Saturday, May 28, 2022

Letters to the editor Nov. 21

| November 21, 2021 12:00 AM

In gratitude

During this season of gratitude, there’s a few things I am really grateful for in our community.

To the crews who worked so hard on the Foy’s Lake interchange, thank you! I travel that road multiple times a day, and over the past several months I was excited and surprised daily at how much work was being done and the fact that it was completed! You deserve a holiday bonus!

To our schools — you’re doing it! You have risen above the vitriol in our community and are continually providing an excellent education and above and beyond opportunities for our kids to thrive. I see you Kalispell Education Foundation and the creative teachers and administrators who just received over $26,000 in community grants to do more great things. Thank you!

And to our beloved ImagineIF library — I’ve been watching from the front row how you are graciously navigating every block that is being set in front of you, from the county commissioners to your own board of trustees. You just keep showing up, ensuring free and untethered access to all information, and incredible programs for all. You are wonderful.

— Sara Busse, Kalispell

Second Amendment

With the U.S. Supreme Court about to render what could be a landmark Second Amendment ruling in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Bruen, the Daily Inter Lake on Nov. 15 published an editorial from the Los Angeles Times in its “As Others See It” feature on the opinion page. With the potentially profound and far-reaching consequences of the court’s decision in this case on state and local laws across the country, it is altogether fitting and proper for the Inter Lake to share views on the subject from other publications around the nation. I only wish they had chosen a different source.

The once great L.A. newspaper’s summary of the issues at stake and the history of the high court’s stance vis-à-vis Artice II of the Bill of Rights suffers from sloppy scholarship. Journalists are not, of course, legal scholars, nor are they supposed to be. Nor are their readers. But with little effort the arguments of the legal scholars on whom Justice Anton Scalia and the court majority based their decision in District of Columbia at al. v. Heller, particularly those of David E. Young, can be easily grasped by those who write for and read newspapers.

The failure to fully explore and explain these arguments — instead implying that Scalia and his colleagues pulled their ruling out of a hat in much the same way that Justices Blackmun, Burger, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall and Powell in Roe v. Wade discovered a constitutional right to abortion in the penumbras and emanations of the document — smacks of either bias or laziness or both.

The SCOTUS may well dodge the foundational issues in their ruling on New York State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Bruen, but if their ruling, to use the L.A. Times editor’s term, “upends” long-prevailing presumptions regarding the right to keep and bear arms, it would be pleasant to discover that at least some mainstream journalists had made more than a cursory effort to familiarize themselves with Second Amendment scholarship instead of excusing themselves by employing the (fundamentally false) bromide that the amendment’s wording is ambiguous— because it is NOT ambiguous when viewed in the proper historical and linguistic context.

— Lee W. Smith, Somers