Compromise And Action

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Editor:

I had expected some blowback to my letter regarding gun safety regulations, especially in a conservative town like Payson, but unlike some of the responders, I do not consider them misguided or lacking in intelligence. I believe them to be honestly dedicated to their beliefs and I can see the validity of some of the pros and cons that they bring up.

And actually, my letter was not directed to them or to the opposite side of the argument that would greatly limit gun rights. Neither end of the spectrum on gun issues will be swayed, no matter the arguments raised or the evidence presented. And, if it is left up to them, no changes will be made. It will be left to those who are open to the possibility of compromise to actually move toward addressing the problem.

In recent years there has been a disturbing shift in our culture and our politics away from a reasonable discussion and toward an all “right or wrong” mentality. In politics this has resulted in a Congress that cannot govern because a radical minority stands opposed to anything that is suggested by the majority, even if they had once been in favor of the very same thing.

Our Founding Fathers recognized and appreciated that there would be greatly divergent opinions and beliefs within our union. They very carefully forged the political process and laws to recognize these differences. They decided that rule by the majority was the most reasonable way to govern. And this means that there will always be a portion of the population that will be dissatisfied with any decision. Democracy, although arguably the best form of governing, can still be messy and does not make everyone happy.

Therefore, I encourage those who are not ruled by an unshakable belief either one way or the other to become more active in researching and supporting the policies that will bring about the best result for the most people. It is often left to only those who are passionately tied to a personal belief to speak out. I think it is time for the rest of us to take a stand for compromise and action.

There is no single solution to gun violence and there will always be someone that will disagree with any action that is taken, but does that justify doing nothing?

Wendy Trainor

Comments

Ronald Hamric 1 year, 2 months ago

Ms. Trainor, I congratulate you on a well written and non-emotional response. I know some of the responses to your previous letter were just that, emotional. Perhaps some of that creeped into my response to you as well. I beg your understanding that when we are debating something that is as fundamental as the right to self protection, not only of ourselves individually, our family, our neighbors, and our nation, it is very difficult to not get somewhat emotional about it. I still get "emotional" when I hear the Star Spangled Banner, and especially the Marine Corp's Hymm. So the emotion that arises regarding this issue is a "No Brainer".

There is currently a figure being bandied about in this discussion that implies there are currently 20,000 laws regulating firearms in this country. I for one, do not trust that figure, but I do feel very strongly that simply passing more laws regulating firearms has proven itself to be ineffective. Most certainly much due the lack of enforcement of those existing laws. California reportidly has 40,000 known firearms in the possession of people forbidden to possess them, felons and those adjudicated mentally ill. They frankly admit they simply do not have the resources to go after those illegally possessed weapons so they remain a very viable threat to the citizens of that state, and others. That is only one of 50 states. Simple extrapolation points to a very serious problem nationwide. Now with that kind of factual data, you can appreciate why most law abiding citizens are very reticent about any limitation on their right to protect themselves from those types of people. This debate is like a diamond. It has many facets to be examined, but until those who knee jerk to incidents such as Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson by simply throwing out the "we need more gun control" approach, then we will never get to address the root cause of a problem that has has only arisen in the last 40 years. The NRA and it's members are not the boogyman. That organization is doing something that our elected officials are supposed to be doing themselves, protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States. ALL OF IT!

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ALLAN SIMS 1 year, 2 months ago

Ms. Trainor, you’re right that our country has divided itself into severe camps. But, you also suggest that our founders “… decided that rule by the majority was the most reasonable way to govern”

You should read this, written by Madison in #10 of the Federalist Papers and then reconsider your comment. The founders (Seeing the historical record on many attempts at democracy) shied from it, choosing instead a republican type government.

“… it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society …, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”

When you seek to “bring about the best result for the most people” you are speaking of mob rule, which Madison so eloquently spoke against in that quoted here. Ever hear of “Minority Rights”? It was a major consideration, until the last 20 years. Now, that has been overshadowed by “the best result for the most people”. What you describe is the very thing that Madison, and the other founders, wanted to protect us from. In the ‘60’s we called ruin “communism”.

Are you familiar with the 16th and 17th amendments? Passed in 1913, they destroyed the republican form of gov’t as designed, and created the ‘democratic republic’ we have lived under all our lives. They made it possible for the government to break us into classes via tax laws, and made the congress mirror of that mob. The founders did not intend that, and foresaw the ruin of the mob rule of the majority, eventually stripping all rights from the people. (See Madison above)

Finally, just what might compromise gain at this point? What can we gain by giving up more? I’ve seen nothing except “Our way or the highway”. I suggest to you and the world that re-installing the republic, as originally designed is the only reasonable compromise.

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Dan Haapala 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you Mr. Simms. You are spot on and historically correct.

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