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Not a 2nd Amendment issue

Regarding Happiness is a warm gun: This editorial is misleading.

This is not a Second Amendment issue, it is an issue of state law. SOU can no more prohibit the lawful carrying of firearms on campus any more than they can prohibit women from voting. The state regulation 166.370 section 3d is very clear about this.

There is a reason that the founding fathers clearly defined that only the legislative branch can create law. When an (often unelected) administrator ignores this principle by capriciously creating a policy that is in violation of state law, he is committing the most egregious of crimes; that of spitting in the face of the very fabric that provides America its freedoms. ' Vincent Moscaritolo, Medford

Proud of District 9

Applegate Valley Fire District 9 held its 2003 annual Awards Banquet Friday, Feb. 27, at Ruch Community Church. After a delicious dinner of tri-tip, chicken, beans and potato salad prepared by The Friends, Fire Chief Brett Fillis and his staff presented about 35 awards, plaques, and trophies to the firefighters of the district. It was a fun evening with humor, stories, and some nostalgia with a short video of the 2003 activity. Fortunately there were no Quartz fire or Squires peak fire in 2003 but the volunteer firefighters were kept plenty busy.

Among the many well-deserved awards were Firefighter of the Year ' Bill Dunlap; Rookie of the Year ' Jeff Hoxley; Junior Firefighter of the Year ' Brett Roeloffs. For five years of service ' Dan Moulin, Hector Mena, Katie Marical, Larry Hunt and Dave Alleman. For 15 years of service ' Brad Barnes and Terry Riley. Carey Chaput won the Spouse of the Year award. The EMT of the Year went to Scott Marical. Steve Lehnhardt and Randy Buckley were added to the Hall of Flame and Mat Epstein won the Fuel Reduction Award.

Sorry, no room to list everyone but the residents of Applegate Valley are proud of you all. ' Gary Johnson, Ruch

— A well-regulated militia

Why is it that the first half of the Second Amendment is never mentioned by those espousing the right to bear arms? It reads: 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. Thus, the right to keep and bear arms is dependent on having a well-regulated militia and many court decisions have upheld this view:

In United States v. Cruikshank, the Supreme Court concluded that the Second Amendment implies no right to keep and bear arms, that bearing of arms was not a right guaranteed by the Constitution. In United States v. Miller the Supreme Court held that since the defendant in Miller did not show any evidence — reasonably related to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, an individual right to bear arms, as opposed to a collective right, has not been upheld.

From Eckert v. Pennsylvania: The Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment was not adopted to guarantee the right of the individual to bear arms, but rather to protect the states in the maintenance of their militia organizations against possible encroachments by the federal power. ' R. Burgoyne, Medford

Don't take children

I read with great interest your article by Susan Reimer regarding the movie The Passion of the Christ. I, too, saw the movie on opening day and I came away from the movie devastated and lost and bewildered.

Reimer mentioned that no child should see this movie. I totally agree. It is a movie about a flogging of a man, not the Christ, but an actual, brutal, savage beating, visually upsetting to the audience.

I left the movie feeling at a loss, did not know where my spirituality had gone. I agree that children should believe in the Bible verses and the love that Christ taught and displayed to all. Christ's own story is one of true belief, love and humbleness. I hope that those who see the movie understand the brutality it represents, not the spiritual life of Christ. ' L. Albright, Medford

What protection?

I don't particularly like conflict or polarization, but when I hear people announce their support for the Bush administration or its policies, I am both appalled and baffled. Surely we must be getting our information from different sources, or are we different species altogether?

Last month I was in front of the Jacksonville post office where some nice quiet people were enlisting support for one of the Democratic candidates, and a man drove up and yelled out, Go Bush, a man who will protect us!

Right down to the bottom of my soul, to the core of my beliefs, I am convinced that man was dead wrong, that he is misguided by his information, likely from media that expresses deceitful but effective barriers to the truth.

The Bush administration is the protagonist that promotes conditions that pollute our air, poison and sell our water, denude our forests, destroy wildlands and habitats, conditions that cripple our planet, the life source that sustains us. The Bush administration has denounced our civil rights, abuses our tax dollars, distorts scientific evidence for political gain and has military policies that have created profound insecurity for Americans.

How does one glean protection from all that? ' Robin Emmens, Jacksonville

Nixed again

The arguments against gay marriage are clich's and hyperbole to make points that have no warrant. To say it will disrupt the foundation of America and destroy the institution of marriage is absurd.

