LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Winters' double standard

I am pleased to see Sheriff Winters is not going to let the feds make federal criminals out of Jackson County gun owners. No sir, he's not going enforce federal laws restricting the rights of law-abiding Oregonians to own guns. Not on his watch! The feds had better stay out of his county! No federal gun laws for him.

Unless, of course, the gun laws affect Oregonians registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program — then he'll spend whatever it takes to get the guns out of their hands and pretend that it's his sacred duty to enforce federal gun laws.

And you can bet that Winters will battle endlessly to keep the feds out of his county. Unless, of course, they are arresting marijuana growers registered with the OMMP, then he'll direct traffic for them so they don't get lost in the wilds of Jackson County.

I am sure Winters would rather you not notice this embarrassing conflict between his two positions on Oregonians' guns, but he shouldn't care. Winters should be just as proud to wear the yellow badge of the hypocrite as he is to wear that tin sheriff's star. He worked so hard to get it. — Laird Funk, Williams


Give us a list

Apparently Sheriff Winters picks the laws he chooses to enforce. Regarding medical marijuana, he stated it's against the federal law and he will hold all accountable to the law.

Apparently he meant he will hold all accountable if he agrees with the law. He has decided he doesn't need to uphold laws regarding assault weapons.

I think that since he's an elected official he should present a list of which laws he will hold the public to, and which laws he will not. — Catherine Astell, Medford


Dignity amidst violence

Once again, those among us who amuse ourselves with sideline lip reading are sufficiently offended to take finger to keyboard and ask for dignity — dignity amidst violence.

At both the highest collegiate level and the professional divisional playoff levels, we were privileged to witness the thankfully silent profanity which serves as the vehicle of disagreement for rulings during athletic competitions.

Head coaches from Florida State University and, at the next level, the New England Patriots delivered their "colorful" verbal protests to the nearest official to such an extent that they drew penalties on the coaching staff.

To be sure, football is a game of violence. It becomes an art form because it is controlled violence. A simple whistle starts and stops the violence. And that is why players never, under rule, touch an official without penalty. The same must apply to the leaders of those players. That's why it's called leadership.

How can a coach lead and control his players if he cannot control and respect all aspects of the game?

Competition is a great schooling tool for the coming generations. It is abused when leaders lose the control they are attempting to teach. — Garth Harrington, Medford


You are what you eat

Regarding "Oregon wants genetically modified salmon labeled" in the Jan 14 MT, I applaud the decision of the Oregon Salmon Commission opposing GMO salmon and asking the Food and Drug Administration not to approve it. If it is approved, they ask it to be labeled as such for the consumer.

The article said the FDA found no health risks — but did not tell us if independent tests were done. FDA relies heavily on industry-funded food safety tests. I don't eat foods with GMO ingredients, as I don't trust the skewed results of industry safety tests. Where are the long-term independent tests of these products?

I oppose the approval of AquaBounty salmon for this reason, and also because one small accident could release these altered genes into the ocean at large, with unknown consequences. Just a few escaped GMO fish could eventually contaminate the entire Pacific salmon fishery.

Support more independent testing, and please support labeling of GMO foods. After all — you are what you eat. If you don't know what you're eating, how do you know who you are? — Anny Zweifel, Williams


Sheriff should enforce the law

After hearing the Jackson County sheriff's comments regarding defense of the Second Amendment, I decided I should look at what horrible things President Obama might be proposing. I reviewed the text of the president's press conference, as well as the 23 executive orders the president was issuing.

I found that he hadn't proposed taking anyone's guns. Much of what he proposed was similar to what gun proponents have suggested. I think our county would be better served if the sheriff spent his time enforcing the law rather than being a mouthpiece for the NRA. — Bob Williams, Central Point


Why more guns?

Dennis Richardson is a bit long in the tooth, which sadly causes him to bite his foot. Or maybe those holes are from bullets. Other leaders and officials are following suit; everybody's getting a hole in their foot and talking nonsense.

Politics: They know what side their Batman popcorn is buttered on. Why, oh, why is the only thing some people can think to do after an incident involving a gun to put more guns into the situation? Bedlam ensues, with secret gun-toting lunatics smugly abounding everywhere. Drive exactly the way they yell at you to; be nice to them at work, whatever you do.

And why is the only thing some people can think to do after little schoolchildren and teachers are hideously murdered by an assault weapon not to send sympathy cards to the despondent families but, sickeningly, to show their support for the murderer by going out and buying an assault weapon themselves!

I was in Big 5 at Christmas when a father was at the cash register with his young son, shamelessly buying him an assault-weapon-shaped pellet gun. It was disgusting, but by the look in the man's eyes, I was too scared to say anything. — Patti Morey, Ashland


Congress should act

I have been listening with interest to the discussion on gun control. It would seem that the suggestions from some is to have armed patrols in the schools and around their perimeter. This does not seem like a solution, as Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the street outside of a market. There have also been shootings in churches, theaters and malls.

I have to wonder if Congress proposes to have armed patrols in all places where people gather. That doesn't give me a feeling of security to have armed people in all gathering places.

It seems to me that the people on Capitol Hill could get busy and put in place a plan that would accomplish safety.

Congress was sent to Washington to do what is best for the country, not a few individuals.

It seems to me that Congress could get busy and put in place plans to protect the population and secure the financial security of the country. In my opinion their failure to act on these problems has been disgraceful.

I hope we all remember their failure to act in a timely manner when the election rolls around. — Eva J. Avery, Medford


Militia meant everyone

In regard to the wording of the Second Amendment, in the 18th century the word "regulate" meant well-trained and supplied.

The militia was all able-bodied men over the age of 16, not the national guard; that did not exist until 1910. — Tommy Chaney, Medford


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