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Letters to the editor: March 19, 2021

Surge in misuse

There have been several letters written about county commissioners and gun control. I thought I would find what’s up these days. I did a quick investigation and found the following:

At the federal level, there’s HR-127, a house resolution.

Everyone should read HR -127. It’s long, and it details specific laws with attendant penalties.

We have to care about this one. It details mandatory license requirements, fingerprinting, recordkeeping, psychological exams, $800 fee for insurance and many other rules governing firearms and ammunition.

If HR 127 were to become law, it would be very cumbersome to own a gun. HR 127 just might spell the end of gun ownership.

At the state level, I found seven bills for consideration — SB 396, HB 2510, SB 604, SB 554, SB 585, SB 592 and HB 2543.

In view of HR 127 and the volume of legislation at the state level, who knows what we’ll wind up with for gun control? I don’t blame people for being concerned about our future right to own a gun, as I am one of them.

Personally, I think we’ve had a change in our country’s attitude, with a definite surge in the misuse of firearms. At least that’s the opinion I’ve gained during my 89 years on this planet.

John Englebrecht

McMinnville

 

Hope rekindled

Since we now have a new president, I believe the mood of our country has changed from one of despair to optimism. We are moving forward in so many areas!

Biden’s focus is reported to be controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, opening communication with other nations, meeting infrastructure needs, supporting small businesses, and addressing climate change and energy conservation. This is a very different situation from what has been happening with the previous administration.

With a proactive attitude toward business and government, listening to the thoughts of the people and placing their needs first, attitudes can change from despair to hope. I believe our country will gradually return to be a leader in world affairs and a partner with other countries, and that democracy will again become a driving force.

Janet De With

Yamhill

 

Fringe extremism

Joseph Major’s commentary, “Tradition of gun ownership helps make America special,” certainly missed the mark. His history lesson on guns, tyranny, America’s industrialization and “rounds per kill” was confusing at best.

I do agree that America is special, but not because of its easy access to firearms. America is special because of individual liberty, equality before the law, freedom of speech and the elimination of racial and economic classes — in theory anyway.

Yes, the Second Amendment guarantees gun ownership. But I don’t find that any more special than being able to buy a toaster.

Gun ownership is not the issue; that has been settled. The  issue is Commissioner Berschauer’s proposal to create a Second Amendment sanctuary.

This is sloppy government being advocated by a fringe minority. Yes, I said it. A fringe minority.

According to “7 Facts about Guns in the US,” from the Pew Research Center, 80% of Republicans, 97% of Democrats and 88% of all electors believe existing gun laws are fine as they stand, or should be made more restrictive to improve gun safety. This means those advocating for abdication of existing regulations represent only about 12% of the general public.

If the ordinance passes, however, it will apply to 100% of the citizens of Yamhill County. Whether you lean to the left or right, submitting to the will of a small but vocal minority is not an American ideal.

The idea that people are coming for your guns is fearmongering perpetuated by a small number of extremists. And while extremists have their rights under the Constitution, just like you and me, I don’t like living under the rule of extreme ideologies.

On an issue where nearly 9/10 of Americans agree, we should not appeal to the one who does not. That would not be very democratic.

Chad Olsen

McMinnville

 

Governmental tyranny?

Many yeas and nays are voiced about gun possession.

Wouldn’t it be of great advantage to have guns instead of making it open season for criminals, murderers, drug and child traffickers and the tyranny of government?

Hmmm. Is that why repressive gun bills like HR 127 are being introduced in Congress?

Mary Novak

Yamhill

Comments

Don Dix

Janet De With -- the new administration has already announced a tax increase. Yeah, I know it only includes big business and the rich, but if one doesn't believe it will raise prices at the register, one hasn't been paying attention all these years.

Chad Olsen wrote -- 'According to “7 Facts about Guns in the US,” from the Pew Research Center, 80% of Republicans, 97% of Democrats and 88% of all electors believe existing gun laws are fine as they stand, or should be made more restrictive to improve gun safety. This means those advocating for abdication of existing regulations represent only about 12% of the general public.'

When you claim 88% are fine with existing regulations by adding those who want more restrictions, you are mixing opposing sentiments to arrive at that number. Simply, those that want more restrictions are not in the same camp as those who don't.

You claim this proposal is by 'a fringe minority'. By inspecting today's 'movements', one will find many are supported and promoted only by 'fringe minorities' -- or do you actually believe labeling Pepe Le Pew a rapist is lead by the majority, for instance?

tagup

Don- isn’t an increase in tax revenue the only way to attempt to slow down the growing deficit? Interesting that with the huge business tax cuts of the last administration we didn’t see much in a reduction of costs at the register.....although we did see a lot of company stock buybacks.....Walmart and other big companies are still paying at wage levels that require workers to be subsidized by the government. That’s why raising the minimum wage is such a topic at the moment. I think the top wage earners & big business needs to ante up....don’t you?

Bill B

Yes Tagup, those "top wage earners" didn't earn those wages. They should give back to those who make less! Can you say socialism?

Don Dix

tagup -- when a 'new cost' is added to the overhead of any business, whether it's wage hikes, an increase in raw materials, or a rise in tax liability, the company will make up that change by raising the price on the shelf. Consumers or clients foot the bill, not the company.

The US deficit is the making of foolish government spending and waist, not because the tax revenue is short. The present stimulus package includes $350B to state and local governments -- and few guidelines on how it is spent. Government and a pile of money without strings has seldom produced thoughtful and prudent spending. Are you confident Kate and the Oregon legislature will use their share to actually help the residents in some way, or will they use it to reward those who put them in office?

tagup

Bill- when the top income taxpayers pay a smaller effective tax percentage than an average blue collar Joe, I see that as unfair. Wage “Earners” are one thing....capital gains from real estate or market transactions are passive income, and the endless tax loopholes/ deductions used to reduce tax liability aren’t shared by most people. Not socialism, just paying their fair share.

tagup

Don- you are absolutely correct that spending is the problem....and I don’t see a solution to that unfortunately. Anyone in Congress that identifies as a “ fiscal conservative “ is a liar.
I also don’t see a need to give breaks to companies that pay little in tax, and pay their employees subsistence wages that need to be subsidized by welfare benefits.

Don Dix

tagup -- some tax exemptions make one do a double take, but others, like the estate tax are double taxation. Just because the principal passes another tax is owed?

Bill B

I'm all in favor of a flat tax. No deductions, no loopholes.

tagup

I don’t particularly like the theory of the estate tax as you point out, but without it, the ultra rich can pass generations of gains on assets because they are never sold. For those unsold assets, it’s not double taxed...in fact without an estate tax those gains would never be taxed.

Don Dix

As well as a flat tax, how about removing the $140K ceiling on SS. That would fix the gap caused by the government's raiding the fund back in the 80s.

tagup

The pushback to raising the taxable wage cap would be raising the payout cap as well....

Don Dix

The payout cap? You mean the dollar amount one can earn before the monthly SS payout begins to reduce? The average SS payout is $18500 -- the poverty level for one is $12,880. It's absurd older folks who want/need to work are discouraged by the limit. There are enough people just sitting on their ass as it is -- adding to the pile makes no sense at all!

tagup

I meant the maximum monthly benefit amount....for 2021 the max benefit at FRA is $3148/ month no matter how much you pay in....That’s the argument that will be made to not be taxed above the current $140k threshold.

Don Dix

For new retirees this year (born in 1959), the FRA is 66 years 10 months, and next year it will be 67.

But each change seems to be a reaction to the feds needs, not the retirees.