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Letters to the Editor: November 3, 2012

Small arms treaty is global gun control scheme

Ron Jacobson in last week's paper said the Obama Administration has done nothing to curtail his Second Amendment rights. Maybe true, but as he told the president of Russia, "I will have more leeway after the election."

Recently his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration will be "working hand-in-glove with the U.N. to pass a new 'small arms treaty.'"

To be put it bluntly: This is a massive global gun control scheme. If passed by the U.N. and ratified by the U.S. Senate, it would most certainly force the United States to enact tougher licensing requirements; confiscate and destroy all "unauthorized' civilian firearms; ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons; and create an international gun registry setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.

Plus right after the Colorado tragedy, Democrats introduced bills to curtail the sale of ammunition. The Senate recessed before the bills came to a vote, but wait until after the election. If the Senate remains Democrat and Obama remains in the White House, ways to buy ammo will certainly change, and not for the good for those of us who buy ammo.

Ted Storck - Surprise, Ariz., and Morris, Minn.

Letter passes off hate speech as argument for marriage amendment

One of the many pleasures of living in a small, welcoming community like Morris has been witnessing the earnest exchange of ideas in the Sun Tribune's editorial page. Week after week, individuals demonstrate their commitment to our community and their faith in the free exchange of ideas that most Americans hold dear; I have admired it even when I do not agree with the opinions put forth.

Yet last week's paper contained something different--specifically the hate speech that Rev. Marlin Mohrman tried to pass off as argument in the interest of "human rights." Quite frankly, he should be ashamed. In his letter, Mohrman argues in defense of the proposed marriage amendment; his support of this amendment is his right. But spewing slander and hatred is not, especially in a society in which young people are dying on a daily basis because of exactly this kind of attitude.

Particularly alarming are Mohrman's comments about "the gay lifestyle." He refers to "the transient nature" of this lifestyle as if a statement of fact. Instead, it is a statement founded on extraordinary ignorance. He says "the gay lifestyle does not lend itself to a life-long commitment" as if completely unaware of the healthy, loving, and committed relationships of same-sex couples in our very own community.

And he speaks about the dangers done "to children caught up in these relationships," once again stating as fact a completely unfounded assumption. In reality, children are exposed to negative environments in a range of family types; the parents' sexual orientation is not the determining factor, and to suggest otherwise is to perpetuate hatred, ignorance, and the kind of stereotyping that does far more damage to children and community than the imaginary scenarios Mohrman entertains.

I am disheartened and disgusted to see this kind of prejudice expressed in the Sun Tribune's pages.

Julie Eckerle - Morris, Minn.

Be proud of Morris community

Be very proud of your community. We have had the pleasure of coming and watching our grandchildren's sports games. How fun to sit as the sun goes down and watch the neighborhood come out and watch young people playing softball. Or go to the University campus and watch young people from more than 50 miles play volleyball. Now I see you approved trap shooting. A life time sport. Good for you.

What I really appreciated seeing was that volunteers came together to help business work at succeeding. The florist in town and the theatre benefitted from volunteers, it didn't sound like they were being paid. What a credit to your community. What a wonderful community.

Sylvia Klimek - Alexandria, Minn.

Legalization of same sex marriage not on the ballot

Reading the October 27 letters to the editor, one might think that the legalization of same sex marriage will be on the ballot Tuesday. It won't. Same sex marriages are, unfortunately, not legally recognized in our fair state. That will not change this election, no matter how we vote on the "marriage" amendment.

The marriage amendment is not about preserving anything that is not already the law of the land. It is instead an effort to tie the hands of future voters (and their elected representatives), to protect against the possibility that a majority of Minnesotans, sometime down the road, might favor extending the legal rights of marriage to caring, committed same sex couples. The marriage amendment seeks to restrict the liberty of all Minnesotans by restricting our ability to decide which laws are best, now and into the future.

Good constitutional amendments are sometimes needed to reinforce the rights and liberties of a minority when faced with a tyranny of the majority. The proposed "marriage" amendment fails that test. It does not preserve rights or liberties. Instead it seeks to bar future majorities from extending liberties. At the national-level, our most beloved amendments expand rights-- enshrining freedoms of speech and religion and the right to bear arms. We should not clog our state constitution with amendments that seek to have the opposite effect.

Pete Wyckoff - Morris, Minn.

Offensive to read vote yes message under human rights headline

I am a 57 year old gay man who has been in a committed relationship with my partner for 23 years. At this point in my life I am ambivalent about my personal need for a piece of paper to validate our relationship, although it sure would be nice for us and future generations of gays and lesbians to enjoy the same rights as straight married couples.

I am not writing to advocate voting no on Tuesday's amendment. I am writing to express my utter shock that under the banner "Human Rights Commission" the Sun Trib published an opinion piece by the City Council's representative to the commission advocating voting YES. Does anyone else in Morris find this more than a little ironic that a member of the Human Rights Commission is using its imprimatur to advocate denying rights to one of the minorities its charter proposes to protect? Apparently it's more important that the down-trodden minority of "wedding professionals" not be forced to plan gay weddings.

In my twelve years living in Morris, I have experienced or witnessed my share of ignorance and homophobia, which included a McCarthy-like witch hunt by some churches and school officials over a play about tolerance I directed that some smeared as "gay." This, however, is the cherry on the sundae. While I do not deny Mr. Miller his right to express his opinions, those opinions belong in the Letters to the Editor. It is offensive (not to mention absurd) to gay men and women to read these opinions under a headline called Human Rights Commission.

Shame on the Sun Trib for printing his views in such a format. And shame on the mayor and members of the commission if they allow anyone who publicly espouses such views to continue to serve on the Morris Human Rights Commission.

Ray Schultz - Morris, Minn.