Letters - January 20, 2006

Legislature should strengthen gun control

I hope the Delaware legislature will not consider making it easier for good people to do bad things by making it easier to get a permit to carry handguns.

If anything, they should make it harder to bring guns into our communities, print photos and give the public access to publish lists of those people who do carry guns. They should require people to watch a video of real-life stories of people who have been shot with guns that are legally registered. The video should give great detail as to how the gun owner’s life was changed, as well as that of the victims.

Instead of making it easier for guns to be owned and used, we should enact stricter rules and register each bullet that is sold and make the purchaser responsible for illegal activity performed by the bullet.

Parents of minors who commit a crime using a gun should be charged as accessories to the crime, whether the gun is legal or not, and whether or not it is owned by the parent.

Legislators who vote for weaker gun control laws should be required to attend every trial in which a legal gun was used illegally in their county of residents. They should be required to send a letter the victims’ families of accidents and illegal actions which resulted in their personal tragedy explaining how weaker gun control laws were a good thing for them, in the long run.

Also, what are statistics for sports hunting using a handgun? I would like to see a chart showing the relationship between NRA donations to elected officials and illegal use of handguns in that person’s election district and I would like to see that chart published in every newspaper and on every media outlet in Delaware as a public service.

Rhonda H. Tuman

ANWR drilling would help many in nation
Editor’s Note: The following letter was addressed to Sen. Tom Carper and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Dear Sen. Carper:

Thank you for your reply to my message to you regarding your vote against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I do appreciate you taking the time to respond.

While you included a lot of information regarding your vote and your stance on drilling in ANWR in general, I have to sum up your position against drilling as follows:

You state that, “...U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there is a 50 percent chance that 2.4 billion barrels of crude oil will be economically recoverable,” and that “...This nominal increase would make little, if any, impact on the world’s supply and market price of oil.”

Our drilling in ANWR (and future discussions of further exploration in other parts of the U.S.) would send a message to our “friends” at OPEC that we are serious about reducing our dependency on foreign oil. When the U.S. gets serious about anything, other nations react accordingly and the world market for oil will react as well.

In addition, while you state that 2.4 billion barrels is a relatively insignificant number compared to the world supply of oil, it is a significant number none-the-less. At $60 per barrel, 2.4 billion barrels equates to $144 billion dollars that isn’t sent to our “friends” in the Middle East or our “friends” in Venezuela.

And finally, why we can’t drill in ANWR and promote the development and application of alternative fuels? They are not mutually exclusive options.

It is for this reason that I still believe that you are voting to appease the Sierra Club and other environmentalists and/or towing the Democrat line at the expense of your constituents at home.

Please reconsider your stance on ANWR, and do what is best for Delaware and the U.S. and not what is best for Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.

Tim Doyle
Ocean View

Marines issue thanks to community for generosity

The Marine Corps League, First State Detachment, wishes to acknowledge and thank our generous neighbors, business establishments and area restaurants that contribute to the success of the 2005 Toys For Tots campaign.

Our neighbors in Sussex and Worcester counties donated funds and toys. Many businesses provided space for cash donation cans and toy barrels. Next month, in our annual Thank You Report to the community, we will recognize their assistance. The campaign benefited nearly 2,500 children and distributed about 10,000 toys.

The following restaurants and our host at the restaurant opened their doors to our gift-gathering parties. They not only made their facilities available but provided complementary buffets to the guests, who in turn donated a toy or made a cash donation to the program.

The restaurants that helped make the program a success included: House of Welsh, Fenwick Island, Michelle Gonazelez; Blue Ox, Ocean City, Bobby Mitchell; American Legion Post 166, Ocean City, Lil Lerman; Caraba’s Restaurant, West Ocean City, Adam Osborn; Surf’s Edge, Ocean City, Patrick Clark; Magnolia’s, Bethany Beach, John Wingert; Plantation House, Ocean City, Erik Bearinger; Charlie’s Bayside, Fenwick Island, Charles and Laura Getz; Princess Royale, Ocean City, Eugene Rutzler; Cafe Zlus, Rehoboth Beach, John Mank; Outrigger, Fenwick Island, Walter Wong.

Thanks to all. Semper Fi.

Jerry Miller, Chairman
Toys For Tots

More controls on lobbysists are needed

The recent guilty plea of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff spotlights the corruption that permeates the Republican leadership of the House and Senate.

One aspect of this corruption is the “K Street Project,” which is the brainchild of Rep. DeLay (R-Texas) and Sen. Santorum (R-Pa.) Every significant public and private company has a need to have offices in Washington to keep tabs on the policies and practices of the federal government. It is essential that companies follow the regulatory environment and tax policies that affect their business and their industry. It is vital that business have knowledge about the procurement process of dozens of federal agencies.

These companies historically hire professional staff from the committees of jurisdiction in Congress that influence their business. The knowledge of these former staffers is necessary to help companies understand both existing law and proposed regulations.

The “K Street Project” is a successful GOP strategy to change the balance of influence within the lobbying offices in Washington, D.C. The Republicans insisted that business hire only staff that were approved by the GOP leadership. These companies now had employees on their payroll whose primary allegiance was to the GOP leadership, not to the interest of their new employers. Access to members of the House and Senate is now through these new “embedded” political disciples.

A second and very important aspect of their new positions is to act as a funding agent for their real bosses in Congress. Key members of Congress, through these new stealth employees, are now using this new corporate access to solicit campaign funds from employees of the business. Does this sound similar to the mafia? Perhaps it reminds you of Nazi infiltration of German business in the 1930s; or the placement of Stalinists loyalists in Russian enterprises.

An even more insidious aspect to this arrangement is the fact that the average voter cannot get one-on-one access to elected officials. Phone calls, e-mails and letters will all be ignored. But look up lobbying firms that contribute to your congressman or senator. Call them; they will make arrangements for you to have access to your elected officials. Of course, it will cost you a hefty retainer fee and you will also be solicited for a campaign contribution.

A wide spectrum of conservatives and liberals are demanding reform. The American public will witness dozens of members of Congress, their staffs and lobbyists appear before the grand jury. We will be told who broke the law, who received a long sentence and who got let off on technicalities. We will be shocked, but we should also be shocked at the abysmal behavior that will continue to be tolerated because it’s perfectly legal. These corrupt practices must end.

Dennis Cleary
Bethany Beach

Left or right — right or wrong

These days our political discussions revolve around whether an issue is right or left politically. Considering that the right is the conservative side of politics and the left is the liberal, we find that there are moral characteristics to both sides of every issue and it makes it difficult for us to agree with a particular viewpoint.

A good example is abortion. The political right, the Republicans, say that morally it is not morally good. The left political ideology of the Democrats says that abortion is a civil right based upon the Constitutional right of privacy (which does not exist), so that it is thereby legally good. Yet, there is a definite vast difference between them because the leftist politicos refuse to discuss an issue on a moral basis, so that such issues remain in limbo resolution. Both sides should argue on level ground and morality is one that we all should understand as good.

What we should do is stick to the more applicable comparison formula which would get both of them on the same level of comparison of the good of any issue. That would make the constant wrangling and tortuous political hatemongering a lot simpler because they could both use the same comparison formula, making it easier for us poor voters who have to listen to all of this and make decisions of our own.

From now on, we should not use the comparison formula of right versus left, but right versus wrong. Those old-fashioned formulas always worked. Right now in our period of history, we need what works.

Charles N. Valenti
Rehoboth Beach