Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Jan. 20

Paul an ineffective, smug windbag who accomplishes little

Arrogance (and ignorance), thy name is Rand Paul. This smug windbag is a good example of the type of reckless person who believes that cleverness (he is kind of bright, in a demagogic sort of way) negates the need to actually learn anything.

Paul has shown in his brief, embarrassing flash across the public sky that he associates sloganeering and preening on Fox News with leadership.

His latest vow to "nullify" President Barack Obama's legitimate executive actions on personal weapons of mass destruction again proves that originalists such as Paul understand nothing about the principles or the history of the Constitution they claim to revere.

Paul knows perfectly well that talk of nullification is code language for ignoring the legitimate authority — and obligation — of the executive office and the national government.

Only time will tell, but I suspect Paul may be building a base of resentment among his fellow senators, most of whom at least have some sense that they are in office to diligently, and quietly, promote and protect the true interests of their states, within a functioning federal system.

Paul, with no historical knowledge or basic understanding of the social needs of Kentucky, is proving to be a loud, obnoxious, prissy and shockingly ineffective officeholder.

One encouraging thing: his advocacy for industrial hemp. Pursue that, senator, and please quit catering to the small mindedness of the worst among us.

John Hennen


Kentucky's shameful delegation

Something has to finally be said about our under-qualified and elitist congressional delegation that brings shame on Kentucky almost daily. For the sake of brevity, let's just concentrate on Rand Paul and Andy Barr.

Paul's son was recently arrested when his flight from Lexington landed in Charlotte.

He was charged with public drunkenness while also being underage. Later, he was charged with assaulting a crew member on that flight. The next day we heard the "grown-ups" of the Paul family request privacy while they deal with this embarrassing news.

But now Paul has no problem with the National Rifle Association targeting, for political purposes, the two daughters of our president. Paul has not, and will not, support the same degree of privacy he insists for his own kids. A position that is both pitiful and elitist. Pretty nice job of parenting, wouldn't you say?

Barr, on the other hand, voted twice to deny federal emergency funding for the victims of hurricane Sandy. In case he hasn't considered the math, think about what this means for the average Kentuckian the next time we need help. And we most certainly will.

From the eight states most impacted by Sandy, there are 16 senators and a whopping 67 members of the House of Representatives who probably can't wait for the chance to return Barr's favor.

And that's a lot of animosity and shame Kentucky really can't afford.

Mark Waggoner


Remedial civics for sheriff

I see that Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman is not unique among sheriffs who say they will not enforce gun laws they consider unconstitutional. A couple of sheriffs in Oregon have taken the same tack.

Since when did sheriffs stop swearing to uphold the law and swear to uphold only the laws they personally agree with?

And when did county sheriffs usurp the U.S. Supreme Court in determining whether a law is constitutional?

Perhaps they should join the same remedial civics class needed by our esteemed junior senator Rand Paul, an embarrassment to Kentucky if ever there was one, who famously (and wrongly) stated: "Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be 'constitutional' does not make it so," when commenting on the court's decision on the Affordable Care Act.

The loonies are, indeed, taking leadership roles in running the asylum.

Franklin J. Kourt


Obama with majority on guns

I thank President Barack Obama for taking the lead in restoring sanity to gun regulations. After the tragedy of Newtown, Sen. Rand Paul dishonored democracy and our commonwealth with his political grandstanding.

Paul must stop using the Second Amendment as window-dressing for his own fascist ideology. Paul — not Obama — proclaims defiance like a divine right king. Obama's gun-control actions represent the will of the American people. A huge percentage of our citizens want common-sense gun restrictions.

Michael Gregoire


Far from right

I read the Herald-Leader every day looking for a plethora of ideas, issues, etc.

This should allow one to review diverse thoughts and ideas. I have tried for some time to try to get Joel Pett's slant. It seemed obvious it was left.

After reviewing the Dec. 30 Opinion section's look back of his editorial cartoons, it is apparent that when you go so far to the left you can't be "right."

