Letters to the Editor

The loss of our 2nd Amendment
To the Editor:
What Republicans ruefully acknowledge and Democrats usually ignore is the devious manner in which the man in the White House plans to assault our 2nd Amendment rights. It should have been an obvious clue in simply looking at Obama’s gun rights record while Illinois state senator.
He was a consistent anti-gun advocate. Who, if any thought is given, would suppose he feels different now?
Supporters, without looking at his record may protest that Obama has said little or nothing about controlling guns during his re-election campaign. They may even point to his politically calculated goodwill gestures to certain 2nd Amendment rights. Let’s not be fooled, he hates even a Democrat’s gun.
What Obama knows – and few gun owners understand – is that he did not have the votes during his first term to restrict or abolish firearms. Even Senator Johnson and Stephanie-Sandlin, when she had the opportunity, did not support the president’s moves to restrict our freedoms. However,  “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” By winning re-election he will have the freedom to bypass Congress without that nagging problem of being responsible to American voters. He can simply impose restrictive executive firearms orders, about which the Senate and House will have no recourse. And don’t for a minute think that you can regain your gun rights by writing Senator Johnson, good man that he is. Congress has no control over presidential executive orders. And four years will be plenty of time to deny Americans the right to protect themselves and also to enjoy shooting sports.
Give him credit,  he’s a smart man. An indirect approach can be as effective as a head-on assault. Look at the evidence. To the Supreme Court, he appointed two outspoken gun enemies. A Democrate Senate approved them. If Obama is re-elected, it seems certain he will appoint at least one, perhaps a second or third Supreme Court justice. South Dakota will see snow in July before there is any chance of him appointing justices who will respect our constitutional right to carry firearms. Furthermore, he has appointed and supported as darkly devious an attorney general as one can imagine in the man Eric Holder. Despite his protests (and lies?), his Fast and Furious debacle had the specific aim of using fake gun trafficking to Mexico for the purpose of helping eliminate gun ownership in this country.
Other evidence? He appointed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. While she operates outside public view much of the time, she is following Obama’s interests at the United Nations where radicals from many nations are working on a worldwide ban on personal ownership of guns. When that ban occurs with Obama’s blessing, there is only one precipitous action necessary to bring a United Nations mandate to our country. All it will take to forever deprive you (Democrats included) of your gun rights will be a ratification vote by the US Senate. In whatever future year there are sufficient Senate Democrat votes to ratify the UN treaty, our 2nd Amendment rights will be eliminated.
Throughout history, at least two things immediately occur whenever a legitimate government falls to a despot. Guns are confiscated and voting is eliminated. We yet have the opportunity to prevent that from happening to our country. But only a few days.
Warren Thomas

Voter ID laws
Voter ID laws have been in the news across the country.  This may be creating concerns among South Dakota voters.
Let me assure South Dakota voters that our law has not changed and they will be voting the same as in prior elections.
The 2003 South Dakota voter ID law states that a voter shall present one of the following photo IDs when voting:  South Dakota driver’s license or non-driver ID card, passport or other ID issued by the U.S. government, tribal ID or student ID from South Dakota high school, college, university or technical school. However, if the voter does not have an ID, they may complete an affidavit of personal identification.
The nine-year-old law which added ID requirements also removed the need to give reason for absentee voting. This more than doubled the number of absentee ballots cast in statewide elections. Voters have enjoyed having the chance to vote when it fits into their schedule.
Absentee rules and a voter ID law have provided convenience for voters while guarding against voter fraud.
I encourage all South Dakotans to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
For further information, visit sdsos.gov or contact your local County Auditor’s office.
Jason Gant
Secretary of State

An “eye for a eye”?
I don’t know how you feel about capital punishment; but just having been teaching Genesis in catechism, I was struck by this comparison. When Jesus taught about divorce and remarriage, he first dealt with what Moses allowed, due to their hardness of heart; then he went back to how God had made it from the beginning in Genesis (Mk 10:1-12). Consider this same approach for teaching about capital punishment: First, deal with what Moses had established, namely an eye for an eye (Ex 21:24): Jesus takes us beyond the law of vengeance, “You have heard how it was said: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ But I say this to you: offer no resistance to the wicked” (Mt 5:38-39).
Next, go back to how God had done in the beginning in Genesis with the first capital offense, Cain killing Abel. Cain’s sinfulness and guilt is obvious when he initiates the statement to God, “I must avoid you” (Gen 4:14).  And his just deserts echoing inside of him he also voices, “Anyone may kill me at sight” (Gen 4:14).  He instinctively speaks of capital punishment.  But, God responds, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged seven times. So the Lord put a mark on Cain, so that no one would kill him at sight” (Gen 4:15). Killing Cain would have accelerated the cycle of violence sevenfold.  Killing Cain seems just, but as Jesus once rebuked Peter, “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” (Mt 16:23).
The Catechism (CCC 2267) speaks in similar tones stating that instances in our day where the death penalty is necessary for defense/safety are “practically non-existent.” The SD Catholic Bishops recently spoke similarly. I don’t know how you “feel” about capital punishment. But I use this as an example case of a more general question for our culture: Is how you “feel about it,” i.e. one’s personal opinion, or even the weight of the majority’s opinion, the best light that can be shed on moral issues?  Or are there rights and wrongs that Christ makes known to us? Do we let our opinions trump the light of Christ?
Fr. Jim Friedrich

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