How does two people you will never see getting married at a ceremony you won't attend somehow devalue your own marriage? Which wedded couples have now been forced to divorce due to the fact that gays can now marry? Who now doesn't love their spouse as much as before because gays can marry? Marriage still seems strong to me.

If you want to protect the institution of marriage, then why don't we make a constitutional amendment to ban adultery? I guarantee that adultery has divorced more couples than gay marriage has. Or ban divorce, that splits marriages.

If people are so bigoted that they can't understand differences in other people, then they can keep it to themselves instead of pushing those views onto the people they are discriminating against. Bush has to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage, because Brown vs. Board of Education clearly said, separate is inherently unequal, so the old Constitution nixed Bush's legislative plans once again. ' Michael Stout, Ashland

Why traffic fines double

In reply to Brian Kesterson's letter published on March 7: The reason traffic fines are double in work or school zones has nothing to do with whose lives are more important. The reason such fines are double is because of the increased risk ' car meeting car on the road is a lot less risky than car meeting soft, fleshy, irreplaceable human being.

On the freeway or a public road, there are usually clear separations that keep pedestrians and vehicles from interacting. During road work, this separation is broken by necessity, leading to serious risk on the part of the people fixing our roads. In a school zone, there are a lot of children about, and face it: Kids are unpredictable at times, apt to fall or run into the road even when they know that they shouldn't.

The fines aren't doubled to enrich the city's coffers, as Mr. Kesterson so resentfully suggests ' they're to encourage drivers to pay extra attention to their your duties as a driver: Put down the cell phone, Big Mac, and latte, both hands on the wheel, and eyes up! ' Mike Ely, Talent

Not anti-Semitic

How can anyone think that Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ is anti-Semitic? Christianity is about love and forgiveness. If those who think this movie is about hating the Jews because of the awful things that happened to Jesus, think how they must have felt when the curtain at the Holy of Holies was rent in twain. I pitied them, as much as Judas, for what they had done.

The Jews are God's chosen people ' period! We as Christians love and support the Jews and the Nation of Israel. Those who hate the Jewish people are not Christians, or forgiven for their sins.

I'm not very knowledgeable about other religions, but forgiven people are not anti-Semitic and the sinners don't matter. It's What's done for God that lasts, in the end.

Please know, Jewish people of Medford, Ashland and others, we love and support you. ' Kathy Love, Medford

Donate to celebration

Eagle Point Middle School students and parents are beginning to plan their eighth-grade step-up and celebration to take place in June.

This eighth-grade class has endured more than their share. Their middle school experience has included their school burning down, starting school late, and double-shifting from noon to 6 p.m. at our high school.

They started this year at the remaining buildings on the burn site, not ever having lockers, no library, sharing a cafeteria and being in a very overcrowded building. These kids deserve a wonderful celebration for the many sacrifices they have endured.

We are asking the community for their support in donations to make this celebration one they will always remember. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, please send donations to:

Eagle Point Middle School, 477 Reese Creek Road, Eagle Point, OR 97524, Attn.: Eighth-grade step-up. Thank you. ' Jeri Marlia, Eagle Point

Growth talk bothersome

All this growth talk for Medford bothers me. An air quality expert scolds us that our opinions are silly ' that lowering the requirement will still meet federal standards. What makes him think I have any faith in federal standards, particularly after Bush's ongoing assault on environmental quality?

But, it is argued, we need jobs for our young people. I moved several times in my working life to remain employed in my chosen field. Had I wanted to remain in one place, I would have had to accommodate myself to whatever was available in that place. Aspiring executives understand that they either move when required or their advancement ends.

I am inclined to think that the rationale for running Interstate 5 smack through the middle of town could be traced to the interests of some in the business community. But those of us who have lived in places where growth eroded the quality of life are not interested in seeing the same thing happen here, at least not any more than it already has.

We will experience growth; that is a given. But we must not let those with dollar signs in their eyes dictate the rate at which it happens. ' Hartley Anderson, Medford

Knowledge first

It thoroughly irritates me when someone attempts to write authoritatively about something they have little knowledge of. A recent letter writer shared his tainted view of Christianity, and his discontent with Mel Gibson's The Passion, calling it a distorted fantasy. Apparently, Gibson knows something the writer (and his scholars) doesn't ' The Bible describes Jesus as being marred beyond human likeness (Isaiah 52). If anything, the portrayal was probably on the tame side.

