It's encouraging that there is finally a national and state discussion taking place about reducing gun violence. I applaud Sheriff Lou Vallario's willingness to publicly share his views about gun regulation being considered at the state level as reported in the Post Independent.
However, I struggle to understand why he would object to reasonable legislation that could protect not only this community but also his frontline deputies.
Any legislation being considered should include banning the possession of armor piercing bullets. This ammunition is intended to do only one thing, kill people wearing protective armor. Law enforcement personnel deserve protection from this unnecessary ammunition.
Additionally, smaller ammunition magazines may also give law enforcement a needed advantage when confronting a madman determined to kill.
How could any reasonable person, especially a law enforcement official, not welcome any attempt to remove these weapons of mass destruction from the general public? We don't need them.
Nobody needs to worry about their guns being taken away. That's not going to happen, nor should it. The intent is simply to enact necessary and long-overdue measures that could reduce some of the gun violence taking place on a regular basis.
John Oliver said it best, "One failed attempt at a shoe bombing and we all take off our shoes. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our gun regulations."
In the wake of the recent tragedies in Aurora and at Sandy Hook Elementary School comes the call for more gun control under the guise of "protecting the children."
One senator recently stated, "Too many children are dying," and attributes the cause of this misery and suffering to firearms. True it is that too many children are dying and suffering today, but I have a hard time believing that senator really cares about the children. I did not hear him or any other politician address with any emotion the United Nations' "State of the World's Children" report showing that more than 2 million children are victimized each year through prostitution and pornography.
Where is the senator's staunch defense of the helpless unborn child and the more than 40 million abortions per year in this world we live in? Is abortion not just a form of legal child abuse that he wishes to abolish or is he only concerned with the illegal forms of child abuse?
The same day a mentally ill person terminated the lives of 20 innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many supported the termination of the natural progression of life of approximately 109,589 unborn babies. (Source: The Lancet, Feb. 18, 2012, "Induced Abortion.")
Shame on the political hypocrites who are attempting to use the battle cry "protect the children" as the backdrop to advance gun control legislation.
The senator is right. Congress must act now to protect the children, the millions of unprotected children that are suffering from the evil adult entertainment industry, the millions of defenseless unborn children and from the politicians who try to spin the public ire away from their true plight. The rest is just legislative rhetoric.
I challenge Hal Sundin's Jan. 3 column in which he recommended we ignore basic civil rights and suspend or infringe on core freedoms as he parroted the same absurd and incongruous misinterpretation of the Second Amendment, erroneously suggesting that our founding fathers might allow us have firearms, but "only single-shot muzzle loaders."
I found his opinion bereft of even a modicum of logic or basic understanding.
The framers of our Constitution acknowledged the advancement and proliferation of new technology. Many were scientists experimenting with acids, gunpowder and electricity. They understood the opportunity for progress if harnessed, and the potential for ruin if abused.
Mr. Sundin said that arguments using analogous comparison regarding firearms do not "hold water" and intimated that certain rights or liberties might be allowed, as long as they're comparable and consistent with those prolific in 1790 America.
But he is allowed to use the modern Internet for his freedom of speech and press?
President Obama claimed a YouTube video spontaneously caused the murders of Americans in Benghazi. So, enumerated liberties as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are now (in this modern age) too easily abused and therefore must be immediately restricted or removed?
If Mr. Sundin wishes to speak, he should follow his own advice and stand on a box ringing a bell. No telephone, texting, or e-mail.
Freedom of the press? Only if using a single-page manual press with home-made ink and parchment. No ultramodern blogs, MSNBC, or Post Independent for you!
Assembly? Only in person. No Facebook, Twitter or Linked-In.
Religion? Judaism or Christianity only. No Islam or Scientology.
Universal heath care cannot be a right, for it wasn't even a concept then. But, fine. Free leeches for all!
Mr. Sundin would have us believe that any modern variations of ancient principles must be extinguished, for the risk of their abuse is too great.
He should not presume to lecture us on the freedoms we exercise, while he basks in the plethora of liberties our right to bear arms continues to ensure and defend.
Whose argument doesn't hold water now?
I never meant to be a mentor. My husband and I were busy and didn't have kids, so we were completely detached from the local youth community. I couldn't imagine how to fit one more commitment into my schedule, and I sure wasn't going to take something like that on if I wouldn't be able to hold up my end of the agreement. I totally put it out of my mind.
And then one day I was watching Oprah and the show happened to be on mentoring. When she explained that her goal was to get 1 million people to sign up to be mentors, I said "I'm going to be one of those million." I called YouthZone and applied to be a Pals Mentor. Five years ago today I was matched with my Junior Pal on her eighth birthday.
I can't tell you that it has always been easy. We came from very different backgrounds, and yet we had much in common.
My Junior Pal enjoys coming to our ranch to pick fresh eggs and pet and feed the farm animals. We've bowled, baked cookies, done homework together, rode horses, walked the dogs, gone shopping, read out loud, played games, gone to movies, bought and delivered food to the local food bank, gone to the animal shelter to visit and walk dogs, biked, had picnics, and sometimes just sort of hung out.
We were becoming friends and I liked the things I saw in her development. As each new year of mentoring came up, I wondered if I could commit to it for one more year, and yet, how could I walk away?
Being involved with my Junior Pal exposed me to a completely different culture and way of life. It made me empathetic to how some of these kids struggle and face their challenges. It's rewarding beyond measure, and is one of the most important and rewarding things that I have ever done.
Kids are waiting to be mentored, so contact YouthZone today to volunteer as a Pals Mentor: www.youthzone. com or 945-9300.