Letters to the Editor for Feb. 24

Walden sold voice to the NRA

When the Oregonian newspaper asked Oregon’s Congressional delegation Wednesday what should be done about shooting rampages like the one in Parkland, Fla., and so many, many places, all of our delegation responded with thoughtful statements as well as suggestions for what we can do.

All except one: Greg Walden offered nothing. I don’t know what might make him remain mum on this subject because there are certainly numerous things we can and should do, common sense approaches that do no restrict the rights of lawful citizens from owning guns. This is not the Greg Walden I know, since my years attending Journalism School with him at the UO, and on these 40 years since. He has not been shy about sharing his opinions about public lands, health care and veterans.

What is keeping him quiet on this, our most terrifying epidemic, the slaughter of innocent children and concert goers and employees, people just going about their lives? There is one piece of information in the Oregonian’s piece that might explain it. Those who had constructive ideas about gun violence have taken little or no funding from the Nation Rifle Association: Rep. Blumenauer, $0; Rep. Bonamici, $0; Rep. Defazio, $0; Rep. Schrader, $5,000; Sen. Wyden, $0; Sen. Merkely, $0.

Rep. Walden? He’s accepted $39,250 from the NRA. Is that the price of silence?

In this year, 2018, Rep. Walden, a member of the majority party in Washington, must speak on this subject. We deserve the right to know how he would act, what he would say, with all the power he has as a senior member and a leader in the House. Or we must replace him with someone who has not sold his voice to the NRA.

Kathy Watson

Hood River

On an island

The contention that I live in a bubble is erroneous (Our Readers Write, Feb. 17). I live on an island I call Personal Responsibility and Self-Reliance. Built it myself. No permit. No government aid. It is in a sea of ignorance and avarice teeming with parasites. The first of my family built himself a house in Cornwall and changed his name to “Newhouse.” No permit. Not much government in 973. Almost 100 years before William the Bastard arrived to bestow the benefits of government to the locals. House is still occupied.

Depending on government can get you killed while waiting for service. Government and all bureaucracies follow the law of bureaucracies: once established, the reason for which they were created becomes secondary to the life, growth and power of the organization. They turn from servants to parasites. The Swamp.

Arthur Chenoweth

Hood River

Horrible threats

Mayor Blackburn and city council members:

I’m so angry, scared and sickened that I’m shaking. I need to know ... what is being immediately done to protect our schools here in Hood River?

Last night a threat was made against our high school. HERE. Whether it was credible or not, our schools here are incredibly vulnerable. Anyone can walk right in. We are not immune. My friend informed me that at the rate we are going here in 2018 with shootings, all kids across the country have a 1 in 540 chance of being involved in an active shooting. That’s horrible.

I do not want to sound disrespectful or rude. My apologies if this is coming across that way. I’m so scared and enraged. I know many parents who have kept their high school kids home today. This should not happen. Not here.

Do I think some sort of a ban on certain guns is in order?

Yes.

Do I think mental health needs to be addressed?

Yes.

Do I strongly believe a major part of the problem is lack of parent/guardian/adult involvement with adolescent kids whose brains have not fully formed so they make decisions not considering consequences?

Absolutely.

Can any of these things immediately address our children’s and teacher’s safety here in Hood River?

No.

Only a major immediate change by our local government to enact some sort of safety measure to protect innocent lives will help in the short term while these larger political issues are (hopefully) slowly addressed.

Please. Stop everything and protect our children, our teachers and our schools. Lock the front door and make people ring a bell to come in. Spend money on their protection, not another parking study. Do something. Anything. Please.

If something happens to one of our schools here, this town will not ever recover. Respectfully,

Kristi Chapman

Hood River

Chain of greatness

What an interesting turn of events. Donald Trump and immigration restrictionists have coined the term “chain migration” to replace family-based immigration.

Donald Trump is a product of “chain immigration.“ His great- grandfather followed his older sister to the U.S. in 1885. Trump’s mother followed her sister here from Scotland in 1930. Trump’s current in-laws were brought here by Melania via “chain immigration.”

The fact is almost half of current immigrants into the U.S. via diversity-visa and “chain immigration” have college or graduate degrees, a better ratio than the average U.S. born citizen.

