Letters to the Editor: March 15-21

The Editor:

Marie Odell [in response to a letter in the March 8 edition of The Northern Light] displays a misconception of what a disc golf course looks like. Rather than her description of “a beautiful grassy park,” a really top-notch disc golf course could best be described as a pristine natural setting with well-maintained trails – exactly like Lincoln Park.

However, I have reservations about putting a disc golf course in an off-leash dog park. Aside from the risk of stepping in or, even worse, landing a disc in dog poop, there is the fact that dogs love to chase flying discs and are notorious for not playing by the rules.

I have had more than one disc stolen by happy, playful dogs that just did not understand they were supposed to give them back without a fun chase. As a long-time disc golf enthusiast and a dog lover, I can assure you that disc golf and unleashed dogs are not a good combination (unless you are a dog – dogs love disc golf!)

Now, if you just want to play catch with a disc (or a dog) that beautiful grassy park Marie mentioned would be perfect!

Jeff Sterling
Birch Bay

The Editor:

[In response to multiple letters from the March 1 edition of The Northern Light].

Machine guns have been heavily restricted since 1934; you have to pass a special background check and the limited number of automatic rifles available sell for upwards of $15,000. Machine guns are not used in mass shootings. Suicides make up 60 percent of the 32,000 annually reported gun deaths; gang related shootings make up 70 percent of homicides. That means that justifiable homicide, accidents and non-gang murders make up around 2,400 a year, a figure which has also been dropping steadily for years in spite of a dramatic increase in the number of available guns.

Since suicides are as high or higher in other countries with strict gun control, there is no reason to think that this would decrease much with more gun control. That the choice is facing an AR-15 or a single shot rifle is ludicrous. The vast majority of firearms made in the past 75 years are semi-automatic, just like the AR. The only difference between those and the AR is the accessories that decorate it, none of which increase its accuracy or lethality.

Magazine fed, semi-automatic rifles have been commonly available since the 1920s and the AR-15 has been available since the 1970s. They are not machine guns. “Washington, like Florida, allows 18-year-olds to purchase an assault weapon with no background check”. False. All firearms purchased in this state require a background check and all firearms purchased from a dealer in all states require a background check by federal law.

AR-15s are not weapons of war. They are a semi-automatic rifle in a small caliber, much like millions of other rifles such as the Ruger 10-22, perfect for hunting small game or self defense. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16, an actual weapon of war.

School shootings are not increasing, they are exceedingly rare, and the overall firearm homicide rate, as well as the violent crime rates, have shown downward trends for thirty years. And while we all discuss how to stop them, we could stop telling untruths about the guns that are used.

Calvin Armerding

  1. Wow. The NRA “soldiers” are at it again with their campaign of deflection and deception. Calvin’s last paragraph is a classic example of NRA smoke and mirrors masquerading as fact.
    From TIME Magazine: Americans are much more likely to be shot dead than people who live in other high-income countries, according to a survey of global homicide rates. Homicide rates in the U.S. were seven times higher than an average of other high-income countries, largely fueled by a gun homicide rate in the U.S. that is about 25 times higher than others. The survey, published in the American Journal of Medicine, was conducted using 2010 mortality data from the World Health Organization for 23 high-income nations. Young people were particularly affected by gun deaths. The firearm homicide rate for those ages 15 to 25 in America was 49 times higher than in the other countries in the survey. The study also found that between 2003 and 2010, other countries saw a drop in the rate of homicides involving guns while the U.S. figure remained static.


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