First Amendment claim arrogant, insulting, wrong
The First Amendment grants no special privilege to the press (news media). In fact, it makes no mention of the press in that sense at all. In declaring that Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, it simply states that all people, whether professional reporter or a mere citizen, are free not only to speak their minds but to present them in print.
If the amendment read something like, freedom of the clergy, of the militia, or of the press shall not be abridged, we would understand that the press, in that instance, does refer to formal news organizations; but as it stands, the amendment is to protect individual rights. There should be no doubt of that. Of course, by logical extension, the same protection applies to the media, but no special protection.
The Journal Gazette should retract and clarify the outrageous assertion in its May 15 editorial that, Freedom of the press ... is a right enjoyed by those with privileges not afforded to all. Arrogant. Insulting. Wrong.
I do not know what laws or Supreme Court decisions pursuant to the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press specify privileges reserved to the organized press, but the quote cited by Potter Stewart in the Pentagon Papers case does not demonstrate one. That reasoning would protect the lone pamphleteer or whistleblower as well as the New York Times and the Washington Post. It would be enlightening to read what special privileges you claim, but you will have to go outside the First Amendment to justify them.
JIM KELSEY Fort Wayne
19th century was newsworthy, too
I looked over your special insert covering The Journal Gazette 150 Years of News. Did nothing newsworthy happen before 1901? What about the Civil War? Or the Chicago Fire?
Sorry, couldn’t resist. Anyway, happy birthday.
CEC SHULTZ Angola
Why no federal limits on pressure cookers?
After Boston, who now can argue with the common sense logic that if there were no pressure cookers, there would be no pressure-cooker bombs?
Anyone wishing to purchase a pressure cooker or inherit one from their mother should be subject to a comprehensive background check. This is the only way to keep pressure cookers out of the hands of the mentally unstable and terrorists.
Congress should outlaw any pressure cooker larger than two quarts because a lot more people can be killed with high-capacity pressure cookers. It should also be illegal to transport a concealed pressure cooker without a permit.
Congress should add to the pressure cooker laws that if anyone gets hurt by a pressure-cooker bomb, manufacturers of pressure cookers should be held responsible and be subject to pay for damages.
I realize these laws would be expensive to administer and a big inconvenience to those law-abiding citizens who only want to cook, but if we can save even a single life, it would be worth it. Right?
Ridiculous, yes, but no more ridiculous than if this reasoning is applied to guns, knives, ball bats or any number of items that can be made to be deadly.
At age 70, when I purchased my first gun ever at a retail outlet, I did not object to the background check. However, Boston has made me realize that background checks and controls do nothing to assure our safety. Besides, any decent criminal or terrorist would buy a cheap black-market gun or steal one rather than pay retail price.
RON GORE Covington