Day: April 12, 2013

Promote the general welfare

By DON VOWELL The four Vowell children scattered to the far reaches of the western states, including Alaska and Hawaii.  Our political stances may have the same degree of separation.  It has made me question if there is an underlying theory to my politics. Last week we attended Ralph Jull’s memorial service.  A deeply loved and respected member of our church, he was not remembered for his inventory of nice things, or canny investment strategies.  We were instead deeply moved by the loving testimony of his grandchildren.  Their stories of his unwavering support for everything they tried showed that he understood the canniest investment of all. If I had to justify my political beliefs to my family, I would say that they are not bound by any coherent theory, just that government should follow Ralph’s example and work to make America better for the children of our children. Why do we have a government?  The Preamble to the Constitution is a good place to find an answer.  “(1) form a more perfect Union, (2) establish justice, (3) insure domestic tranquility, (4) provide for the common defence, (5) promote the general welfare, and (6) secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, … “   An optimist would think this quote should inspire more agreement than disagreement. If liberty was suspended temporarily while I ruled the country absolutely...

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Feel-good bills = Do nothing laws

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS Readers share their ideas. Since the massacre in December in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children and six elementary-school staff members dead, readers have passed on a host of so-called remedies. Let’s make gun owners be licensed and pass a test, some have suggested. So the problem is, I ask them, that these mass killers aren’t good shots? A tax on ammunition, others chime in. So, I counter, you don’t want gun owners practicing at shooting ranges? Basically, the gun haters are angry about Newtown. They blame lawful gun owners for the behavior of criminals, so they support nuisance laws that restrict the behavior of people who are not like them. Their instinct is not to identify a problem and then figure out how best to solve it, if possible, but to punish and marginalize people who want to take control of their own self-defense. They forget that these gun owners have rights. The Daily Caller reported Thursday that the American Civil Liberties Union has “serious concerns” about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s proposed gun legislation. The ACLU’s Chris Calabrese is concerned that background check language doesn’t explicitly prevent the feds from creating a national gun registry. “In the universe of how you handle a background check, the gun database background check is fairer and does a better job of protecting privacy than many other...

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