As for the observation that the gospels were written a great many years afterwards; it's commonly known that there are extant manuscripts that date to the lifetimes of the eyewitnesses themselves.

The writer's dissenting letter did one good thing: it reminded me of how close we are to the culmination of that great work of redemption portrayed in the movie. The Bible informs us that it will be in the last days that scoffers come, rambling of their doubts about God's truth (in some cases, without even knowing what that truth is). And there have never been more scoffers.

I challenge the writer to actually read the Bible before making his next discourse on Christianity. Some of us believe that subject knowledge is a prerequisite to commentary. ' Mark Giuntini, Medford

Not doing our job

I was very disheartened to read that Jackson County Clerk, Kathy Beckett, received hundreds of calls in support of her decision to not allow same-sex marriage and only a couple calls in opposition to her decision. This told me that Jackson County residents who believe in justice and equality are not doing our job. We need to let Kathy Beckett know that Jackson County does not tolerate bigotry and that we are ready to set an example for the rest of the country. Please call, write, fax or e-mail Kathy Beckett ASAP. It is not too late for her to change her mind, and she needs to know that the people of Jackson County will support her when she does. Her contact info is: Kathy Beckett, County Clerk, Jackson County, Courthouse Room 216, 10 S. Oakdale, Medford, OR 97501. Phone: 541-774-6147; fax: 541-774-6714; becketks@jacksoncounty.org ' Nicole Isaacson-Hill, Medford

Location, location, location

In regard to a letter from Mike Naumes concerning the building of a Wal-Mart Supercenter at East Pine Street and Hamrick Road in Central Point:

1. The controversy that surrounds this project is mainly the location. Many of the people against the plan are not anti-Wal-Mart but are very against adding mega-traffic to an already greatly overtaxed intersection.

2. Tom Humphrey is doing the job he was hired for ' to protect and enhance the livability of the city of Central Point.

3. Mr. Naumes mentions landowners rights. There are many landowners in our area who may have only one house on 40 acres. These properties are in non-traffic problem areas. They are not allowed to add a second home, let alone a 207,000-square-foot building.

This goes to show that landowners' rights are not always fair. ' Erma Layton, Central Point

Goodman hates NASCAR

I have never read Ellen Goodman before and I will never read her again. On Feb. 23, I only read it because of the heading on NASCAR.

You can tell she hates all NASCAR fans and shows no respect for our president. It was a very exciting pre-show, it was very well planned. President Bush had been to a dinner the day before with several NASCAR people. Several drivers had gone to the White House and the president was so excited he had them park on the lawn.

The show was A Tribute To America, with units of the Armed Forces there. They presented the president with a T-shirt.

Bill Elliott was the host director and he escorted Laura Bush. Western singing stars Lee Greenwood and Leanne Rimes sang patriotic songs and the Star Spangled Banner . All of the drivers were very happy to have him there and wanted their pictures taken with him.

To write an article like she did, she evidently didn't see the start of the race. It was a very enthusiastic crowd, and they loved hearing him start the race. NASCAR is a true American sport and thousands of people follow it. ' Orpha Thumler, Central Point

A question for the ACLU

Paul Copeland's Guest Opinion in the Feb. 29 Mail Triune was interesting. I did have one question, and since Mr. Copeland did not return my phone call I made to the Southern Oregon ACLU I will throw it out to the readers of the Tribune.

Copeland stated that local high school classes were invited to learn about Islam. Was this a public high school and was it during school hours? If it was, what happened to the ACLU's stance on separation of church and state, or is it only Christian churches that have to be separate? ' Jim Fields, Central Point

Not a distorted fantasy

In response to the Distorted Fantasy letter of March 6, my name is Amy Miller, and I am a Christian. The basis of my faith is not that I will be saved from the terrible things here on Earth.

Though my body may be destroyed, my spirit will be with my creator. My faith is based on the truths of God's word, the word that states that all who come to him will not be turned away. God does not ignore or turn his back on anyone. We are the ones who decide whether we turn to or from him.

I choose to believe in a God who recently revealed himself to me in such a real way that no one could convince me that my faith was nothing more than a reverent wish or a feel-good joy ride. My faith is in a God who gave his only son as a sacrifice so that I, and anyone who believes in him, will spend eternity with him when this life is finished.

