It is comforting to know that our state Legislature is blessed with so many constitutional scholars, particularly as it relates to states' rights and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
As I understand it, SB298 declares federal laws relating to gun rights/control null and void in Arkansas, even those relating to sawed-off shotguns and machine guns. Furthermore, police would be subject to criminal penalties and fines for working with federal authorities in violation of the proposed state law. I hope I'm not in Walmart when Bubba comes in toting his sawed-off shotgun. After all, he might consider me a threat and "stand his ground."
The sponsor of this bill, Gary Stubblefield, was quoted as saying, "for years the federal government has been deceiving people into believing there are limits on these rights." I guess I must have slept through that part of my American government class, as I was under the impression that few, if any, constitutional rights are absolute.
I admit that I don't have a solution to gun violence, but I have a hard time convincing myself the solution is more guns and freer access to them.
Health-care bill evil
Asa has revealed how black his heart is with his signature on this hate-filled bill allowing medical workers to deny treatment to LGBTQ individuals. Medical workers have a job to do and should be encouraged to do it without prejudicial qualifiers. It seems our Legislature is filled with so-called religious white men that dreamed up this evil bill in their quest to punish anyone who is not one of their cult and to make them feel more powerful. They claim their religious beliefs justify this hateful action.
Stop and think about that for a minute. There are many religions around the world, not just Southern Baptist. There are many concepts of God. I thought churches and religious teachings of any variety were meant to guide people and to help them learn to love and support others, even those with different ideas or from different backgrounds. Apparently many privileged white men in our Legislature and our governor must have religious beliefs built around a very angry god who is peeking in windows and eager to find someone to punish. Why are they so afraid? What trauma did they suffer that makes them want to hurt people that are different from them in some way? Evil legislation such as this is just one more way to discriminate against people who are simply trying to live in peace.
If this is a just law, then perhaps medical schools should ask more questions before admitting students. For example: Are you willing to treat men, women, boys, girls, babies, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, short people, fat people, old people, sick people, ugly people, tall people, mentally ill people, people with red hair, Baptists, Catholics, atheists, poor people, homeless people, or just rich white men? Any no answer will deny your admission.
This bill is wrong and evil, just like bills to suppress voting. This world is not just for rich white men. Look back into history and remember how Hitler came to power. Good people unite and stop this parade or hate.
Texas beef's the best
Winner winner, brisket dinner. In response to Ms. Nancy Fischer's letter in the Sunday's Voices section: Yes, ma'am, Texas briskets are truly the best!
Fools in Legislature
Former Texas legislator Carl Parker once remarked, "If you took all the fools out of the Legislature, it wouldn't be a representative body anymore." The current Arkansas Legislature would be decimated were it de-fooled, and what its output says about the fool count in the state is cringeworthy.
Cult-like, it shamelessly passes one inane bill after another, all generated by the Trump-fueled culture wars: forced-birth bills ignoring even rape and incest victims and worthy of Sharia law; gun deification; racist voting restrictions based on data-free myths of fixed elections; rewards to businesses that helped spread covid; bans of mask requirements; legalized prejudice against anyone other than white, straight males; glorification of personal freedom unless it involves women's bodies, transgender children and their parents, or racial minorities; attempted bypasses of the U.S. Constitution; talk of getting rid of taxes the state needs to thrive or even survive. It's pretty clear to me that the reason the Legislature refuses to pass a strong hate-crime bill is that the laws it has already passed qualify as hate crimes.
A group of posturing, predominately white, middle-aged men (with some women who should know better thrown in)--no doubt sporting flag lapel pins, enormously pleased with themselves, and never missing a chance to posture, preen, and pander--churn out legislation telling doctors whom and how to treat and teachers what to teach.
Perhaps a bill showing compassion and dealing with the real problems the state faces in 2021 will accidentally slip through the myriad ones trying to take us back to the 1950s. I'd be stunned, though. I do know that the kinds of businesses the state needs will stay away. We will end up with little more than Amazon warehouses.
BETTIE ANNE MAHONY
Things need to change
If we are going to keep calling this country a democratic republic, we need to make some changes so that it is truly one instead of just in name only.
First of all, I believe the Electoral College needs to be abolished. Let's count the votes and whichever presidential candidate winds up winning the majority of them from the entire country becomes the president. How simple is that? Secondly, we need to do away with the filibuster. If the majority cannot pass any legislation unless they have 60 votes, then the minority can stop them any time they wish. So if the simple majority is not enough, why do we, the citizens, even bother to stand in long lines to vote? Whatever happened to "elections have consequences"? Also, we definitely need campaign finance reform; it shouldn't cost millions to run for office. We have been hearing about it ad nauseam but nothing ever gets done!