Letters to the Editor: March 23, 2018

NRA not on our side

I’ve had it with the NRA. The NRA showed its true colors when it filed suit against the people of Florida for raising the age to purchase firearms. NRA = No Responsible Action.

President Trump says the NRA is on our side, but I’m betting it’s more about money from ammunition and firearm manufacturers than about the safety and welfare of American citizens.

It sounds like I’m a liberal snowflake, doesn’t it. Well, I’m not. I’m a conservative-leaning Independent.

I owned guns and hunted before most politicians and NRA leaders were born. I’ve had a concealed carry permit since 1979, in three different counties, and support the Second Amendment.

The NRA is not doing gun owners any favors with its uncompromising attitude toward the regulation of assault-style semi-automatic weapons with high capacity magazines, the go-to weapon for mass murder. This type of regulation does not threaten the Second Amendment any more than illegal racist remarks threaten the First Amendment.

By hiding behind the Second Amendment, the NRA is making it a target for extreme gun control advocates.

The late Supreme Court conservative Antonin Scalia, a hunter and sportsman, wrote the majority opinion in D.C. vs Heller in 2008. He said the Second Amendment “is not unlimited,” thus “does not give the right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner and for any purpose.”

It’s time for reasonable firearm limitations, one reason being to head off a future determined assault on the Second Amendment.

Smith & Wesson has labeled the AR-15 a sporting rifle. If that’s the case, it should be recalled and retrofitted with a five-round capacity like other sporting rifles.
I encourage President Trump to have a meeting with NRA President Wayne LaPierre and tell him, “You’re fired!”

Leonard J. Leis



Kudos for standing tall

Give ‘em hell, kids. Keep it up.

You’re doing a great job. Your kids, grandkids and great-grandkids thank you.

Harry Truman would be very proud.

Richard White



Not acceptable any more

Citizens of Yamhill County should be outraged at Representative Noble’s unwillingness to support legislation promising to save the lives of “intimate partners.”
According to The Oregonian, House Bill 4145 would have closed a loophole in Oregon’s gun laws allowing convicted domestic abusers and stalkers to legally buy and own firearms as long as they didn’t share children, marriage vows or living quarters with their victim.

Noble said the legislation “does nothing to add to ... the ability to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.” Fortunately, the governor and rest of the Legislature thought it would make a difference and enacted it into law. Noble suggests part of the answer is to offer help with mental health issues. We’ve heard this before, after every new gun massacre.

A call to bow our heads and have a moment of silence for the victims does not help improve the state of mental health in our country. This is especially true when legislators like Noble then move on to the next order of business without effecting any real change.

Representative Noble:

What have you done to keep dangerous automatic weapons out of the hands of those who are at risk of hurting themselves or their intimate partners? The high school students who protested are right; we can’t wait for you anymore, while people are dying from gun wounds in our homes and our schools.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with Representative Noble for another term. Maybe our local student bodies in Yamhill Cou ty can help him understand why the status quo isn’t acceptable any more!

Steven Harloff



In defense of our schools

I’m a retired public school teacher who’s disturbed and angered by Thompson Morrison’s March 16 opinion piece.

Mr. Morrison decries the state of education and paints our schools, especially our public schools, with a very broad and negative brush.

He seems to think, without providing evidence, that our public schools are generally a failure. Indeed, he argues that most of the purpose-driven schools that inspire are either private or charter.

That’s simply not true. His comments are insulting.

Of course, there is room for improvement in our schools. But Mr. Morrison’s arguments would fail the “deep, authentic, and relevant” test.

He uses broad, meaningless and inaccurate generalizations. For example, he argues, “Our students are still being taught the way our grandparents were.”

This is not true. Today’s classroom is a far different place than it used to be.

He seems to believe that all we 21st century teachers do with students is teach them to “memorize and regurgitate.” This is also untrue.

As a former New Mexico Teacher of the Year, I have taught thousands of students and trained hundreds of teachers around the country. I can assure Mr. Morrison that schools have changed in the past 100 years, that we do send our kids into the world with solid intellectual skills and the ability to implement them.
We do not succeed with every student. But we do far better than he acknowledges.

The vision Mr. Morrison finds missing is very much alive in thousands of schools.

Perhaps Mr. Morrison, like Betsy DeVos, should spend more time in our public schools. Hopefully his cloudy lens would get a bit clearer.

