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Columbia County Spotlight readers write in about the Oregon governor's race and gun rights.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity. We encourage writers to suggest their own headline when submitting a letter; otherwise, a headline may be generated based on the contents of the letter.

To know founders' intents with Second Amendment, look at their actions

According to Yahoo News, there were 11 mass shootings this last weekend. [Ed.: This letter to the editor was received last Wednesday, June 15.] Eleven people were killed and 45 others injured.

I would hope that Congress can do something about this.

Many of these mass shootings have been with military-style weapons. These weapons are designed for one thing alone: killing people.

There is a myth circulating, that Thomas Jefferson stated that the Second Amendment was written to keep government tyranny in check. The quote — "When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" — falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson is being used to justify the myth that we have the right to bear arms, to keep our government in check.

Garrett Epps in The Atlantic wrote: "If good government actually came from a violent armed population, then Afghanistan and Somalia would be the two best-governed places on earth."

Our founders would not have passed a constitutional amendment to liquidate a government that they worked and fought to create. America would not be free, if our elected officials would be forced to live in fear of gun violence. Our founders who fought in the Revolutionary War had few illusions about the virtues of violence.

In 1787, the writers of our Constitution were aware of Shays' Rebellion. This was a tax revolt by a group of Massachusetts farmers against their state government. George Washington was so upset by this rebellion that he came out of retirement to help frame a new national charter to prevent this from happening again.

President Washington himself led a national army into Western Pennsylvania to put down what has been called the "Whiskey Rebellion." Washington, in a message to Congress, showed no sympathy for "Second Amendment remedies."

The myth that the Second Amendment was passed to allow for the violent overthrow of our government is total nonsense.

My hope is that other people will realize this as well.

Bill Eagle, St. Helens

Johnson offers better way forward not just for Oregon, but for America

I just returned from the rally for Betsy Johnson for governor of Oregon at the Columbia County Fairgrounds. What a breath of fresh air she is.

Betsy has always put the concerns of Oregon ahead of political party lines. The atmosphere was that of unity. It was so encouraging to meet friends of the area and county who all are enthusiastic about a positive outcome for Oregon and all the people regardless of where they live. How wonderful to be able to talk freely about the future of the county and state without worrying about ruffling political feathers. Everyone was so excited that such a well-qualified, get the job done right person will be our next governor.

Betsy has been in Oregon politics longer than either of the other candidates and has the wisdom and experience to not align with Republican or Democrat party lines.

Let's set the example for the rest of the states and the country to fix the problems we all live with. Run, Betsy, run.

Scott Russell, Scappoose

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