Letters to the Editor for March 14, 2019

Post-Record looking like ‘local propaganda arm’ of ‘far left media’

I had to laugh at this departure from reality regarding the Feb. 21, 2019, opinion article about the “far right” fire. If, as the editor of this paper, your job is to inform and educate the readers, you have failed at that. First and foremost, we live in a Constitutional Republic, which means our individual rights are protected from the mob and government. Although (Initiative) 1639 was passed, it is in direct conflict with the Washington State and U.S. Constitutions and will lose in court. Our federal and state constitutions protect individual rights over mob rule. And, per our Constitutions, any group can protest against such a left-wing overreach. And, when has protesting for the Constitution become a bad thing? Additionally, your appeal to authority argument, by quoting all those left wing news sources and ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) is a classic fallacious argument. All of the entities you have quoted are compromised by their left wing bias.

Sadly, your article lacks a counter-argument, and it ignores the violent and costly protests just across the river by the Portland Antifa groups, which started right after the election two years ago. It is they who started the fire, and your article totally ignores their contribution to violent protest in the Pacific Northwest. Ironically, you failed to point out the deranged violent leftists that shot Republican senators and representatives practicing for a baseball game. The examples of left wing violence are left out of your opinion article, undoubtedly because it doesn’t fit the leftist narrative. No, the paper is looking more like the local propaganda arm of the Democratic National Committee and far left media than a local newspaper with the intent to educate and inform their readers.

Kevin Sudbeck, Camas

Expect city to obey law, reject Patriot Prayer resolution

My comment is pointed to the front page of today’s edition, Feb. 28, 2019, of The Post-Record, “Washougal urged to be gun-rights sanctuary.”

I am a law-abiding resident of the city of Washougal for the past 12 years. I am also a gun owner, enthusiast, hunter and shooter and have been since I was a teenager growing up in Hillsboro, Oregon. I grew up hunting and learned the valuable safety lessons that comes with the responsibility of owning a gun. All of my guns when not in use are locked up in a safe. I also have served my country in the U.S. Navy, serving during the Vietnam Era, and spent time in a combat situation during the Arab-Israeli War of 1973, serving in HC-2, a Helicopter Combat Support Squadron aboard aircraft carriers primarily. I also mounted an unsuccessful attempt to run for the Washington Legislature in 2014 … and was very proud to do so.

I was present during the city council meeting where the Patriot Prayer group made their statement to the council. I was not aware there was to be any special presentation made that night. I often attend city council meetings merely to show support for my city and to keep abreast of what is going on where I live.

I-1639 is now a law of the state of Washington. It was passed with the popular vote of the people. As with any law from my state, local municipality or federal law, I obey. It is required of me to obey. It is my responsibility to obey. I did not say I always agree with any certain law and if I truly object there are ways to object and that might include a lawsuit filed in the proper jurisdiction and to the appropriate authority. But this does not give me any kind of right not to obey.

The United States is a nation of laws. Our Constitution is there, along with all of the 27 Amendments, to help guide all of us to live our lives with liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. I have always deferred to the authority in my life and the laws that govern me. I believe all people should seek to obey all laws and if need be to approach any law but in the proper jurisdiction and in the proper means. I do not believe people should act upon their own views of laws to suit themselves.

I fully expect my city of Washougal, after a thoughtful and respectful deliberation, to not vote in favor of the Resolution, which in part is not to obey the law. I do respect the opinions of others. I do not respect anyone or organization who flagrantly disobeys laws.

Mike Briggs, Washougal

Objective reporting beats editorial opinion

I was struck by the glaring difference between Dawn Feldhaus’ smooth, professional and objective description of the City Council meeting where Second Amendment supporters made their case to have Washougal named a “Second Amendment sanctuary city” (Camas-Washougal Post-Record, Feb 28, 2019) and the Record editorial regarding the “far right” (Camas-Washougal Post-Record, Feb 21, 2019).

To be fair, the editorial staff was caught in an ideological crossfire between the use of a somewhat vicious stereotype popularized in the left-leaning mainstream press and a local readership which feels betrayed that their own newspaper would apply the term, “far right,” to them merely because they express strong concerns about gun control legislation. It is understandable that feelings could run high on both sides of the issue, but it seems to me that the Record editorial staff really missed the opportunity to produce an educational opinion column in the elegant reporting style of Ms. Feldhaus’ article.

The Record could have used the occasion to offer a mild mea culpa and acknowledge that the term “far right” can be pejorative, but was actually meant by the Record in the general sense of political conservatism, not in the specific sense that every political conservative is a potential terrorist. The Record could have used the occasion to resist the modern political polarization which completely flips the original intent of “E Pluribus Unum” and, instead, suggest that there probably isn’t much difference among Americans on what they want out of life, only the attainment method differs. And perhaps illustrate a couple of methods to round out the lesson. Or the Record might have shown their readership some consideration by pointing out that armed conflict, whether justified or not, carries a terrible price that everyone pays, and use the point to caution all sides against taking extreme positions.

But the Record chose a different tack, and the result was very disappointing. Disappointing that the choice was not moderation and reasoned discussion of two sides of a complex cultural problem, but instead to obstinately invoke an accusatory litany of anti-gun fear mongering and victimhood like we already see and hear 24/7 in the mainstream media. I can’t imagine a better way to infuriate a sizeable population of your readers.

Lee Howard, Washougal

Congresswoman ‘cherry picks’ gun deaths study

In 2016 firearms killed 38,658 people in the United States according to a recent study. The House this past week passed HR-8, bipartisan legislation requiring background checks for all gun purchases, including at gun shows and on the internet. In an effort to explain to constituents her failure to support the bill, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler cites a specific study (UC Davis-Johns Hopkins, 2018) as “proof” that similar state-level universal background checks do not affect the frequency of firearm homicides or suicides. In so doing, the congresswoman cherry picks the findings of this study, which evaluated the association between rates of firearm-related homicides and suicides and California’s enactment of a comprehensive background check requirement and a firearm prohibition for persons convicted of violent misdemeanors. Although the study found that the enactment of these laws did not result in population-level changes in the rates of fatal firearm violence, the study’s authors specifically qualified their conclusions by making reference to California’s dramatically incomplete and missing criminal and mental health records, incomplete compliance and enforcement, and the small size of the population directly affected by the laws. The authors note that other studies show clear benefits arising from laws that require both a background check and a permit for the purchase of a firearm which was not the case in California. Indeed, a Connecticut law requiring background checks at the point of sale and as part of a permit process was associated with a 40 percent reduction in gun homicide rate. Herrera Beutler should not resort to oversimplified and inaccurate “summaries” of gun violence data and needs to rethink her position on common-sense firearm restrictions, such as those set forth in HR 8.

Ellen Sward, Vancouver

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