Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette. com or sent online at okgazette.com, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Selective denoucing

In “Time to inform, not denounce” (Commentary, July 31, Oklahoma Gazette), the Rev. Jonalu Johnstone writes, “It’s time for our state officials to acknowledge that the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is law, and to help citizens learn more about it so we can make informed decisions about our health care.”

It’s also the law that the ACA’s employer mandate go into effect Jan. 1, 2014. Yet, in direct violation of his own law, the president is postponing the employer mandate by a year. So why doesn’t Johnstone complain that it is time for the president to acknowledge that the ACA is law and insist that he implement the mandate on time?

If Johnstone truly cares about economic justice, why is she silent about the president illegally giving multibilliondollar corporations a year’s reprieve from the employer mandate while Oklahoma workers and their families face potential fines under the individual mandate starting in October?

If Johnstone put as much energy into denouncing the president for breaking his own law as she does into denouncing state officials for lawfully opposing it, folks might understand her efforts to be principled rather than partisan.

— K.A. Straughn Norman

Tanks for the Second Amendment

State Rep. Mike Shelton writes (Commentary, “Let’s talk about guns,” Aug. 14, Gazette), “After the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, I announced that I am convening an interim legislative study this November on Oklahoma’s so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ and open-carry laws,” and that he “want(s) to bring the people of Oklahoma together to talk about these laws.”

Well, sir, I would love to talk about the gun laws.

First off, the Second Amendment states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. I do not understand why this is such a controversial amendment. Anybody who has read the Federalist Papers can come away with no other conclusion than the framers wanted citizens to be able to protect themselves from an overbearing government.

Second, when we talk about “arms” nowadays, we seem to only refer to guns. Why? If the intent of the amendment is to protect the citizens from an overreaching government, which I believe it does, common sense would tell you that your “arms” should be able to defend you from the “government’s arms.” If I am a law-abiding citizen and I have committed no crimes, why can I not have a tank, a canon, or a grenade launcher?

Thirdly, Shelton decided to have this conversation after the Zimmerman trial? What about after the Jerome Ersland trial? I understand that the law now reads that Jerome went too far when he repeatedly shot the criminal he killed who tried to rob him at gunpoint.

I think the law needs to be changed.

If anybody points a gun at another person and threatens that person’s life, the victim should be able to unload whatever weapon he has on the perpetrator without risk of being tried in court.

If you want safe neighborhoods, allow citizens to defend themselves and crime will go down.

—Charles Thompson Midwest City

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