The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current, October 17, 2015, Image 4

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❘ OCTOBER 17, 2015
Siuslaw News
❘ 541-902-3520 ❘
P.O. Box 10
Florence, OR 97439
Guest Viewpoint
’ll begin with my disclosures: Me and
guns/gun culture: I was raised to be a
hunter. I have owned several shotguns
and a rifle over the course of my life-time,
destroyed by me when I was done with
hunting. I am currently in possession of a
gun that is not mine. I was a member of
the NRA because of a hunter safety pro-
gram briefly prior to turning 18 in 1970 —
after that I wasn’t interested in what they
were about.
Me and religion: I was raised in the
Christian religion, in the denomination
called the Society of Friends, aka Quakers,
Christians who take Jesus’ words to mean
what they say: we are to love our enemies,
to turn the other cheek, to do good to those
who despitefully use us. I was taught to
understand the creation narrative of
Genesis and the Ten Commandments to
mean that anything designed for or used as
a weapon against another person is a mis-
use of the creation and therefore evil, that
to put trust in weapons is idolatry.
So it has been hard for me to listen to
people, who most vocally identify them-
selves as Christian, locally this last week
criticizing the president on his visit
to our state. I heard more voices in
outrage over his efforts to change
the “gun business-as-usual” than to
share his grief at the growing mass
of victims of such weapons, and
these recent ones so close to our
home. So who is it that is using
this incident for political gain? This
defense of the mass private stockpiling and
escalation of citizens arms, and their con-
stitutional rights to do so, than even in
calling time out on the weapons sales that
have profited just who, exactly?
It has been hard for me as a mail carrier
the past six years or so to deliver the kind
of mean-spirited, blatantly anti-Obama, and
fear mongering mailings that go to mem-
bers of the NRA. While not privy to the
inner contents of these, I cannot help but
notice what is written all over the outside.
Yet I never see any of it marked refused, or
fewer local households receiving it. How
safe am I supposed to feel ringing the door-
bells of these households to conduct postal
business, walking past the declarations that
I am now in someone’s gunsights? It is hard
for me to be friendly with people who are
this armed, this afraid, this melded to their
right to be dangerous.
I wound up in possession of the shotgun
I have at my house because its owner did
not trust himself to have it at hand. He was
going through a difficult period, and now
years have gone by. I have had times in my
life when I was a danger to myself and
others. Or when safeguards became inade-
quate between dangerous things in my pos-
session and the children it was my respon-
sibility to protect. Probably most people
fall short in this regard at one time or
another. Be it substances, hardship, acci-
dent or just life, more weapons mean more
chances for something to go wrong.
Simple math.
And not just a few more weapons. If you
want to view some simple math, look at
the website of the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Under
“Resources” can be found the 2015 Annual
Statistical Update of Firearms Commerce
in the United States. The numbers are stag-
gering. One little gem: last year we import-
ed about 2 million handguns from the coun-
tries we were at war with in 1945.
If you add together guns manufactured in
the United States and those we import, you
can see that when Obama was re-elected
and the NRA rhetoric really spiked, 2013
saw an unprecedented 16.4 million new
guns in this country, almost triple the aver-
age during the Bush post-9/11 years.
The year 2014 was undoubtedly higher
still, but the Bureau cannot legally report
these figures until after Dec. 31 to protect
manufacturer’s proprietary secrets under
the Trade Secrets Act. We have passed the
100 million mark this century, 60 percent
of those since Obama became president.
Depraved. Inhuman.
The opinion expressed above is solely that
of the contributor and does not necessarily
reflect the views of the Siuslaw News.
The History Channel
• On Oct. 25, 1853, Paiute Indians attack
U.S. Army Capt. John W. Gunnison and his
party of 37 soldiers and railroad surveyors in
Utah. Gunnison and seven other men were
killed, but the survey party continued its work
to find a route for a proposed transcontinental
• On Oct. 24, 1901, seeking fame, 63-year-
old schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor becomes
the first person to plunge over Niagara Falls in
a barrel. After a brief flurry of photo-ops and
speaking engagements, Taylor’s fame cooled,
and she was unable to make the fortune she had
• On Oct. 23, 1921, in France, an American
officer selects the casket of an unidentified sol-
dier to be honored among the 77,000 U.S. ser-
vicemen killed in World War I. The “Unknown
Soldier” was buried in Arlington National
• On Oct. 22, 1965, President Lyndon
Johnson signs the Highway Beautification Act,
which attempts to limit billboards and other
forms of outdoor advertising along America’s
• On Oct. 20, 1973, Solicitor General Robert
Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor
Archibald Cox, whose investigation of the
Watergate break-in revealed that the burglary
was one of many possible abuses of power by
the Nixon White House. Two days later, the
House Judiciary Committee began to consider
the possible impeachment of President Richard
• On Oct. 21, 1988, “Mystic Pizza,” a
romantic comedy starring unknown actress
Julia Roberts, opens in theaters. Roberts would
skyrocket to international fame when she
appeared in the 1990 blockbuster “Pretty
• On Oct. 19, 1991, a fire starts in the hills of
Oakland, California, and within an hour, 800
buildings are ablaze. The firestorm would kill
25 people and destroy thousands of homes.
