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Readers express their views on the rights and duties in the Second Amendment, as well as veteran homelessness.

Bearing arms isn't just your right — it's your responsibility

The Second Amendment to the Constitution deals with the states' rights to organize an army, which today we call it the National Guard. However, it also guarantees that all citizens should be armed, even those not part of the "organized militia," since it is the right and obligation of all "free men" to hold the rights of "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" (property) and to defend those rights against all enemies foreign and domestic.

For a state or federal government to limit those rights of personal defense is to rely on others to defend those rights for them. Even the founders of this nation, who wrote and ratified the Constitution, limited the terms of a federal army to funding of no more than two years, while the state militia was to be funded at all times.

For citizens to refuse to be armed and able to protect their personal rights as free men, is to refuse to act as free men as promised under the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Lawmakers who use the lie of "gun ownership" as the path to personal safety do so to ignore the tens of thousands who die on our nation's highways every year, as well as the tens of thousands who die every year to illegal drug use. Even the current political fuss over illegal immigration is merely a magician's use of distraction to perform magic tricks.

Cry "wolf" loud enough and you will be unable to defend yourself when the real wolf arrives.

Bill Blankinship, Hillsboro

Oregon's homelessness rate for veterans is unacceptable

Homeless veterans are in need of our help. This situation needs to be dealt with because veterans should not have to give up their freedom, only to be welcomed home of not having a place to live or not being able to afford a place and end up living unsheltered on the streets.

The population of homeless veterans is very high. As a resident of Oregon, knowing we have one of the top five percentages for homeless veterans is sad. The percentage needs to be zero, because they deserve to have a roof over their head. Out of all percentages of homeless, they deserve the most help. I am not asking for the percentages to fall to zero within a year, but over the next couple of years, we need to see the percent and the total number of homeless veterans at zero.

Studies have shown that the percentage of homeless veterans doesn't seem to be slowing anytime soon. In Oregon, as of 2018, there is a total of about 1,500 veterans and a percentage of 47 percent. This number is shockingly so high, and as a state, we should be ashamed to be one of the top states in the nation for the highest percentages.

Also, research that has been done on homelessness as a whole state that veterans are far more likely to end up homeless than the general public. This should be the other way around. With so many studies, and research being constructed each year, the numbers should not continue to grow. We should be able to solve the problem and minimize the number. There is a certain bill I have in mind that would help us with the current numbers.

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is a bill we passed, and as a state, we are not doing a good enough job to obtain that bill. It is supposed to help veterans at risk of becoming homeless and those who are already homeless. If we put more of an initiative towards this bill it could be the key factor in helping the homeless veteran numbers fall. If we are able to prevent more veterans by building certain places to live for them, then that's a situation we make possible. Like previously stated, for all the veterans have given up to make living in America free, and possible, they should not have to fight to have a roof over their head and be living on the street.

Dylan K. Morgan, Forest Grove


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