Chris Maron


No special treatment

Why is former prosecutor Lori Boling allowed consideration to participate in a special program that will eventually expunge her shoplifting record? If anything, she should he held to a higher standard because of her profession.

Did she give any special consideration to the people she prosecuted? I doubt it. Why should she be given anything but the maximum sentence allowed by law?

Kathy Sallee


No warning shots

In heartfelt consideration for some unfortunate souls who may engage in a home invasion or some other illegal entry into our home, I plan to purchase a handgun with a 15-shot capacity to allow me to fire off a couple warning shots before deciding that these individuals truly mean my family harm.

If some misinformed advocates have their way and my magazine options are limited to a seven-to-10-shot capacity, then my first shots by necessity must have the aim of being fatal. This is factual and not political, for I have empathy for those who may feel desperate and make decisions that they'll come to regret, and taking a life is something that we can all agree should be the last resort.

Unfortunately, opportunists with a long-held political agenda will use tragic events to lessen the security of law-abiding citizens and limit our options to defuse a situation.

Steve Gabbard

Crescent Springs

Recruit gun-makers to Ky

The governors of New York and Connecticut are passing monumental gun control legislation. This is an opportunity that Kentucky must not pass up.

Remington Arms in New York employs over 1,000 people. Colt in Connecticut has over 500 employees. Their home state is now looking to ban their products.

If Gov. Steve Beshear has any interest in finding Kentucky well-paying manufacturing jobs, go get them. Kentucky has a lot of benefits to a manufacturer, and we are friendly to their industry. Now, go out and get the jobs before some other state does.

David Rankin


Keep guns, it's humans who kill

In the discussions about guns and gun rights in America brought on by the horrible incident at Sandy Hook school, there is one critically important aspect of this incident that remains untouched. It's the human condition. A search of Wikipedia for a "List of Rampage Killers" will reveal an incomplete but very extensive lists of mass killings beginning with the early 20th century.

Look over the lists and you see that the three Americas together show fewer incidents of mass murder than Asia or Southeast Asia but more than Europe or Africa/Middle East. Could be the concentration of people, but the lists clearly show mass murders occur the world over.

Locations of mass killings included public places, the workplace and educational settings plus home invasions. Some are hate crimes and some familicides.

The weapons were often guns but not only. Mass killings are by vehicle, grenade, machete, arson, poisonings and bombings and some others by strapping a bomb to your middle, torching a loaded bus, crashing a plane into the ocean or pumping a subway with poison gas. Most perpetrators are suicidal.

Whether mass murder or rampage killing, the truth is that some percentage of the human species is terribly unbalanced, intent on doing great evil, or both. These facts are not lost on realists who refuse to be disarmed and continue to believe that the best and only solution to school shootings is to arm and train some of the personnel.

Georgann Chenault


Irony of background checks

I support the requirement for background checks in the purchase of a firearm. However I fear that simply settling on background checks doesn't do enough to stem the cancer of violence in America. The irony of background checks is that it permits every person in American to commit at least one armed robbery or one murder before their right to own a firearm is taken away.

James Oswald


NRA creating hysteria

Thousands of gun owners are being swept up in the hysteria of losing their Second Amendment rights.

Fired up by the campaign of the National Rifle Association, which includes distasteful advertisements involving the children of the president, both NRA members and non-members need to focus on what exactly the president is asking Congress to legislate.

Assault weapons were designed for military use for one purpose, to kill the enemy. Hunters in this country have no need of a weapon of this type to hunt game. President Barack Obama did not mention one word about controlling handguns, rifles, shotguns or other types of weapons. Only the gun designed to kill people.

If you feel background checks are an invasion of your privacy, check again. Most employers, including professional caregivers, are required to have a background check as part of their employment application. Why can't this apply to gun purchasers?

This is a complex issue with no easy answers and all problems need to be identified, such as mental health, but cannot be done at once. Let us use common sense and at least take a step to stop the murders of the innocent. Would those who shout the loudest feel differently if it was their child bleeding to death on a schoolroom floor?

Leslie Berger