Ban instruments of death

We continue to have mass shootings in this country and Congress continues to do nothing about it.

Congress talks about instituting better background checks and putting more money into mental health. But the real problem is simply the availability of high-powered, fast-shooting rifles that are used to kill many people in a short time. Until these instruments of death are eliminated from our civilian population, mass shootings will continue.

The National Rifle Association will argue this is a violation of the Second Amendment but there is nothing in the Second Amendment that guarantees the right to possess semi-automatic rifles.

However, we will never get the current Congress to pass a law that outlaws the possession of these rifles. It is therefore imperative we elect members to Congress who will vote for it.

I hereby pledge not to vote for any candidate who takes money from the NRA or does not commit to supporting this specific legislation.

Robert Baker

Clarkston

Not tree-huggers

I was horrified at the Associated Press article in the Lewiston Tribune about the destruction of our beautiful and so much-needed juniper forests here in the West — especially since the sage grouse are not endangered in any way, by any stretch of the imagination.

Your government is destroying thousands of trees that our environment needs.

These trees provide food and shelter for many wildlife species (coyotes, fox, birds and porcupines, to name a few), including the sage grouse.

I have talked to many ranchers who live in the high desert (and I have lived and hunted there myself for many years), and they will tell you, “These birds are not endangered at all.”

And who would know best? The people who live there.

One rancher I talked to told me that the government employees showed up at his door wanting his assistance to count the birds to determine population levels. He told them they would need to be at his place at 7 a.m. the next morning and he would take them to where the grouse come to water.

Well, they didn’t show up until 10 a.m.

What does that tell you about the accuracy of their determination of the populations of the sage grouse?

Not only is the destruction of these trees detrimental to the wildlife, it also is contributing to the climate change problem our Earth has.

Trees provide protection against erosion and heat.

Where are the people who love trees when we need them?

Chris Alexander

Clarkston

Safeguarding elections

I appreciate Robert Mason’s concern for the integrity of our elections and agree that security means “We the People” elect our government representatives, not Russia, China, Iran or any other technocracy that supports kleptocracy.

It’s amazing that paper ballot backups can thwart the hackers the old fashioned way.

But that means “Moscow Mitch” McConnell needs to move legislation to the Senate floor.

I urge you to find your favorite digital device and research the white papers released on May 19 by our Department of Defense describing the strategic intentions of hostile foreign countries. Russia was at top of the list.

One of Russia’s top priorities is to build businesses in distressed parts of our United States — such as Moscow Mitch’s Kentucky — and influence folks and how they vote for government officials.

It causes inquiring minds to wonder why the Senate leader blocked a bipartisan denial of releasing sanctions on Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is now building the largest aluminium plant in the USA in Kentucky.

And won’t pass election security.

Mr. Mason, expediency is irrelevant. If you are registered to vote, you need to understand your vote counts and want to help with integrity.

Go to secureourvote.us/take-action, a nonpartisan group.

Gloria Haegelin

Clarkston

More to come

Thank you for sharing my letter from last month and for continuing to offer insight on the issue of outsourcing Idaho corrections to a Florida-based company operating on the Mexican border. Since I last wrote, I have posted an update titled “Developing a method of civil dissent” to bookofirving82431.com. As an information distribution specialist, you may appreciate my makeshift effort.

Patrick Irving

Boise

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