Letters to the Editor
“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 be infringed.”
Few sentences have been scrutinized and argued over more than these 27 words. The second amendment to the United States Constitution literally gives power to the people, and allows them to protect themselves from tyrannical governments and criminals. In the weeks since the tragic school shootings of innocent children in Connecticut, much talk has been in the news about “assault weapons” bans and limits on magazine capacities.
Senator Joe Manchin came out in support of some sort of legislation regulating guns. A bill, proposed by California Senator Dianne Feinstein is expected January 3, 2013. She is the author of the 1994-2004 “assault weapons” ban. This time, the bill she is introducing includes a much larger range of weapons which will be considered “assault weapons.”
I suggest you Google the bill sometime.
The neutering thing about this issue at the present time is that it is impossible for any pro-gun public official to stand up and say we shouldn’t talk about gun bans of any kind, or magazine capacity restrictions without looking like a psychopath, after some idiot just got through killing 26 innocent people, 20 of which were children. The issue of gun control has been labeled as the culprit of a much larger issue that everyone is missing. As a society, we have gradually become a less and less moral people. We have removed God from schools and replaced that with an atmosphere of entitlements.
The problem isn’t a gun. A gun is a tool, albeit a powerful one. So is an automobile – until a drunk gets into it, or a scalpel – if a doctor uses incorrectly.
So my point is this: deranged killers will always find a way to kill someone if they decide to. Timothy McVeigh did it with fertilizer, and terrorists did it with airplanes. Until our society changes, these events will only happen more and more frequently.
Gun control, in any fashion, does not work. Criminals do not operate by the same rules that law abiding citizens do.
Senator Manchin said the other day that nobody needs a gun with a 30 round magazine for hunting.
I agree with him. However, that’s my personal decision, not the government’s decision to make for me. If someone wants to buy a beta magazine, put war paint on, dance naked in the woods, and burn the barrel off of their AR15 to relieve stress, that’s their decision. It’s their God-given right.
So, maybe you’re reading this and thinking “Okay. But why is it such a bad idea to outlaw AR15s and 30 round mags?”
Well, in my opinion, legislation of any kind to regulate guns is a “foot in the door” and one more step toward anti-gun politicians’ ultimate goal to outlaw all guns.
I have a message to every patriotic American reading this.
Now is the time to donate to the NRA Now is the time to be heard by your Senators. Now is the time to call your Congressman. Now is the time for President Obama to hear us.
If we let them take our second amendment, rest assured, the others will soon follow.
You have been warned!
I am responding to the excellent letter by Mike Costello, Executive Director of the Wilderness Coalition. I am pleased that we are having an intelligent discussion about the pros and cons of establishing the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument. I know everyone concerned loves the area and only wants the best for it. It is a land of many uses and from my view point is managed very well as is.
I have had an interest in two similar projects that I saw backfire on the local support that created them. The first is the New River National River established in November 1978. It was local support that wanted to save the area along the New River from further mining activities and even the Corps of Engineers that planned another flood control dam on the New. The original bill 95-625 that Senator Byrd pushed provided that the area be protected by scenic easements from private landowners and by local zoning laws.
The National Park Service took charge of the area and immediately started buying up land and even referring to it as the New River National Park. They now own most of the land along the New River and are arresting people for digging ginseng and yellow root on “their” property. I know from first -hand that this was not what the initial local support envisioned.
The second similar situation is the Cuyahoga Recreation Area between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. The local people in the mid-1970s were afraid the two cities would grow together and industry would move in along the Cuyahoga River, changing the farming and rural communities forever. The National Park Service took charge of the area and immediately started buying up property and moved more than 500 families out of the area. The last time I was there in about 2000 you still saw boarded up houses to be torn down. This was not what the local support envisioned, but it was too late.
At this point I fail to see what the benefit would be if the Cranberry area were to be designated a National Monument, but let us keep communicating with an open mind and keep the idea of preserving the land of many uses for future generations.
West Virginia Open Trails Association
A large turnout of community citizens packed the courtroom at last week’s Pocahontas County Commission meeting on the issue of a proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument. During what turned out to be a three hour meeting, dozens of our neighbors and friends presented a variety of viewpoints and questions, with the conversation civil and respectful throughout. Our common thread was an appreciation for the land under consideration, and our mutual desire that it continue in top condition. Our disagreements revolved around whether or not a national monument would be the best way to do this.
I believe that local supporters of the national monument now better understand the concerns and issues raised by some of the county’s residents. Discussion about these concerns helps all of us collaborate to define a proposal that best addresses the issues that matter to everyone. I hope a response to the county’s letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture will clarify what exactly a monument would be, so we have a better foundation for future discussion in the ongoing process.
The County Commission’s decision to continue looking for accurate information on national monuments is important, and I hope that the people of the county will do the same. The supporters of the Birthplace of Rivers initiative will work to address the interests of all concerned, constructive participants in the conversation.
As a Pocahontas County native who seeks the economic opportunity to stay here, I am a firm believer in the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument’s potential. Although I appreciate the commission’s quest for accurate information on national monuments, I hope that they will remain open to lending their support once they discover more about the impacts to our area.
Monument designation would really put the area “on the map” in a new way by establishing an elevated status, the only national monument in West Virginia. I have decided to carry on our proud tradition of farming, and would have a better local market for my products if a national monument brought more visitors to the region. When people visit Pocahontas County, they want to enjoy local food, hear local music, buy local crafts and support local gas stations, shops, motels, restaurants, etc. There are plenty of others like me who either want to come home to the area, or will move to our community with the intention of starting a business of their own. There isn’t a single solution to our future, but the local foods initiative and the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument are two complimentary ways of moving our economy in the right direction.
Preserving some of the public lands around the Cranberry Wilderness would prove to be an excellent use of our natural resources, and would leave ample land available for logging and other uses. The creation of a national monument would help spur a sustainable future economy while ensuring that hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering will remain part of what the area is used for in perpetuity.
The scenic beauty of our county is an increasingly rare resource, and we should work together to ensure that we can make the most of it.