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Letters 6/1/09

- June 1st, 2009
Guns in our parks
Thank heaven for the National Rifle Association! The vigilant guardians of our Second Amendment rights, with their gentle persuasiveness, have impelled both houses of Congress to attach an amendment to the Credit Card Reform Act, giving those of us duly licensed to carry guns the right to do so in our National Parks. This will give us who cherish those parks a renewed sense of serenity during our visits.
I’ve been visiting those parks for nigh on to 50 years now. Those visits were always accompanied by a vague sense of disquiet, as I couldn’t bring my Glock 9mm with me. But now, the Park Ranger who tells me and my buddies to quiet down around the campfire while we hoist a few tall ones and share stories and laughs will have to mind his manners. No longer will we have to accede to his wishes so obsequiously. Giving him a glimpse of that semi-automatic strapped to my thigh will discourage his temerity.
And on those occasions when I have my grandchildren with me at a campsite, I’ll be able to defend them from the predations of any rabid chipmunk who noses around our larder. If Yogi Bear comes roaming around looking for our picnic basket, he’ll wind up eating hot lead. And in the park restaurants, when I tell permissive parents to get their squalling brats to shut up so we can eat in peace, they’ll be a lot less likely to remonstrate with me once they see that I’m packing.
Thanks to the NRA for once again demonstrating who really calls the shots in our democracy!

William Heil • Petoskey

Public safety & pot
As a retired Bath Township (near Lansing) police detective, I can only add one other element to the excellent analysis of Robert Downes and the issue of marijuana prohibition; namely how public safety would be improved by implementing a system of legal, regulated and taxed marijuana sales.
As my colleagues stop chasing kids & spending tens of thousands of hours looking for the baggie of pot under a front seat, DUI arrests will go up and drunk driving related accidents will go down. Detectives will have more time to seek and arrest more rapists and those who possess child pornography.
Marijuana prohibition reduces public safety period. If one day you have a drug problem, see a doctor not a judge.

Officer Howard Wooldridge (retired)
Education Specialist, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Washington, DC

Get real
Re: “Tax Revenues & Marijuana,“ Random Thoughts:
Mr. Downes I like the thought, but get real. California will lead the country to the legalization of marijuana and we all know it.
Realize from the failed attempt at probation that you cannot legislate or incarcerate morality into the populace. Alcohol is the true “Jekyll and Hyde” drug.
The drug laws, as they stand now, are too lucrative to the government for them to allow much of a change. The seizure and sale of property is big business for them. Morality is built in the trilogy of the community home, school, and church. These days none of them are getting the job done. People are going to satisfy their vices no matter what the consequences are. As you said, just look at gambling now.
If consumers exist, the market will fill their wants. It is clear that both pot and prostitution are going to happen so why not legalize, tax, and control both? The revenue return would be enormous. Those who get stoned or drunk -- at work or behind the wheel -- would still find their actions leading to jail or termination.

Michael H. MacCready • Manton



 
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