No right to shoot up state forest
To those of whom are all getting their backs up about someone expressing an opinion about banning shooting in the Capitol State Forest that they feel threatens their Second Amendment rights, I say this: Nothing in the amendment says you can shoot those weapons anywhere, any time you like.
Furthermore, the simple existence of public property does not give one license to shoot while upon it.
Their access to the forest is a privilege, not a right, much as driving a vehicle in this state is a privilege.
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There is a reason the private landowners in Washington have closed most public access to their land — vandalism and abuse from the public users.
Using Texas as an example of a state with scant public property yet prolific gun ownership, this issue never comes up. Imagine walking onto a ranch owner’s private road and using it as a garbage-strewn shooting gallery. You would likely see your Second Amendment in live action, courtesy of the ranch owner.
If you must shoot that gun, do it on your own property, or use a regulated shooting range.
MARSHALL OATMAN, Olympia
State can open transportation market
I write in response to the publisher’s column “South Sound can help lead the way toward a green economy.”
As a Libertarian and someone who is concerned about the degradation of the environment may I suggest that there are things we can do to improve the situation that may not require any significant tax expenditures.
The government needs to do its part and in many cases that requires removing legal barriers erected by the government in the first place.
Some researchers have suggested that we could reduce CO2 emissions significantly by opening the transportation market to alternatives such as jitneys and ride-sharing cabs that provide door to door services. Licensing laws and regulations in many American cities make it difficult, if not impossible, to own and operate a private urban transportation business.
We might also find that we can reduce our energy consumption and help low income people at the same time without investing tax dollars. A federal government report published by the National Academies in 1999 noted, “The lack of personal mobility has economic, social and human costs, such as higher unemployment, reduced tax revenue, greater welfare and medical costs, and limited social potential.”
Washington state could be a leader by reviewing regulations and laws currently on the books and repealing those that restrict transportation alternatives. Opening the transportation market to alternative business models could go a long way toward improving ambient air quality as well as the lives of many people.
MICHAEL H. WILSON, Olympia
Our health care system is flawed
I have read in several letters how one would not receive proper medical service if we had national health coverage and how it would take weeks to have an operation if one is needed.
Let me set people straight.
I personally know of several people who are U.S. citizens and leave this country whenever they need major medical treatment.
One person lives in Wisconsin and has no medical insurance. He needed an operation but couldn’t afford treatment here in the United States so he went to Canada. He told them that he was a U.S. citizen with no health insurance.
The Canadians said, “No problem.” He did have to pay $800. That was the total bill.
It paid for the doctors, hospital, medicine and all follow-up exams.
I also know a woman who has dual citizenship. She says there’s no way she would ever consider being treated here in the United States. She told me she has no idea what people are talking about when they say there are long waiting times to receive medical treatment.
I also know of six people who have health and dental insurance, but whenever they need dental care such as a bridge, crown, cap or other expensive dental care, they all go to Algodones, Mexico.
They say that with all the money they save, it’s like getting a free vacation.
Please don’t tell me we have the best health care when people are going to foreign countries to get medical treatment.
JOHN THOMAS, Olympia
Builders lead on ‘green’ construction
I was a little surprised by the column that Olympian publisher George Le Masurier wrote entitled “South Sound can help lead the way toward a green economy.”
“Can help lead” may not be the right words in some cases; “leads the way” would have been more accurate in at least one.
The case in point is the Olympia Master Builders which won two national prizes awarded in 2005 by the National Association of Home Builders. The rewards were given for OMB’s efforts in combining both green building and low impact development in one promotion, the first time by any building organization in the country.
By the way, the driving force as an OMB member in this accomplishment was Karen McClennen, then and now an employee of The Olympian. Perhaps that omission was simply modesty on Le Masurier’s part.
DOUG DEFOREST, Olympia