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A win-win solution on guns

Drafting our Constitution in the mix of beliefs embraced by our many founders was no easy task. It took a lot of idea-sharing and compromising to come up with a Constitution and the Bill of Rights that evolved into our American democracy – a form of government never seen before anywhere in the world.

Most people who have studied early American history know the Second Amendment was written to allow ordinary citizens to help protect our nation from invasion. Some citizens today want to believe the Second Amendment was written to help citizens protect themselves from one another. Not so.

We now have well-trained militias – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and a National Guard (state militia) in every state. For all wanting to carry non-standard hunting or military weapons, they could simply sign up with one of the federal or state militias, fulfill the training and carry requirements, agree to keep their weapon locked up when not in use, and be on call to serve their militia in the event of an emergency.

This would make gun owners far more qualified to own and carry their particular weapons, while allowing them to contribute to their country in an honorable way. Also, unqualified weapon-seekers would be ineligible to buy and own weapons and find it difficult to steal them.

This looks like a win-win solution to me.


Letter misrepresented tea party

Nothing irritates more than to be grossly misrepresented publicly by someone who has an agenda to advance (“Constitutional convention plan panders to tea party interests,” March 11) .

The tea party was founded upon some very specific principles: 1) Returning to a fundamental understanding and functioning of the Constitution. 2) A smaller federal government with limited and enumerated powers following the separation of powers principle. 3) Federal fiscal responsibility that follows the principle of debt and deficit spending on a very limited basis for specific short-term objectives, and paying the deficit off the rest of the time. 4) Individuals have unalienable rights that can never be touched by man nor government. 5) Personal responsibility rather than corporate responsibility. and 6) State sovereignty on all issues not enumerated to the federal government.

The one thing Michael Driscoll got right was that the tea party was in opposition to the Affordable Care Act. So is every American who thinks beyond the limits of self-interest of wanting everything from the government; that is, something for “free.” Everything costs somebody something, and if the United States loses sight of that truth, society will be downhill from there. Truth is willing to stand alone. We do not need another Constitution. We already have a good one.


Separating ‘needs’ from ‘wants’

In the last 50 years we have only had a surplus in five years, 1969 and 1998 to 2001. We had a Democratic president in 1998-2000 and a Republican in 1969 and 2001. We had a Republican majority in the Senate in 1998-2000 and a Democratic one in 1969 and 2001. The Republicans controlled the House from 1998-2001 and the Democrats in 1969.

I am willing to give both parties credit for the few surpluses we had but, more importantly, blame both parties for giving in and spending too much on too many “wants.” With only five balanced budgets in the last 50 years and a $16.6 trillion debt, it has to be a spending problem and not a revenue problem.

To cut spending we have to separate what we need from what we want with the knowledge that somebody is going to get hurt. I would offer as an example the local Starbase program. (I don’t take a position on whether this program is good, bad or mediocre.) It has, according to The Journal Gazette, a $300,000 budget for next year to serve 800 students, and using last year’s attendance costs $375 per student. If parents had to pay 50 percent (or $187) per student to attend, I am sure the attendance would decline sharply if not evaporate, so it can’t be defined as a “need.”

We all need to look at what “wants” we can reduce or don’t really need as when the credit card comes due, the interest rate is going to increase to the point we will have to reduce or eliminate some “needs” that will really hurt.