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December 26, 2012     The Adams County Record
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December 26, 2012
 

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The Adams County Record Wednesday, December 26, 2012 Page 3 Editor's Notebook I was wondering when someone would take hold of the "third rail" of Idaho politics - gun laws. Mr. Turner has opened the door with his letter to the editor. Nobody condones what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, and there certainly are a variety of opinions on what has become an almost common occurrence." There is a lot of talk, as a result of this tragedy about how this country handles mental health. The U.S. is behind some other countries in this. We have opened the doors of our mental hospitals and told people who can't make decisions for themselves to go make- decisions for themselves. I'm not sure if this is because there is a mindset that they have a "right" to do that, or if it's that we just don't want to tax ourselves to pay for mental hospitals and we'd rather they take care of themselves on the street. q-he last I heard, about a third of the homeless are mentally ill. And then there are the laws about involuntary commitment to a mental health facility. A person pretty much has to already have hurt someone in order to get care. How does that make any sense? Everybody can imagine the nightmare of getting thrown into an "asylum" against their will, but there has to be a more reasonable standard than what we have now. A blog that has become widely read recently gives an example of how dysfunctional our current system is, from the perspective of a mother with a mentally ill child: http://anarchistsoccermom. blogspot.c.om/2012/12/thinking- unthinkable.html Some things to think about, regarding gun laws. No law would have prevented the young man in Connecticut from stealing his mother's guns. I suppose laws on maximum clip capacity would have slowed him down by a few seconds...if his mother had obeyed the law. And you can imagine how easy it would be to get black market clips with any capacity if they are outlawed. So=called "assault rifles" are pretty much a matter of style rather than substance. What people seem to mean when they talk about an assault rifle is one with a magazine that can hold a lot of ammunition and that fires semi-automatically. If semi-automatic firearms were outlawed, that too would have slowed the Connecticut shooter down just a little. So many hunting rifles and plinking rifles/pistols are semi-autos, that an attempt to outlaw them would meet with a tremendous amount of opposition. Lives vs. rights What would be lost if semi- automatic firearms were outlawed? What would be gained? If you knew it would save one life, would you be willing to forego having a semi- automatic bigger than .22 caliber rimfire? How many lives lost is it worth to avoid inconvenience when buying a gun (waiting periods, background checks, etc. - maybe even for gun shows and private sales)? Do we need to arm ourselves with weapons suited for fighting our own government because there is a possibility that we may have to water the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants? Who decides who the tyrants are? Is Gabby Gifford a tyrant? Is our democracy really that unstable? If the government knows I have a gun, will the government eventually take it away? (Is that why registering guns is a bad idea?) Where is the balance between our rights to guns and frequent mass murders? Where is the balance between inconvenience and loss of a loved one? I imagine there will be more letters to the editor on this. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have an intelligent, adult conversation in them on this issue? I'm hoping we can. Zga/e Council Valley Free Library Book Shelf New Books at the Council Library Adult Fiction The Chocolate Castle Clue by JoAnna Cad q-he Chocolate Pirate Plot by JoAnna Carl A Lawman's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan Non-Fiction Castaway by Lucy Irvine Runaway by Lucy Irvine No Easy Day by Mark Owen Rainy Brain, Sunny Brian by Elaine Fox Juvenile Fiction Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie DePaola Max & Ruby's Treasure Hunt by Rosemany Wells Death Notices Margaret Horiye Nobuko "Margaret" Horiye, 81, of Weiser, died Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at a local care facility. Arrangements are pending with "l-homason Funeral Home, Weiser. Galen Preston Galen L. Preston, 72, of Midvale, died Wednesday, December 19, 2012 athis home. Services are pending under the direction of "l-homason Funeral Home, Weiser. Condolences may be sent to the families at www. lienkaernper-thornason.com. New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. - Mark Twain