Letters to the editor for Feb. 1, 2013

Conclusion is false

To the Editor:

The second amendment to the constitution says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not he infringed. “ It says nothing about sell-defense and a militia is not a hunting club.

The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments, is intended to limit the power of the central government and secure the people’s freedom. The militia is for the purpose of protecting those freedoms from a central government that becomes too autocratic.

It is important that this be understood. If you start with a false premise and use sound logic, you will inevitably reach a false conclusion.

The Second Amendment must be put in context. The authors of the amendments were familiar with militia. It was the militia that fought the first battles against an oppressive British government in the War for Independence.

And yes, they did have cannons and they did kill people. Putting down an oppressive government requires the weapons of war. The idea that a militia, whose purpose is to restrain government, is in turn subject to that government’s rules on weaponry is ludicrous.

We got along fine with the Second Amendment for a century and a half but now the weapons are being turned against innocent people. So what changed?

Americans have always had guns and there has always been mental illness.

What has changed is the culture. I don’t mean the video games or TV or movies. These are symptoms not causes.

The culture we have lost is the Judeo-Christian culture on which the nation was founded.

The law given to Israel and repeated in the New Testament was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and your neighbor as yourself.”

All of the other commandments are based on those two. When it says to love your neighbor as yourself, it is not about feelings or emotions. Love in this context means sacrificing your own interest for the benefit of your neighbor.

And who is your neighbor?

Jesus made it clear; it is anyone that you meet on the pathway of life.

Was everyone a Christian or Jew? Of course not, it was the culture not the religion that was the basis of our freedom. But that culture is long gone. If you are under 60 years old, you were not raised in a country with a Judeo-Christian culture.

I know you are tired of hearing old folks tell about the good old days. No it wasn’t all good. We had many problems, but crime was not one of them.

You’ve heard it all before. We never locked the door. We left the key in the ignition so we wouldn’t lose it. The door to our church was never locked in fact the latch was wired down so it could not be locked.

The only law enforcement officer in the county was the sheriff and he didn’t have much to do.

When the county jail was condemned the prisoners were house in the local motel.

Yes, there were the likes of Al Capone and the St. Valentine Day’s massacre. The Capone gang killed seven of members of a rival bootlegger gang.

Seven people and that became historic! Compare that to the drug cartels of today or Chicago’s 500 homicides last year.

What do we do now?

Go back to a Judeo-Christian culture? Sorry, that train left the station decades ago. Repeal the Second Amendment?

Lots of luck! The present approach seems to be to smother the Second Amendment with disinformation, disarm the militia and forget about freedom.

Winston Churchill said, “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.”

I’ve lived long and supposedly wisdom comes with age but I don’t have an answer for this one.

If people don’t love their neighbor nothing will work.

Charles Erickson



Safety in the schools

To the Editor:

Regarding the safety of our students and staff in our public schools I suggest the following plan: Place two or more cabinets in each building or complex, the number depends on the size of the building, all cabinets alike.

Place a handgun in each cabinet with a few rounds of ammunition. Train a few volunteers to use these handguns. They could be teachers, office help, custodians, kitchen help, etc.

Select a smaller number of people, like two or three to wear a “dog tag” chain with a cabinet key on it. Men might choose to wear it 24-7, women not likely but each must be wearing it when they go to the building where the students are. They might ask one another each day, “Are you wearing your key?”

With proper training, selected by their peers, they may consider the chain a badge of honor. I think I would. They can be guardians over many people.

This plan would be comparatively cheap to employ. Is it too simple to work? What do you think?


David Nicholson



Touched by letter

To the Editor:

I was so touched by the “Thank a veteran” submitted by Mary Lou Michaels Dec. 28, 2012.

I would like to donate men’s clothes to a veteran, not a Goodwill store. How does one do that?

I looked up the Wounded Soldier Foundation Mrs. Obama talks about. I didn’t see anything local.

I know about the DAV, but I would like something more needy.

Catherine Primeau



Responsible budgeting

To the Editor:

Minnesota classrooms will see dollars sooner than expected because of responsible budgeting by Republican legislative majorities. Through prioritized spending and without increasing the tax burden on hardworking Minnesotans, Republicans turned a $6.2 billion projected budget deficit into a $2.5 billion budget surplus for 2012-13.

A portion of those surplus funds immediately went toward replenishing the state’s budget reserves and cash flow account.

The remaining $1.6 billion in surplus funds paid off the school shift that was part of the 2011 budget compromise between Gov. Dayton and the Legislature, and is beginning to pay back the debt to schools borrowed by the DFL in 2010.

School districts received a scheduled payment Dec. 15 and received another payment Dec. 28.

A payment of $56,889,686 went out to Anoka-Hennepin School District Dec. 28.

This is great news for our schools. By making government work smarter and finding efficiencies, Republicans passed a balanced budget without asking Minnesotans to contribute more in taxes.

Reform measures focused on growing jobs in our state and getting people back to work. Those efforts resulted in higher than forecast revenues and our schools are benefiting from the improved budget situation.

The shift payback amounts will be included in the regularly scheduled payments from the state beginning with the Dec. 15, 2012 payment through June 2013.

While our state is on the right path, we still have a lot of work to do.

Republicans know what it takes to balance the budget and deliver these results for the people of Minnesota.

We are hopeful that Gov. Dayton and Democrat lawmakers will work with us to continue on that path of economic recovery. Paying back the remainder of the school shift, left by DFL majorities, must be a priority this session.

We are leaving our state in a much better place than when we took majorities two years ago.

• A $6.2 billion budget deficit turned into a $2.5 billion surplus – an $8.7 billion turnaround in two years.

• State budget reserves, replenished (balance was $0 when we took over, now has $653 million).

• State cash flow account, replenished (balance was $95 million; balance now is $350 million).

• 2011 K-12 shift to schools, paid off.

• 2010 DFL K-12 shift to schools – beginning to pay off this inherited debt.

• The unemployment rate when we took over in 2011 was 7.1 percent; now it is 5.7 percent.

We encourage citizens to pay attention to these numbers over the next two years. We have proven that state government can provide more than adequate service with the current levels of taxpayer contributions from Minnesota families and businesses.

The result is a stronger economy.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

Rep. Peggy Scott (35B)

Sen. Michelle Benson (SD31)

Sen. Branden Petersen (SD 35)

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