Even though fires had ravaged the same area in
1970 and 1980, people continued to build
homes there.
(c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
Time to take action
Eugene’s foxy-biased TV and
radio stations pulled off the ulti-
mate embarrassment to this state
by exploiting their right-leaning
philosophies on the air during the
Umpqua Community College
They gave excess and unneces-
sary visual time to the gun hug-
gers and Roseburg tea-party-
types, making sure the “don’t
tread on me” flag was displayed
during all advertising and news
programs, plus showing their
eight to 10 demonstrators. All this
after the sheriff and city officials
respectfully asked for no politi-
cal-type action when the
President announced he was
coming to Roseburg.
Because of this tragedy, gun
huggers like Trump and Carson
suggested we hand out guns to 5
million teachers and 45 million
students in our high schools and
Does the gun hugger commu-
nity really believe that adding 50
million guns to primarily stressed
out, emotional teens will lower
the amount of shootings or safe-
guard our classrooms? In Oregon
alone that could possibly mean
605,545 more guns in our
schools. It has been proven that
the opposite would be true.
I suggest the politicians that
run our cities, counties and states
get together and figure out what
might really help and start taking
some actions together that would
be beneficial. Taking gun sales
out of our grocery stores would
be a good starting point.
Gene Olson
Supreme Court
Amid all the controversy sur-
rounding the recent Supreme
Court decision on gay marriage
(Obergefell et al. v. Hodges,
Director, Ohio Department of
Health, et al.) and the resulting
expressions of outrage —
activist judges writing law, etc.
— I thought it might be a good
idea to actually read the entire
Because of my now 18-year
marital association with a very
good lawyer, I’ve learned there
is almost always a lot more
value in the reality than in the
It is an extensive read, run-
ning to about 100 pages, some
36,000 words, but I think a
worthwhile effort. I read it not
to find support for my personal
bias but to try and assess the
depth of the legal issues
involved and the sincerity of the
What I came away with,
regardless of my agreement with
one side or the other, is the
absolute sense that this is the
only way serious decisions can
be made in a free society.
Someone has to do it!
We empower nine honorable
people of exceptional capacity
to examine an issue from every
reasonable angle and come to a
decision adopted by a majority
Without bias? Of course not.
There is no such thing as a
human being without bias.
But still, in a free society,
how better could it be done?
Jimmie Zinn
The Siuslaw News welcomes letters to
the editor concerning issues affecting the
Florence area and Lane County.
Emailed letters are preferred. Handwritten
or typed letters must be signed. All letters
should be limited to about 300 words and
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is not guaranteed and depends on space
available and the volume of letters received.
Libelous and anonymous letters as well
as poetry will not be published.
All submissions become the property of
Siuslaw News and will not be returned.
Write to:
USPS# 497-660 Copyright 2015 © Siuslaw News
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Published every Wednesday and Saturday at 148 Maple St. in Florence, Lane County, Oregon. A member of the National
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Postmaster, send address changes to: Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439; phone 541-997-3441; fax
541-997-7979. All press releases may be sent to
Pres. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
TTY/TDD Comments: 202-456-6213
Gov. Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court St.
Salem, OR 97301-4047
Governor’s Citizens’ Rep.
Message Line 503-378-4582
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
FAX: 503-986-1080
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-3753/FAX: 202-228-3997
State Rep. Caddy McKeown
(Dist. 9)
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (4th Dist.)
2134 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
202-225-6416/ 800-944-9603
541-269-2609/ 541-465-6732
State Sen. Arnie Roblan (Dist. 5)
900 Court St. NE - S-417
Salem, OR 97301
West Lane County Commissioner
Jay Bozievich
125 E. Eighth St.
Eugene, OR 97401
FAX: 541-682-4616