However, when it's all said and done, each person will believe what they want to believe. But woe to those who do not choose the right road. ' Amy Miller, Medford

Oak Grove not undesirable

To all the parents who are upset that their children will be moved into the boundaries of Oak Grove Elementary, which has been referred to as an undesirable school ' obviously you have never visited our school or met any of the exceptional teachers and support staff.

Yes, the test scores at Oak Grove might be lower than Jacksonville, but if they did some research of their own, they would find that unfortunately because of the economic area that some elementary schools are in not all children have the same home life and not all parents are able to be as involved as others in their child's education.

The main issue here is (or should be) that parents don't want their children to change schools. Maybe some schools have better test scores than others, but no school in our district is better than another and please don't call our school undesirable. ' Mike and Caroline Walker, Medford

How do they do that?

In response to the March 6 letter from the woman who wonders why homosexuals feel the need to impress their beliefs on others, I just wonder how two people, who she doesn't even know, or has never seen, impress their beliefs on her by getting married? Maybe getting married not even in the same state.

Do people who eat fatty foods in the comfort of their homes impress their beliefs on her? Do people who smoke or drink impress their beliefs on her simply by performing an activity that is their own choice to make?

A person who impresses their beliefs on others is someone who tells another person that they can't eat those fatty foods, who tells those people that they can't drink or smoke, or do whatever even though they have no right to tell people how to live their lives.

Homosexuals who want to get married are not in any way telling you to be gay, or wanting to impress their beliefs on you. They just want equal rights like they deserve. Like every person deserves. So don't accuse people of forcing their beliefs on you when you're the one forcing your beliefs on them. ' Courtney Hill, Medford

Teacher of the Year

I've had the pleasure of assisting with Glenna Roberts' kindergarten at Talent Elementary School, and what an experience it has been. Mrs. Roberts teaches the value of respect everyday. They learn to share and to express their feelings. They listen to Beethoven over the intercom while taking roll call. In addition, she teaches reading, letters, numbers, patterns, graphs, sign language and some Spanish.

Every child gets to be a star of the week and have their pictures on the board; they also have special duties, such as using Tinkerbelle's wand and Tinking those that are quiet so they can line up for recess or snacks. The kids go to work stations where they write a compliment for the star of the week, write a letter of the alphabet in salt, then on paper to complete the word, or work on graphs.

You may think this would be chaotic, but actually it is not. The kids use inside voices and when they don't the lights go off and everyone freezes (my grandson assures me that I can move my eyes).The passion she has for teaching and love for the children makes an unbeatable combination and I would nominate her for teacher of the year. ' Fran Moody, Talent

How we decide

I was happy to read William Carnegie's letter about how we decide. It's good to know that some people still participate in our democracy.

I'm involved in voter registration and have heard many comments like politics doesn't interest me or it doesn't matter who wins, it's all the same or politics doesn't affect me.

A few months ago, I heard Molly Ivins speak and she energized me to tell those people, of course politics affects you ' do you have children in school, do you have health insurance, do you care about the future of your community? Many of us have voiced complaints about our current administration, particularly about being made to feel unpatriotic because we may disagree with them.

Let's stop complaining and start voting! But don't stop there ' keep in touch with your representatives and let them know your concerns ' they represent you!

A little known fact is that if you haven't voted in the last two major elections or the last five years you're no longer registered. You can get a registration form at libraries, post offices, or at the county Elections Department, 1101 W. Main St., Medford. You can make a difference! ' Arlene Aron, Applegate

Not going away

What exactly is it about my lifestyle that is so offensive and threatening to those people opposed to legalizing same-sex unions? The fact that I work seven days a week (over 14 hours a day) to pay taxes that support your children's education, your elderly parent's health care and help maintain your lifestyle when you are sick or injured? The fact that no child of mine will ever attend the very institutions I help to maintain?

The fact that in the event I am ever sick or injured, my same-sex partner has no legal right to make any decisions regarding my care? And when I die, the state gets to decide what becomes of my earthly body and possessions?

In this present climate of economic uncertainty, corporate corruption and very real threats and acts of terrorism, who I love and share my life with should be the furthest threat from your mind. And frankly, it's none of your business. You cannot continue to oppress us. We are here and we are not going away. ' Gwin Demateo, Phoenix