January 3, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Carrier of gun had legitimate motive

I just don't understand Bill Nemitz. In his column about Justin Dean exercising his open carry rights ("A world so safe, it's scary," Dec. 28), Nemitz claims that Dean lives in "a world of pure paranoia," where he might want to have a firearm at his disposal for purposes of self-defense, yet he (Nemitz) has "little wonder" that people would call the police to report a man with a firearm.

This photo provided by Justin Dean shows the assault rifle Dean carried around Portland on Dec. 24. A columnist criticized Dean and defended those who reported him to police, yet both acted for the same reason, a reader says.

Provided photo

Aren't both actions undertaken in response to the same thoughts? The thought of being the victim of a violent crime is one we have all had to face in the wake of the Newtown massacre. And I would submit that those calling 911 on Dec. 24 were expressing just such a fear; as, clearly, was Dean.

So why is the reaction of those who, like Dean, have decided to take responsibility for their own safety themselves (through legal means), viewed as unreasonable, or "paranoid," while calling the cops on someone who has not done anything wrong makes sense because of "the searing memories" of Newtown?

This is a double standard. Dean's fears are the same as those who reported him to the police, but he has taken a different, yet equally legitimate, path to deal with those fears.

It is important to emphasize that Dean broke no laws. Nemitz seems to think that Dean is crazy for wanting to carry a firearm in the state with the lowest violent-crime rate in the nation. I think that people like Dean (and laws like ours) are a big part of what keeps that rate so low.

After all, if you're a criminal, would you rather be "working" a street where you know there are no guns, or one patrolled by an Army veteran with a rifle slung over his shoulder?

Zack Beisswanger


Joining forces would boost momentum for change

Today, industry is judged by how much "horsepower" it produces; many folks may not take the time to reflect on what that really means!

My early years started on a two-horse farm. Every challenge was met with teamwork. It took teamwork to pull the great logs from deep in the woods. Above all, on a farm it was folks working as a team to survive and grow. One often wonders why these primary elements are so often overlooked in today's society.

Horsepower is the energy exerted to move an object. In that same vein, how much "brainpower" would it take to change the world?

I often wonder, in our political endeavors, what would happen if we as a nation just called ourselves "The Americans," a force of people in every nation that put their best foot forward for the betterment of its people.

Just the other day my future son-in-law and I were discussing the dress code for the upcoming wedding. I injected the thought: What a simple matter it would be if Adam and Eve had not sampled that forbidden fruit. The thought that all nations could sit down to a communal table and solve their needs, where prejudices were not invited and compassion sat at the head of the table.

Vigilance was not needed, suspicion no longer separated us. Even the most common of folks would be able to dine and share in "God's harvest."

The greatest law of the land would be to help our fellow man. You may remember that often used quote: "He ain't heavy, he's my brother."

I believe everyone sometime in their life should walk behind a plow pulled by two magnificent horses!

Fred Collins


Lawmaker must explain why NRA supports him

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