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Letters to the editor June 12

| June 12, 2021 12:00 AM

Death of Tony Timpa

You probably haven’t heard much about the death of Tony Timpa. He was a White male who stopped breathing and died while police subdued him face down with his hands cuffed behind his back.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Timpa was in the parking lot of a Dallas pornography shop when he called 911 to report he was a schizophrenic off his medication. The details are murky, especially since the incident occurred in 2016 and the video wasn’t released until 2019 after the family sued. Apparently a private security guard was able to restrain and handcuff Timpa, but when police arrived they put him face down on the ground and attempted to switch the cuffs to zip ties on his hands and legs. Timpa screams, “You’re going to kill me.” When he lapses into unconsciousness, the officers can be heard joking about waking him up like a kid not wanting to get up for school.

The indictment of three officers took a year and then in 2019 the Dallas County District attorney dismissed all charges despite the coroner ruling it a homicide.

I give credit to CNN for reporting the story in 2019, though it certainly didn’t garner as much air time as any of the Black victims of police action, nor did they identify the races of any of the policemen involved - at least one of whom was Black. I also don’t remember any riots, looting or protests following the incident.

In CNN’s posting in August 2019, Tony’s mother is quoted, “That’s why I don’t get to sleep anymore. It’s real hard to hear my son scream and cry.”

I wonder if she will get a quick settlement of $27 million like the Floyd family. Or do only Black lives matter?

—David Myerowitz, Columbia Falls

Voting supression

The Montana Secretary of State says “Montana sets the standard for elections across the country.” And evidence continues to show that our election system is secure. Claims of voter fraud have been proven false time and time again.

Yet the governor has signed into law four bills that will make voting in Montana more difficult. These bills include eliminating same-day voter registration which has been in place since 2005. For college students, a second form of identification is required in addition to a photo identification, but a Montana concealed weapon permit qualifies without additional information. Polling place hours may be adjusted in certain districts which may limit the ability of some to vote. Voter lists will be revisited annually rather than every other year which has been the norm.

Growing up in Polson and attending Polson Public Schools, I learned how important it was to vote and I recall accompanying my mother when she voted. So why then are our Lake County legislators — Sen. Greg Hertz, Sen. Dan Salomon, Rep. Linda Reksten and Rep. Joe Read — who are educators and business leaders, ignoring our education systems and supporting legislation that suppresses voting?

—Kathleen Farmer, Polson

Campus carry response

In response to the May 9 opinion piece “Open carry on campus is not a second amendment issue.”

First there is no open carry on campus. The title is misleading. Montana’s new law allows concealed carry by those legally allowed to do so, not open carry.

The article never discusses 2nd Amendment issues nor the students’ rights of self-defense. The article only discusses the Regents’ rights to manage the university system.

The author implies that this is just a political issue and that the Legislature in encroaching on the rights of the Regents. No! this is not a political issue to those thousands of students who are denied the right to self-defense, this is a civil rights and a life or death issue.

Since the board of regents failed to listen to the students petition for their civil rights then legislation is a justifiable means to correct that.

They will still have the ability to allow or ban the carrying of firearms on campus in certain instance. University and colleges are able to prohibit the possession of a firearm at an event on campus where alcohol is being served, or at an athletic or entertainment event open to the public with controlled access and armed security on site. Institutions are also able to prohibit firearm possession in a dorm if the roommate objects and by individuals that have discipline actions arising out of the individual’s interpersonal violence or substance abuse. People who want to carry on campus will also need to complete certain training requirements.

Approximately 11 states permit concealed carry on campus in some form. These states include Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Additionally, colleges in Virginia and Ohio voluntarily allow concealed carry. So far this year 2021, Montana, Kentucky, Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, South Carolina, New York, and West Virginia have filed bills to decriminalize campus carry. It is only right that the civil rights of students be respected and legalized.

—William Fry, Kalispell

Rosendale’s comments on military

I find it incomprehensible that Rep. Mat Rosendale can pontificate about the military hierarchy when he has never been in any service, except to himself (Left-Wing Extremism In The Military, June 3). I guess that having seen military officers in Washington D.C., he now knows all about them.

I hope he doesn’t get too close and find out how much more service they have given to our country than he ever will. What a phony!

—David LeBleu, Kalispell

Nuclear deals

Hopefully President Biden will make nuclear deals with Iran and North Korea.

However, it is equally to be hoped that he does not repeat the fatal flaw of the first Iran deal: It imposed a waiting period for the inspection of suspected sites. This would have allowed them to move the materials for making a nuclear weapon — such as enriched uranium — to a second site during the waiting period for the first site; then when the second site would come under suspicion, it would have a waiting period during which the material could be moved to a third site; and so on. (That is why a future President may cancel the deal again.)

—Alvin Blake, Kalispell