are not exempted from military duty under the laws of this state or the United States.”

2. Arms. Totally undefined. Traditionally, arms were an infantryman’s kit, including musket or firelock, ammunition, flints, and supporting gear. More broadly, and modernly, “arms” includes weaponry that can be carried by an infantryman, which includes rifles (automatic and semi), shotguns, pistols, hand grenades, mines, incendiary devices, shoulder-fired missiles (i.e. the surface to air Stinger), RPGs and their launchers, full body armor, a variety non-powered weaponry. Quite broadly, any weapon or weapon system. SALT in the phrase “SALT Treaty” Means Strategic Arms Limitations Talks: Strategic Arms = Nuclear weaponry. Where do we draw a line? Or do we draw one at all?

3. Personal defense against government tyranny. The Founding Fathers would have no clue what this is supposed to mean nor how it could really be possible. They purposely founded a “republic,” in which the people are the government. How could it be possible for the people to have some need to defend themselves militarily against their own actions?

4. The Second Amendment is immutable and must be read literally. Jefferson favored rewriting the Constitution about every 20 - 30 years to keep pace with changing conditions. His simile: Is it reasonable to require that a 30-year-old man wear the same jacket he wore as a 3-year-old child? He felt that it was no more reasonable to require an adult nation to live under the precepts of a newly-formed one.

5. The Second Amendment was intended to provide a means to protect against slave revolts. Read the history of the Second Amendment. It is very clear that the founders had a deep distrust of standing armies based on their extensive personal recent experiences with one. They also recognized the position of the nascent United States in world affairs. The Second Amendment was a clear attempt to provide some means for national defense without the need to maintain a national standing army.

Robert C. Leavitt
Sun Valley

Pass the hat

Re “Don’t throw cash” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 24):

The “Don’t throw cash” letter to the editor referring to Sheila Leslie’s column expostulates, “Throwing more money at the schools won’t help,” referring to the fact that our elementary schools can’t afford art teachers and P.E. teachers. It also expostulates, “Shelia Leslie laments that elementary schools deserve to learn the arts and P.E.” Sheila Leslie not only is qualified to voice an opinion on this issue, she’s smarter than our state superintendent of schools who could care less about what goes on in the classroom.

The distinguished George Flint, brothel spokesman and representative for our cat houses, sends a $2,500 check to every Nevada state senator and assembly person every two years. Isn’t that nice of him? Nobody ever refuses the check except Sheila. This action on her part is evidence she at least is discriminating about what is right and wrong.

If Leslie is an honest politician, then she honestly has compassion for children and really cares about them and wants to hire art teachers and P.E. teachers. Hats off to you, Governor Leslie!

Milo Reese


Re “It’s Greek to me” (Foodfinds, Jan. 24):

Traditionally, my husband and I go out to dinner every Friday night and often rely on the RN&R for suggestions as to what restaurant to explore. It’s a great way to unwind and start the weekend. Generally, we have a cocktail at home first and then head out the door. We did this with great expectations on Friday night, as Greek cuisine is my favorite, and Reno is sorely lacking with any authentic Greek restaurants. After reading the review in last week’s RN&R about Opa Cafe, I was imagining the spanakopita’s flaky layers melting in my mouth, and was really looking forward to the culinary experience. After traveling a while through a questionable, very dark neighborhood, we spotted the restaurant on the corner, with its neon lights blazing. As we pulled into the parking lot at 7:10, I remarked to my husband that there were only five cars in the parking lot which was a good sign, as it meant we would not have a long wait, which can be the case after a favorable review by RN&R. We got in and a woman came out of the kitchen and said, “We’re closed.” Stunned, my husband asked to speak to the owner, who came out and confirmed this. My husband then asked if the kitchen was closed down, to which the owner said, “Yes, and see those people eating? I’m trying to get rid of them!” At that point, I mentioned the RN&R review. I was told, “Oh yeah, they did that interview three weeks ago before we started our winter hours.” The only reason that I decided to write this was to spare any other readers a long drive for a big disappointment.

Good luck with closing early Opa, but most diners don’t eat dinner at 5:30.

Kathleen Miller

Editor’s note: Thanks, Ms. Miller. We didn’t do an interview. Our reviewer actually ate there, and we’ve updated the times on our website to read Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Well regulated individuals

Re “Editor’s Note” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31, 2013):

“Editor’s note: No disrespect intended, but this interpretation is hardly supported by historical data. The militias referred to in the Second Amendment specifically were the state militias. The Second Amendment only prohibits the federal government from disarming the state militias and does not guarantee individual rights to own guns without regulation.”

The Militia Act of 1792 conscripted every free, white male of age 18 through 45 into militia duty. While the militia troops were technically part of a state militia, they were actually small units, consisting of men from a town or rural area. The men generally furnished their own weapons, powder and shot. The right to bear arms was essentially an individual right. The militia men even elected their own officers. If there was to be an actual state militia back in the 18th century, how would the men have been summoned to a central point?

R. Richard


Re “Guns by the numbers” (Feature story, Jan. 31):

Sharp-eyed reader Karen Inda spotted an error on our graphic “U.S. Presidents who have been shot.” Abraham Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865, not April 14, 1856, as we reported.