Don’t stop at the Second Amendment

To the Editor: 

One needs to wonder why the Pine County Commissioners felt it necessary to veer into the politics of the Second Amendment?    

A traditional view of the role of county government has been to pave and plow country roads, fix county bridges,  manage a complex human services department, fund and oversee county law enforcement and govern those things that the state or local governments do not. Now we have a nauseating diversion into the politics of settled law.   

No one is taking anyone’s guns. It would be a sad day to our liberty if 24,000 Americans each year were denied the opportunity to end their lives using a firearm. And truly it would be sad if the 20,000 Americans who are murdered by a gun each year would be denied the freedom of an early death. It would be a terrible day to have any discussions of sensible ways to manage the plethora of weapons being waved about by those supporting the Second Amendment.  I am thankful for their proactive stance on such an important issue of civil society.     

I am looking forward to seeing support from our commissioners for the other 26 amendments to the US constitution.  Perhaps the First, Fourteenth or Nineteenth should be next on their agenda. My favorite would be a resounding vote to show some support for the 21st Amendment. For the fruits that amendment alone help me make sense of the commissioner’s actions.    

Mark VanderHorck  

Pine City

Are there constitutional amendments the county doesn’t support?

To the Editor: 

I read with glee that Pine County has declared its full support for the Second Amendment. However, it begs the questions: Is the Second Amendment more special than the other amendments? Are there amendments they do not fully support or only partially support? Will they make equally weak declarations for all the other amendments? 

When so many things are happening in Pine County you would think this would be one of the last things they should be doing. I smell pandering, by the Pine County Board, to a small group of people who seem to think that the government is going to come and get their guns.

John Birrenbach

Pine City

Wear a poppy this May

To the Editor: 

May is Poppy Month. Wearing a poppy is our chance to honor and remember our veterans.

The American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy as its memorial flower in 1921. The red poppy has become a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since post World War I to honor those who served and died for our county in all wars to protect our freedom. Each year in May, American Legion family members distribute poppies in exchange for contributions to assist active-duty military, veterans, and their families. 

All proceeds from your poppy donations are used for the following programs:

• For the rehabilitation of veterans honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces.

• For the rehabilitation of hospitalized military service personnel returning home and awaiting discharge, who require treatment in service hospitals.

• For the welfare of all honorably discharged veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families.

Please wear your poppy with pride and remembrance.

Pine City American Legion Auxiliary Unit 51 Poppy Committee

Resolution time-wasting, fear-mongering

To the Editor: 

Pine Country has real problems. Pine County is ranked among the least healthy counties in Minnesota (bottom rung of rankings*). Pine County ranks 80th of 87 Minnesota counties on per capita income.**  So what is the county board spending precious time on? Passing a 2nd Amendment  support resolution that is utterly meaningless, completely symbolic and useless in addressing real problems. 

There is no threat to the Second Amendment in Pine County. None. No one is coming to take away guns. Misleading assertions are divisive and dangerous. The real threats are to the future health and prosperity of Pine County residents. 

County commissioners are giving time and attention to a problem that doesn’t exist rather than helping struggling families in this county. We need thoughtful policy makers on the county board, not politicians passing resolutions that stoke fear and polarization. 

Jean Gornick and Michael Patton

Pine City

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