Sounding off: How about a new amendment to protect all life?
I begin by pointing out what common sense tells us — that even after the tragedies of this month, a constitutional repeal of the Second Amendment would never pass. Too many conservatives would oppose it. It would have the same chance of passing as a constitutional amendment to reverse Roe v. Wade. Too many liberals would oppose it.
But what about an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would, at the same time, overturn them both? Might not the vast majority of Americans not on either fringe be willing to trade our status quo for this new hope?
Now seems like the right time for making such a radical proposal, a proposal with the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year, and furthermore, greatly reduce the ever-growing fear Americans now have to gather in public places.
Here is what such an amendment might look like:
THE PROTECTION OF ALL LIFE AMENDMENT
Given that all life is sacred and must be protected, be it enacted that:
Abortion in any form will no longer be permitted or allowed in these United States; and
The right to “bear arms” found in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is hereby repealed.
Patrick Malley, Trafford
Gun owners must stand against heinous crimes
What is now happening in our country is tragic. All too often there are people trying to make a statement through violence. Individuals now feel it is heroic to gun down innocent people — 22 in El Paso and nine in Ohio in one weekend.
The catalysts for this are too great to ponder in this short letter, but there is a glaring apathy present in this “Dodge City” environment. Why are the law-abiding gun owners silent instead of standing against these horrendous acts? This inaction sends a signal that these mass murders are simply a byproduct of the Second Amendment instead of the heinous crimes that they are.
Gun owners need to stand with everyone against this murderous behavior or they have no credibility to protect the right to own a gun. If you don’t speak out, gun violence and gun ownership will become synonymous and you will not have a leg to stand on.
Deborah Rizzo, West Deer
Let’s try posting the Ten Commandments
The recent rash of mass shootings once again stimulates the knee-jerk reaction to ban semiautomatic and other guns without any observation of the moral breakdown in our society that may be contributing to such violent behavior.
There are signs posted in schools and government buildings banning guns and noting gun-free zones. I believe they have proven useless and are unconstitutionally banning the right for a citizen to bear arms.
Yet, the Ten Commandments are banned in public schools and government buildings — despite the Constitution specifically stating that there shall be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
Imagine if smokers around the country got the ACLU to ban “no smoking” signs. Wouldn’t that send a message to smokers everywhere that they can go ahead and light up? Instead, we have banned the moral code that tells our kids not to lie, cheat, steal or murder. What message does that send?
The reason the Constitution included the right to bear arms was not for the sake of hunters, but rather to protect citizens from a ruthless, powerful and unopposed government. Frankly, I am not sure what is more fearful — the unopposed powerful government bureaucrats, or the crazed psychopaths.
Joel I. Last, Greensburg
Gays, blacks, reparations
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has added to her platform a proposal to “pay reparations to gays” on the grounds that, prior to being allowed to marry, LGBT couples had to file separate tax returns and thus pay more in taxes.
Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, would presumably be eligible for these payments.
Many of the Democratic candidates, including Buttigieg, have endorsed payments to African-Americans as reparations for slavery.
Buttigieg has also apologized publicly (and profusely) for his “white privilege.”
Buttigieg and his husband (also white) would in theory receive reparations for being gay, but make payments for their white privilege. (Ya follow?)
CNN anchor Don Lemon and actor Jussie Smollett, both of whom are black and gay, would theoretically receive two payments — one for each injustice. But then they’d both be rich, and many of the Democratic candidates have pledged to “tax the rich”!
Warren is rich, and also claims to be “of Cherokee Indian descent” (when it serves her). There is documented historical evidence (source: Smithsonian Institution) that the Cherokee once owned black slaves (160 years ago), so Warren would have to pay up there for “economic justice” (Still with me?).
Welcome to Liberal La La Land — no plans for economic growth, just denounce each other and chisel off extortion payments.
I’d bet that the final formula will be, like all the socialist party bosses of the last 100 years have done, a recipe for dictatorship — pass lots of rules and regulations but only enforce them on your opponents; the boss and her friends get exempted from rules.
C. Colpo, Burgettstown
Why can’t we work together on shootings?
Disbelief. Terror. Shame.
These are some of the feelings which we as Americans are becoming used to. How often do we tune in to find out that there has been another mass shooting event? How many occurrences before we take action? When will we come to an agreement on taking preventative measures to prevent these all-too-common events of mass violence? Most importantly, why are our differences in opinions so extreme and so unwavering that we are incapable of working together and coming up with a lifesaving solution?
Whether it is a matter of stubbornness or pride, countless lives have been ended and many more have been destroyed in situations that were largely preventable. According to most sources, a mass shooting is defined as a shooting event in which four or more individuals are killed or injured in a single setting. This definition is not, however, used across the board, which is why you will see the count of mass shootings since Sandy Hook range anywhere from 43 to 1,962. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been 142 shootings that took place at schools since the shooting at Sandy Hook in December 2012.
Until we are capable of putting aside our differences, admitting that there is an issue, and work together to formulate a solution, there is nothing preventing these shooting events from happening.
My deepest sympathies go out to all of those who have suffered.
Haley E. Sullivan, Verona
Mueller did not exonerate Trump
Regarding Rep. Guy Reschenthaler’s op-ed “Mueller show’s over; it’s time to move on”: Robert Mueller does not do “shows.” He investigates and makes recommendations to courts, Congress and the Department of Justice.
Mueller did not exonerate Donald Trump of collusion. As a former JAG officer, you, Mr. Reschenthaler, certainly know that collusion is not a legal term and therefore a person would not be charged or exonerated.
Mueller did not clear Trump of obstruction of justice. He wrote and testified that he did not make that determination because of the DOJ policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Mueller was tasked with determining if the Russians interfered in our 2016 election, and it is clear that they did. Congress has a duty to secure our elections, but you, Mr. Reschenthaler, voted against the House bill to do just that. Mueller cited numerous times that Trump and his campaign were in contact with Russian operatives and numerous times Trump tried to obstruct the investigation of himself.
Congress must use the Mueller report to determine if the president conspired to obstruct justice. If Trump is innocent and wants the country to move on, he should be encouraging his advisers to respond to congressional subpoenas and provide all emails and memos to exonerate himself.
Congress has a duty to investigate. Trump should want to put all his evidence on record. He will either exonerate himself or indict himself. Only then, Mr. Reschenthaler, can the country move on.
Renalda Arndt, South Huntingdon