Letters: A double-edged sword

Johnson City Press • Jan 17, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

A double-edged sword

I was heartened to read that the Washington County commissioners are passing a Second Amendment resolution to affirm the constitutional right to bear arms. While I myself am a gun owner, I recognize that not everyone can afford a fine $1,700 Beretta shotgun, so I appeal to the commissioners to specifically recognize and affirm that folks from the lower socioeconomic levels also have the "Right to Bear Arms."

In the Second Amendment, "arms" does not refer solely to firearms or commercial firearms, but to any personal weapon deemed to provide security and personal protection.

"Arms" is not just about guns. Whenever restrictions are placed on length or width of personal blades, for example, our Second Amendment rights are violated. Personal weaponry such as swords, machetes, or shuriken should also be given protections under Second Amendment rights. I applaud the commissioners' Second Amendment sensibilities, but I appeal to them to expand their resolution to recognize all "arms" rights, not just the weapons of those fortunate enough to be able to afford firearms and ammunition.

Johnson City

Gun sanctuaries aren’t safe

The Washington County Commission’s Public Safety Committee approved a version of a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” resolution, as the Press reported on Jan. 10. Recommended by Commissioner Kent Harris, it is phrased in terms of the commission’s general “duty to defend the Constitution of the United States of America” and citizens’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

One may question the wisdom of such action, though, relative to the at least equally important and fundamental right of citizens to be safe in public spaces and institutions. Every citizen should be able to go about his or her ordinary tasks — to stores and restaurants and churches, to parks and concerts and public buildings, and the children to their schools — without danger of being shot by the next person exercising his “constitutionally guaranteed right” to bear and use any type of weapon, for any purpose.

We learned through the Associated Press in December that the prevalence of mass killings with guns “hit a new record in 2019.” They are undoubtedly facilitated by constant gun sales advertising and nearly unrestricted access to these.

The background check system has numerous loopholes and buying guns is far too easy. Private or internet sellers and many others are not required to vet the purchasers. An American medical journal reported in 2017 that more than one in five of U.S. gun owners acquired their most recent firearm without any background check whatsoever.

Rather than passing the Sanctuary Resolution, the Public Safety Committee should establish what actual benefits Washington County citizens receive from indiscriminate gun possession, versus the real and daily risk effects from it.


Speed cameras target lawbreakers

Really Timothy? Unmanned speed cameras are frivolous, unnecessary and burdensome technology etc?

This technology is only burdensome for those who speed and get an automatic ticket. Where did you get your information when you stated, “Additionally, safety studies have suggested there was no benefit from the use of these cameras as a method of improving overall safety.” The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has found that speed cameras do reduce serious accidents, which is why Bluff City installed the cameras in the first place.


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