Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Feb. 15

Gun rights date back centuries

From the 1689 English Bill of Rights: “The subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their condition, and as allowed by law.”

From the 1791 American Bill of Rights: “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.”

“... In keeping with colonial precedent, the American article broadened the English protection — (before) restrictions had limited the right to have arms ... as allowed by law. Americans swept aside these limitations,” from “To Keep And Bear Arms.”

“The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could ... be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint upon both,” said President George Washington’s choice for first attorney general, William Rawle.

“The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed or broken in upon, in the smallest degree. ... (Any) law, state or federal, repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right ...” Nunn versus State 1 Ga. 243 (1846)


We need a single-payer system

It is unconscionable that the health care option that polls have shown to be the most preferred in America — the most popular option in the industrialized world — the option statistically proven to provide the greatest benefits for the lowest costs, is not even permitted on the agenda for debate in Congress.

Of course, I’m talking about single-payer.

It works in Canada, and people up there are very happy with it.

It is most easily characterized as Medicare for everyone. You still pick your doctor, but the government (i.e., one BIG pool) pays the bill.

What’s not to like?

Well, for starters, no more obscene profits for the insurance industry. And that’s enough to kill it before it’s even brought to the table.

It’s time for Congress and the administration to put people ahead of corporate profits. If they won’t, it’s time for we the people to get serious about replacing the corporate folks (and we know who you are, fellas) with genuine public servants.

This last run at health care reform was an embarrassing debacle. But it surely proves that the system is completely corrupt at the top. Big business owns it, and the right-wing propaganda machine it bankrolls can bring out legions of screaming individuals whenever a politician dares to question the corporate bipartisan consensus.

We have one party to serve the rich, and one to confuse the poor. Whichever one we the people have to steal back from the corporations, let’s get it done, now!


Don’t cut child care subsidy program

With all the talk about unemployment and the importance of early learning, the proposed cuts to the Working Connections Child Care program make no sense. WCCC helps families pay for child care, keep their jobs and avoid welfare — especially in poor communities. It also helps small child care businesses keep their doors open.

Even though WCCC is funded primarily with federal funds, the governor’s December budget proposes a cut of $88.5 million. The governor’s “buy back list” reduces the cut, but even this proposal denies services to eligible families.

These proposals mean that a family with two children and income as low as 130 percent of federal poverty level might be denied services. On WCCC, this family pays $50 toward the cost of child care. This family’s child care bill would go to an average of $1,177 or 59 percent of their gross income (for a toddler and school-age child).

As someone who raised three children as a single parent, much of the time I was a sick child, a car break-down or a lost shoe away from things falling apart. Research now backs up the vulnerability of low-income working families — and the importance of quality early learning for their children. For many families, losing WCCC will result in failed child care arrangements, job loss, and possibly a return to welfare. This is short-sighted and will cost us in the long run. We must better in our support to working families — especially at this point in an economic recession.


Don’t slight fallen soldiers

I grieved with all of Washington state at the deaths of fallen police officers, especially the last six. I am also aware that most of our anger is because of the senselessness of their deaths.

I do not want to deflect from their untimely passing, but am saddened when I perceive disrespect to our fallen military personnel. Their deaths and sacrifices are reported on pages 3 and beyond, if at all. Their loss of life and limb is no less sacred and grief of their loved ones, no less painful than those of the police force.

Branches of the service are acutely aware of the dangers they face, so let us not elevate one over the other. Please give our military fallen the same courtesy and respect. Please remind your readers why the flag is quite often being hung at half staff.