In my opinion, immigration is what has made America great and continues to do so. Reference: The Week Magazine, Feb. 23, 2018.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Pro-good lifer

Abortions always make me sad; I’ve known enough people who tried and failed to get pregnant. But I do not think of them as the killing of a person, and a huge number of people against abortion don’t believe that either or they’d have funerals for miscarriages.

But I am willing to compromise more than I was when I regarded being pro-abortion as a litmus test for any politician I could support.

If you see a viable fetus as a person equal to yourself, we can surely talk, and even if you see a human sperm or ovum as so sacred that any birth control violates your religion, there is certainly room for debate, as well as agreement on some things.

For example, as I shift my most ardently held former principles, it would be reassuring to think that what a “Right to Lifer” really believes in is the “Right to a Good Life” (or at least a minimally acceptable life, like that you would find good enough for your own grandchildren). In other words, to me the Right to Life is not just the right to be carried to term and then expelled into a world with little more concern for it.

I am sure enough anti-abortion foes would agree with this as obvious, enough to swing some elections. And I am willing to consider trading some live births at term for a better life for the children sadly abandoned by us at the end of their 9 months of gestations if I can know that the children will no longer suffer for our only partial and often self-congratulatory attempt at calendar-limited charity.

Democrats have to make room for the Right to Good Lifers (or, as I said, Right to Minimally Acceptable Lifers) if these in turn trade their blanket opposition to abortions at even the blood clot stage to make life hugely better for a large number of our fellow human beings, innocent children and those who care for them, who suffer economic abandonment that shortens or makes grotesque their lives.

Bob Williams

Hood River

Redefine ‘arms’

First, a disclaimer; I am a gun rights advocate, and always have been.

Second, an observation: America has changed since the Second Amendment was written, and not always for the better.

Third, a question: Would our founding fathers write the Second Amendment today, using the same wordage “keep and bear arms,” knowing that the term “arms” includes a staggering arsenal of weapons that range from missiles with nuclear warheads to AK-47s?

Of course not!

Fourth, a conclusion: Revisit the Second Amendment and bring it up to date by defining “arms” in today’s America.

Gary Munkhoff

Cascade Locks

Follow gun money

At least two writers in Wednesday’s paper mentioned the lack of action in Congress, in fact mentioned negative actions by our federal representative, Mr. Walden. I thank them for that. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one. Please look at who has taken money from the NRA and how much. Here’s a few for you: our president received $11.4 million in the election cycle; the NRA spent nearly $20 million against Clinton; John McCain has received $7.7 million; Richard Burr, $6.99 million. There are many more.

Another question would be, where did the NRA get this money? Anyone want to look it up?

All this to influence the passing of laws which makes it unsafe for people, allow bump stocks and cranks to turn semi-automatic weapons into essentially fully automatic weapons. In the meantime, Congress wants us to be able to use concealed carry permits from one state in another state, regardless of varying laws in differing states.

If Congress can’t or won’t pass sensible legislation to control weapons, then maybe we need to do so as a state. Why not have our state senators and representatives passed safe gun legislation? Isn’t it time, or do we need to have another Springfield or Umpqua Community school shooting to do so? Speaking of which, the young man who shot up the Florida school left many clues as to what he might do: Abuse of animals, fights in school and at his home, visits to his home by the police, counseling at school. Yet no police officer or anyone else questioned his ability to buy an AR15 or other gun?

Did you know that you can buy sniper rifles on the web? You can find Barretts, 50 caliber rifles that exist for no other reason than to shoot someone at up to a mile. Why are they being sold to civilians? For that matter, why does anyone need an AR15 to hunt deer or other animals? Won’t a 30.30 do the job or a 30.06? These were used for years and harvested many animals. Let’s get military-style weapons out of civilian hands before someone else is killed or injured.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Cash helps

In light of the 2017 economic losses due to the winter snows and autumn fires, there is concern about the effect of the proposed county sales tax on our local small businesses and service providers.

It is worth considering that each time we pay with a credit card, our coffee shops, small grocers, hair stylists, therapists, independent local stores and restaurants pay up to three percent, or more, in bank charges — money that does not stay in our community. Cash payments for small purchases can make a difference.

Virginia Bock

Hood River



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