Letters: What Do You Think?
Dan Winslow a Constitutionalist
On March 17, Senator [Elizabeth] Warren advised “everyone to pay very close attention to Dan Winslow’s platform. He has a 100 percent ranking from the gun lobby and he’s for the legalization of marijuana.” Following her advice, I checked out Dan Winslow’s platform.
I found that Dan understands the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence and the principles of the Constitution. As a problem solver, he works within that framework because he appreciates that the Constitution is something more than words—words some politicians twist to disarm those who respect others’ rights. Words they twist to justify the abuses and usurpations of the President and Congress that now burden generations to come with an incomprehensibly humongous debt that continues to grow.
In the GOP primary, there are three candidates but only one Republican, Dan Winslow. He is courageous. He wants the “Grand Old Party” to return to its roots as the “Great Opportunity Party.” In short, this is why on April 30 I will be voting for Dan, and I suggest lovers of liberty do the same.
Steven S. Epstein, Esq. Georgetown, Mass.
Gun Control as “Citizen Disarmament”
What is a high-profile mass shooting (“Gun Violence Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better,” Letters, March 28, 2013)? It is an incident in which the victims are high-profile.
Chicago and Washington, D.C. have more killings than Connecticut. But Newtown, Conn.is a well-to-do town, with high-profile people. Chicago and D.C. have poor victims, they are more numerous, and none were killed with the weapon [Jerold Duquette, assistant professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University] wants to ban.
The average person stands a better chance of being stabbed, clubbed, shot (with a stolen gun) or beaten while shopping than he does of being the victim of a mass shooting. But in mass shootings the shooter and the victim are most likely to be middle- to upper-class.
Notice that the citizen disarmament advocates target “gun violence,” which is not all criminal violence against victims. There is also evidence that the shooters go looking for “soft targets.” A group of children are vulnerable to a person armed with a club. But I think many of us would expect that Duquette would be aware of the statistics that show that his “assault rifle” is simply not used very often in crime. Yet the laws that he wants would eventually affect everyone but the criminal, as the banned list get expanded and fees are increased.
Duquette wants Congress to take action. Connecticut decided, like many other states, to dismantle its mental health system. The common factor among the mass shooters is that they were mentally ill. People with money like the Lanza family always get what they want, including a mental health professional who will neither recommend commitment nor report [a client] as a dangerous person. The citizen disarmament lobby in general is not proposing anything that would change this.
An assistant professor of political science should know the role of state government in the matter. As far we know, the guns were purchased in Connecticut. We know Adam Lanza was mentally ill. A mother that would hand a gun to him could not have been much healthier. All the mental health professionals working with the Lanzas were licensed by Connecticut. The security of the school was the responsibility of Connecticut. And he wants Congress to take action? Not every state has mass shootings.
An Open Letter to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe
Dear Mr. Donahoe:
As you are no doubt aware, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a legal opinion that was unambiguous: the United States Postal Service (USPS) has no legal authority to end Saturday mail delivery without the approval of Congress.
Both the House and the Senate passed the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act clearly stating that the USPS shall continue 6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail at not less than the 1983 level.
Unfortunately, while the law and the GAO’s legal opinion are unequivocal, I am not aware of any public statement from the USPS that it will discontinue its plans to eliminate Saturday mail service beginning on August 1, 2013.
Therefore, I am urging you to make it clear to the American people that the USPS will continue Saturday mail delivery in adherence with the law as soon as possible.
Everyone understands that the USPS is facing significant financial problems. As you know, the major reason that the Postal Service is in bad financial shape today is because of a Congressional mandate to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. No other government agency, no other corporation in America is burdened with this mandate. This pre-funding mandate is responsible for about 80 percent of the Postal Service’s financial losses since 2007.
Before this pre-funding mandate was signed into law by President George W. Bush, the Postal Service was making a profit. In fact, from 2003 through 2006, the Postal Service made a combined profit of more than $9 billion. I look forward to working with you to end this onerous mandate once and for all, which would keep the Postal Service healthy and thriving for years to come.
The other major reason that the USPS is financially strapped is because of a 2006 law banning the Postal Service from offering new and innovative products and services. It is clear to me and many others that there are significant opportunities for increased revenue for the USPS if it is given the opportunity to aggressively compete in the marketplace.
I and many other members of the Senate look forward to working with you to make certain the Postal Service continues to play an enormously important role in our economy and in rural America. I look forward to you meeting with us in the coming weeks to determine how we can best work together.
Bernard Sanders (I-Vermont)
United States Senator