Durham News: Opinion

Your letters, June 28

Not a politician

Regarding the news article “Police chief frustrates Durham CAN assembly,” (DN, nando.com/1f2)

Wow, I mean, clearly Lopez isn’t a politician, which for me usually works in one’s favor. But his lack of situational awareness is frightening.

With citizen trust in police seemingly at an all-time low, one would think a police chief would be able to address this issue extemporaneously. If you thought that faith in the system couldn't get any lower, buckle up.

James Hepler

via the durhamnews.com

Not the answer

Most of the opinion being thrown around regarding the new law that lets North Carolina magistrates opt out of performing weddings if the wedding violates their religious beliefs misses the point entirely.

The law allows an employee, at his or her discretion, to refuse to perform a function of the job for which they were hired. That this alone is fundamentally wrong seems to have slipped past the guardians of political correctness. Instead, the weeping and wailing is confined to the narrow topic of the denial of same-sex marriage services.

To be fair, magistrates who opt out of performing a part of their job description should have their pay cut and receive poor performance reviews. Perhaps the creation of two types of magistrate a civil and a criminal one would be a correction. Maybe prohibiting magistrates from performing all marriages would be more sensible.

Allowing any public employee the latitude to refuse to perform a part of the job they were hired for is not the answer, whatever the question happens to be.

Robert L. Porreca


Underhanded measure

Regarding the news article “N.C. officials now free to avoid gay marriages” (N&O, June 12):

As a 50-year resident of what I thought was a progressive state, I am embarrassed, no, ashamed, that the North Carolina legislature passed such a law as SB 2 and in such a despicable and underhanded manner. This is not how a democracy should operate.

Whatever the merits or deficiencies of the issue, the process pursued by the legislature is reprehensible wherein 10 representatives who could have changed the outcome were absent from the vote. Shame on them.

The action “is a win for anyone who supports religious freedom.” That is nonsense. Indeed, just the opposite.

One person’s religious freedom does not and should not trump the civil liberties of any citizen.

John Hamilton


Votes before guns

The massacre in Charleston has brought out the firearm control advocates, again. What is more astounding at the same time is that there is a group of citizens trying to compare firearm control to voter identification.

The comparison of voter laws to the ownership of firearm laws is like trying to compare a grapefruit to a grape with voter laws being the grapefruit and ownership of firearm laws being the grape.

The U.S. Constitution prevents infringements upon one’s right to own a firearm. The U.S. Constitution provides no such protection from infringement on one’s right to vote. The U.S. Constitution in four cases states that one’s right to vote cannot be abridged because of race, sex, poll tax, or for those beyond 17 years of age. There are no other constitutional rights when it comes to your rights and qualifications to vote.

Voting is the most precious and valuable benefit we have as United States citizens. The requirements to ensure who is voting should be much more stringent than the requirements to own a firearm. Our vote in and of itself is the most powerful tool we have to fight a tyranny. When voting will not stop the tyrant then we need the firearm. That is why our Founding Fathers worded the Second Amendment in the manner they did!

The U.S. Constitution leaves the control of voting to the states and as such North Carolina’s new election law does not oppress or suppress anyone’s vote. There are many progressives and members of the Democratic Party that claim otherwise. Why they make such absurd claims will have to be answered by those who make such claims.

In the final results one’s right to own a firearm is less important that one’s right to vote. Voting should therefore require much more scrutiny than owning a firearm!

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount

State power grab

Regarding the news article “NC Senate bike-lane limits may clash with Durham road-diet plan” (N&O June 19):

I am not so worried about this individual bill – other than what we are seeing is a slow and constant erosion of local cities and counties to legislate in their local communities. Whether it be billboards, airports, building standards, local taxation, and now local traffic concerns, the state government is decidedly taking local control out of the communities. It is clearly a power grab by the legislature ... where the party of “small government” is acting like anything but what it claims to be.

Big Government state politics is here ... and only getting worse.

Mark Austin

via newsobserver.com

Unequal comparison

Regarding Jim Rogers’ Point of View “Making the business case for solar in N.C.” (N&O, June 16) and Jon Sanders’ June 17 Point of View “Counting costs of renewable energy rules” (June 17, N&O):

These POVs make it appear that there are two sides in the debate over renewable energy in North Carolina; Rogers, pro-renewable, arguing a net positive impact to the economy while citing the RTP-based RTI International report, and Sanders, from the John Locke Foundation, arguing a net loss to the economy while citing Boston-based Suffolk University report.

To those unfamiliar with the debate, one could confuse this as two sides of the same coin. It is more like one side is arguing with a dollar while the other walks around with a penny trying to make us think they’re equal.

This is made all the more obvious when we open the Locke report and realize it was created in 2009 and reported what “could” happen, ignoring what actually happened between 2007 and 2014.

On the other side is the RTI report created in 2015 that reported what actually occurred between 2007 and 2014.

In the serious debate over energy policy, let us discern policy from politics.

Jason Beverly


What is the purpose?

In the news article “Al-Qaida leader's death stirs debate,” (N&O, June 17) an expert with the American Enterprise Institute said that airstrikes “are not a tactic to defeat an insurgency.”

One would have thought that our military strategists plan to win. So what is the purpose of these ongoing airstrikes on Al-Qaida operatives? Are we using human beings as target practice for a bigger war to come? Are these war games?

Taking human life is serious, and as we destroy the lives of others, we leave scars on our own psyches as well.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, when speaking at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, said, “War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly.”

It is time that we end this folly.

Dale Herman


What do you think?

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