This letter is in response to that of Paul Burbidge published on Nov. 14 claiming, among other things, that President Obama "has signed [our] Second Amendment rights away." As a gun owner myself, this issue is of grave concern to me and warrants further investigation, as Mr. Burbidge suggests.
In searching for news of this dire development, I found that nowhere except Fox News is there any mention of Obama signing away our right to bear arms. Why? Because it never happened and, in fact, isn't even possible, since the structure of our government doesn't permit the president that kind of power.
The only way the government can "take our guns away" is if Congress passes a constitutional amendment that repeals or alters the Second Amendment, or if the Supreme Court issues an official adjudication reinterpreting the original amendment. There are three branches of government, remember?
In the minds of Mr. Burbidge and fellow Fox News viewers or readers, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty has been turned into a threat to American gun ownership. Actually, the treaty has nothing to do with limiting private gun ownership in America or anywhere else. It was written to prevent the illegal international trade of arms by tightening control of import and export procedures.
The treaty has not been signed by Obama or any other world leader, because the original wording of the first draft was rejected by the Obama administration (and other nations) back in July. The newly worded treaty is due to be re-evaluated next March, but even if the president signs it and it is ratified by a two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate, there is absolutely no danger of it being used to disarm Americans, as the 1957 Supreme Court decision, Reid v. Covert, established that the U.S. Constitution supersedes international treaties.
In addition to the erroneous interpretation of the Arms Trade Treaty, Mr. Burbidge's letter contains a multitude of other Fox News talking points, all designed to scare and misinform viewers and readers, and to vilify the Obama administration and its supporters.
The lesson here is this; you can believe Fox News or you can believe the truth.
Regarding the controversy surrounding the use of Four Mile Road as a heavy haul road for the energy industry, it is interesting to note that the Garfield Board of County Commissioners had no problem approving the use of two main roads in Battlement Mesa as heavy haul roads, which has resulted in noise, pollution and disruption of traffic in the Battlement Mesa PUD.
It now appears they have had a change of heart by disapproving the same use for Four Mile Road because it would have a detrimental effect in the area of Glenwood Springs. Then again, it may be because this road is used by the public to access Sunlight Mountain Resort, in which one of the commissioners has an interest, and could have a detrimental effect on the operations of that area.
Makes one wonder if the adage that "government which is closest to the people is the best government" is really true.