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Readers express themselves on gun control, climate action, transit planning and more.

Confiscating guns: legally unworkable, politically stupid

Beto O'Rourke's gun confiscation campaign tactic to force the surrender of 5 to 10 million semi-automatic rifles is a threat to gun control and a serious danger to the Democrats' 2020 election goals.

I am a lifelong Democrat, involved in numerous campaigns and past election lawyer for many Democratic candidates over 25 years. O'Rourke's claim is legally impossible. The Fifth Amendment prohibits government confiscation of private property for which the government has no use. The government does not need privately owned firearms. Even if the government could take the guns, the plan would require hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars to compensate the owners, as the Fifth Amendment provides.

O'Rourke seeks to confiscate guns which have been lawfully purchased, are not now illegal to possess and have not been used in a crime. Such firearms do not qualify as "contraband." The guns are probably worth $100 each at the very minimum. Congress is not going to appropriate hundreds of millions of dollars to buy guns the government does not need.

This foolish effort serves to prove the NRA's principal argument against gun control: "They will take all our guns!" O'Rourke will only encourage people to go out and buy more weapons, police action will be required to confiscate the guns from unwilling owners, and otherwise law abiding citizens will seek to avoid the law by hiding the guns.

The NRA will mobilize vast numbers of gun owners who feel their constitutional rights are being violated to vote against the Democrats not only for president but also for Congress, defeating the Democrats' plan to recapture the Senate.

Gun control will be set back for decades.

Richard Botteri, Raleigh Hills

Faith calls for action to protect our future

As we note International Day of Peace and the Global Climate Strike, I personally stand with students at Pacific University and other young people across the globe, including my children who are participating in the Climate Strike, calling for urgent action to address the climate crisis.

We need every generation to stand up before it is too late. The proposals in the Green New Deal, endorsed by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, provide a roadmap forward.

Read our Sept. 20, 2019, dispatch on the Climate Strike demonstration at Pacific University.

Climate change contributes to the international refugee crisis, makes war more likely, and is causing great pain and suffering.

Young people deserve a more peaceful and just world. For people of faith, there is a deeply spiritual connection to this issue. We are called to be stewards of Creation; not exploiters of it.

The Rev. Chuck Currie

Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality

University Chaplain

Pacific University

If you care enough to march, then care enough to vote

It was heartening that so many people attended the climate change marches here in Oregon and all over the nation. It was a wonderful show of support for an imminent crisis.

I do hope that all of these people realize that marches and demonstrations will have no effect on our nation's response to this crisis unless we have the appropriate president and the appropriate representatives in the U.S. House and Senate.

Without minimizing the importance of making opinions known through marches and protests, remember that the most important thing we do to make things happen is to vote. It's not as much fun to vote as it is to take to the streets with a group of like-minded people. There's no camaraderie, no adrenaline rush, little recognition beyond that "I Voted" sticker you get to wear.

Even here in Oregon, where it's so easy to vote, there are many reasons not to vote: I misplaced my ballot, I didn't have time to research all the candidates, I didn't have a stamp, I couldn't find the ballot drop, Oregon will go Democratic anyway, I forgot when the deadline was, etc.

Resolve, pledge and prepare now to vote, and mercilessly nag your like-minded friends to do so, not just here in Oregon, but everyone you know in other states, especially those "swing" and "purple" states. Start researching now, use social media, make phone calls, provide stamps, carpool to the ballot drop, have an "I Voted" party, do whatever it takes.

Elaine Bohlmeyer, Forest Grove

Judge Hunsaker deserves quick confirmation

The U.S. Senate should quickly confirm President Donald Trump's nomination of Washington County Presiding Judge Danielle Hunsaker to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

She has wide bipartisan support, as shown by the recommendation of the Wyden-Merkley screening committee, her earlier state judicial appointment by Gov. Kate Brown, and approval by her colleagues across the political spectrum.

Throughout her career, Judge Hunsaker has exhibited the hallmarks of an outstanding appellate and trial practitioner: a keen mind, stellar academic credentials, excellent writing skills, and persuasive oral argument abilities. A remarkably successful and respected lawyer, she first clerked for three federal judges, but came from humble beginnings with real-world experience.

Having myself been a criminal prosecutor in Oregon for over 40 years, I know the value of judges like Danielle Hunsaker, a woman of impeccable character, fairness and consistently calm demeanor. Most important is her total dedication to America's most hallowed principles of equal justice for all.

Our state and country would be well served by her elevation to the Ninth Circuit.

Stephen Peifer, Portland

Southwest Corridor MAX should stop in Tigard

I have been watching the planning of the Southwest MAX Line for quite a few years. The original Portland-to-downtown Tigard and beyond plan was on Pacific Highway. When Sherwood wanted out, the plan was to go to Tualatin. I remember the city of Tualatin not wanting the MAX, but somehow the plan was to go to Bridgeport Village in Tualatin.

The existing WES route goes from Beaverton to Tigard to Tualatin and Wilsonville. It is too expensive and unnecessary to have two lines running the same route from Tigard to Tualatin.

Read our Sept. 14, 2019, story about the Southwest Corridor MAX debate.

I am not a resident of Tigard, but I agree with Mayor Jason Snider and believe the plan to go to a terminal station in downtown Tigard is by far the best solution and it is the only plan to stay within the budget. There is a tremendous potential for riders in Tigard from bus and WES transfers, and I have been hearing a lot about the large-scale development of high-density housing on city property in downtown Tigard.

As a west side resident in Portland, I am enthusiastically supporting the Tigard Plan.

Richard Shavey, Portland


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