LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Double standard again?

Much has been written about Sheriff Winters not obeying federal laws. He must have learned from President Obama and Attorney General Holder (the top law enforcer in the land) that when one doesn't agree with a law, one doesn't have to obey. Where is the outrage about them who have publicly stated that when they disagree with a law, that they will ignore it — and have? The double standard again? — Willa Johnson, Phoenix


Winters in it for himself

Since 2008 I have tried to get an audience with my sheriff to resolve my own concealed carry weapon issue, to no avail. He ceremoniously forces a law-abiding citizen to get the Oregon Supreme Court to make him issue her a concealed handgun license. He now takes the stand that he is a constitutional sheriff and will stand up for his constituents.

For the past few years his brother sheriffs from the surrounding counties have requested him to step forward and assist them in protecting county property from the feds. Mike Winters sees the next election on the horizon and is now sticking his head out of his hiding place and taking a supposed stand. Make no mistake, he is only in this for himself, as his deputies can attest.

We need a real man and not some political hack as our constitutional sheriff. It doesn't matter if he is a Democrat or a Republican, he is a political coward who plays both sides of the fence. I respect any adversary if they take a stand and don't waffle. Winters deserves neither my respect, nor my vote. — Brad Martinkovich, Medford


Deadliest mental illness

The picture in Sunday's paper of the pro-gun demonstrator flaunting his weapons (Jan. 27) raises an interesting question. Somebody disturbed enough to strut around with an assault weapon could just as easily be disturbed enough to use it. How are we supposed to differentiate, and why should we have to?

The argument that gun control is unconstitutional doesn't hold water. Nobody has the right or the need for weapons designed to slaughter people in large numbers. We banned machine guns for good reason. By the same token, assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, cop-killer bullets, etc., have no legitimate purpose outside the military. Those who want guns to hunt, shoot or defend themselves have plenty of other options.

Thanks to the arms industry flooding our streets with its lethal products, the U.S. has the highest homicide rate in the industrialized world and mass murder has become commonplace. Bumper sticker philosophers claim that guns don't kill people. In fact, they kill over 30,000 Americans every year. To reduce the carnage, we need sane gun laws. The gun lobby says it's a mental health issue. That's true — America's deadliest mental illness is its obsession with guns. — Michael Steely, Medford


Oversupply of arrogance

I want to nominate the young man walking down an Ashland street with a gun slung over his shoulder for National Poster Boy of all those who support ownership of military-style weapons.

Considering that his action displays an oversupply of arrogance, along with a gross undersupply of sensitivity and intelligence, he seems the perfect candidate. — Matthew Lubic, Talent


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