Amend this amendment

The English language is a very precise language. When it is written to form a sentence, all of the words in the sentence are taken together to give the meaning(s) of the sentence.

Readers of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution who focus on the words “… the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” because they are contained in the independent clause (a clause that contains both a subject and a verb) of the sentence while ignoring the other words because they are contained in a dependent clause (a clause lacking either a subject or a verb) are grasping at straws in the defense of their reading of the amendment.

Again, the right to “keep and bear arms” as written in the Second Amendment links this right to “a well-regulated militia ... ,” and you don’t get to ignore those words because they change the meaning of the sentence from what you would like it to be.

As readers, we bring our own preconceptions to our understanding of what we read. And if you believe you should have a right to go armed in public, then that’s the meaning you will find in the Second Amendment.

However, if you are a close reader and are willing to let all of the words of the sentence give meaning regardless of your preconceptions, then you will find the meaning of the Second Amendment elusive. ...

In my opinion, the Second Amendment wants an unambiguous rewrite.

Tymothy Park


More is not better

Physical scientists have known for a century and a half that our planet would be uninhabitably cold if there weren’t a few parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Unimpeded infrared (heat) radiation from land and water would exceed the energy received from the sun, which is mostly in the form of visible light, until the surface temperature of the planet was cooled to well below freezing. But that a little bit is necessary does not mean that more is better.

At present, there are about 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the air, and average air temperatures over the planet will rise more than they have already. This is a prediction based on scientific observation and logic. It is not based on politics in any way.

Sorry, Varnel Williams (Tribune, Oct. 1) and many other Republicans, but the world is what it is, not what you would wish it to be. Fossil fuels cause real problems.

Don Matteson


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