Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Gun violence, the Supreme Court on abortion rights, election scams and more are on the minds of Tribune readers.

COURTESY PHOTO: PPB - Weapons, magazines and Nazi paraphernalia seized in May from a home in Portland. A letter-writer bemoans the state of gun violence in America, in the wake of the Texas school shooting.

Take action to stop deadly gun violence

In 2014, the Onion ran a story after a school shooting that read "There is no way to stop this sort of thing, says the nation where this regularly happens."

I am appalled when I hear about mass shootings. A shooting on May 20 in Buffalo, N.Y., killing 28; followed by a school shooting in Texas. In Texas, 21 people were killed, 19 of them children.

The kid that shot up the fourth grade class in Uvalde, Texas, was only 18 years old. He had a semiautomatic rifle.

It would appear that the Republicans on the Supreme Court would like to make semi-auto weapons like this available to everyone. They seem to think that the Second Amendment allows large magazines and automatic assault weapons. This amendment was written at a time when repeating weapons and loadable cartridges didn't even exist. It was written to protect slave owners from possible slave uprisings. Would you believe, the Second Amendment was written to help slavery?

I hope that this last shooting is a wakeup to the right wing to pass some reasonable gun laws. The sad thing is that the gun lobby has spent millions of dollars in buying politician's votes. Buying their votes just so that they will not vote for safe and reasonable gun laws. We have had 288 school shooting so far this year. There is no reason for this sort of thing. America has more guns than people. No other country in this world has this many shootings.

Bill Eagle, St. Helens

High Court could wait to release abortion ruling

Don't be surprised if the U.S. Supreme Court postpones issuing its decision regarding Roe v. Wade until after the November election.

The leaking of Samuel Alito's draft opinion was unprecedented, creating a national storm of criticism and controversy. Those judges whose names were listed in the majority must have been startled by the outrage directed towards them, including the protests at their homes. The anger also raised the Democrats' chances of victory in the November election. If the Democrats keep control of the Senate, they will be able to whittle down the conservatives' control of the court by new appointments as time goes by.

To protect their conservative mission, the Republican-appointed judges must do their part to forestall a Democratic election victory. The deception some practiced during the consideration of their nominations as to whether Roe was "settled" law, and the likely influence of Justice Clarence Thomas's wife, a fierce right-winger, on her husband suggest these people are not above a scheme to diminish the opinion's impact on the election.

The majority could decide not to issue the final opinion in June when it is now due. Their excuse would be further oral argument should be held considering the public reactions to the leaking of the draft opinion. Postponements of decisions into the following term are not unheard of in Supreme Court practice. With straight faces, the majority could schedule the new argument to be held after October when its next term begins, with the final opinion not likely being issued until after the November election.

This move would lower the intensity of the anger that would otherwise motivate voters. It might stimulate some naïve hope that the court could issue a more moderate opinion. A significantly different result would be unlikely. Yet, the lowering of the controversy's temperature temporally would favor the Republicans.

As it does with gun control, the GOP could push abortion to the side, arguing the time is not right to address the issue. The Republicans would fill up more of the public space with a campaign forcing the Democrats to defend President Biden's record, including failure to control inflation, a possible recession, and resurgence of the Covid pandemic.

As was said years ago, the Supreme Court judges read the newspapers. They know the politics of the day. They can see a removal of the abortion issue from the election aiding the Republicans' campaign to control the Senate. They do not need GOP leaders to whisper this in their ears.

Richard Botteri, Southwest Portland

Easy to see through scams about integrity of elections

Although I am a registered non-affiliated voter, I was invited to attend a recent political function in which I found the main presentation was an election conspiracy theory given by a person from Ohio with a Ph.D. With my college degrees, along with 10 years military service, four years of federal civil service and seven years of Oregon civil service, it took all of five minutes to see his theory was based on facts cherry-picked from unrelated reports for effect rather than based on truths. Like so many things in the news about the election process, many facts are glossed over or omitted to twist the narrative of the story.

Fact: America does not have a national election but 55 individual elections conducted in 50 states, plus American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. Some elections are voted by mail, others are voted in person or a hybrid of the two. Comparing one state to another is like comparing an apple to an orange.

Fact: Elections are administered in each state at the county level, in which Oregon has 36. During a primary each county produces different ballots, Democrat, Republican, generic and further, depending if a city has a specific ballot issue.

Another factor is education. Some community schools are focused on athletics rather than academics, leaving some citizens struggling to comprehend English and mathematics, while laws and ballot measures are written by the college educated. Many voters just do not comprehend just what the ballot measures represent.

Our election system is not perfect, but it is what we have and our responsibility to use it or lose it.

Joe Turner, Columbia City

Gen. Merrill McPeak's words were offensive

Lake Oswego's Gen. Merrill McPeak's comment "Nothing is better than combat when you want to have a good time…" is offensive.

I served under both McPeak and his successor as chief of staff of the Air Force, Gen Ron Fogelman (back row, third from left in the article's group photo; "Lake Oswego resident shares tales from secret Vietnam War operation," Lake Owego Review, April 14). The article gives a hint to the excessive — even for a fighter pilot — ego of Gen. McPeak. His leadership of the Air Force was, to be charitable, controversial. His successor spent much effort undoing some of McPeak's worst ideas.

I also served in Vietnam flying C-130s with body bags of Americans and stretchers carrying the wounded. I hope the general will refrain from offensive remarks in the future.

Col. Michael R. Gallagher, USAF (Ret), Hillsboro

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