Nancy Schick



Meatless in Mac

With three crippling nor’easters battering our East Coast in quick succession, we all look forward to March 20, first day of spring, gateway to balmy weather and flowers in bloom. It’s also a superb occasion to replace animal foods on our menu with healthy, delicious, eco-friendly vegetables, legumes, grains and fruits.

The shift toward healthy eating is everywhere.

Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s all offer plant-based options. Major publications and popular websites tout vegan recipes. Google CEO Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the world’s #1 technical trend.

The financial investment community is betting on innovative start-ups like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Even Tyson Foods’ new CEO sees plant protein as meat industry’s future.

Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing their meat intake. Indeed, per capita red meat consumption has dropped by a whopping 25 percent in the past 40 years.

Every one of us can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based dinners and desserts in our favorite supermarket’s frozen food, dairy and produce sections. An internet search on vegan foods brings rich rewards.

Milo Nakamura



Armed presence troubling

What is Police Chief Matt Scales trying to prevent by placing an armed police officer in downtown Mac during the day?

Research shows increased presence of police personnel only reduces robbery and murder. See


Here’s how the brain works: The brain knows guns are dangerous, as they kill, no matter who uses them. Seeing an armed police officer triggers alarm reactions in our brains, along with our muscular, endocrine and nervous systems. Our bodies automatically and subconsciously react to the perceived danger, over which they have no conscious control.

The brain reacts the same way in the face of stress. It does not discriminate between a good gun and a bad gun, it just reacts.

Such a reaction will have monetary consequences for downtown commerce and tourism.

On a personal level, it will deter me from shopping and eating downtown, consciously or subconsciously, because seeing an armed person in a uniform is enough to do that. It’s creepy.

The last time I checked, citizens had the constitutional right to assemble and to bear arms.

And like stress and danger, the Constitution is non-discriminatory. It applies to everyone, good people and bad.

Is it the intention of Scales to overturn the Constitution? Are we allowing him to create a Police State? Are we slowly becoming a Police State?
Boil, boil, toil and trouble.

Sheila Hunter



Why a lost lane?

Although I am quite happy to have the work on the downtown streets finished, I am perplexed by one aspect of the job. I cannot imagine what transportation improvement was accomplished by replacing one lane at the corner of Second and Baker streets with a wedge-shaped median that I assume will eventually host some flower plantings.

A right turn lane at that corner is a welcome addition. But the loss of the center lane seems to make no sense at all, especially when it reappears as soon as you cross Baker.

You had a nice article recently explaining the new traffic lights. Perhaps someone in transportation planning could enlighten us about this question.

Phyllice Bradner




Preach! Leonard Leis!!! The NRA used to be a respectful gun safety and training organization and my Dad was a life member. He did the same thing GHW Bush did and resigned his membership citing the extreme vision the organization is now spewing. Not sure what facilitated that change in mission, but it has certainly been on the wrong path for a while now.


I say bull, Mr. Leis! If you are the all knowing 2nd amendment supporting, firearm knowledgeable person you say you are, then you know darn good and well what the "so called assault rifle" consists of. It's nothing more than a scary looking semi-automatic sporting rifle that is used in many hunting rifles. We can have a conversation about magazine size if you really think that will actually make a difference in any mass shooting. Raising the age for purchasing all firearms only makes it more difficult for a law abiding person that may really need one to get one. Someone that is going to use one illegally is not going to buy it legally anyway. You people that think the NRA is out for the gun manufacturers and themselves really do not have a clue. Who do you think the membership of the NRA really are???? It's everyday people like you. It's more than likely your neighbor, a school teacher, a police officer! We are concerned about our 2nd amendment rights getting chipped away little by little. You can take away the so-called assault weapon. But, you know what? Another mass shooting will happen. Then what do you want to take away???

Don Dix

Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, had some insight concerning the government, freedom, and gun control --
"The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."

And this --
"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."

By simple examination, Jefferson (and many others of his era) was considerably more intuitive and perceptive than present 'leaders' at all levels. His thoughts were formed by experience and recognition of such, and certainly not due to pressure from 'social media' or self-appointed 'celebrity spokespersons'. He had flaws, of course, but his comprehension of American freedom was eerily accurate.


What did FF Thomas Jefferson say about marriage?

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