EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 13, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Service should be no bar to judicial post

To the editor:

Some of our Massachusetts judges and the Governor’s Council would do well to remember that the greatest jurist that the commonwealth ever produced, United States Associate Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., when asked what his most significant public service had been towards the end of a very long life, answered without hesitation, “As a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War.”

If Justice Holmes were alive today, he would rejoice in the fact that there was one “former member” of the Governor’s Council, Mary-Ellen Manning, who had the intestinal fortitude to make noise when some of our justices apparently wanted to deny Roxbury Judge and United States Marines Reserve Major Shannon Frison advancement to the Superior Court because, “... her military duty would interfere with her judicial responsibilities and ... these justices complained that she did not ‘reciprocate’ when they helped out with her case load during her tours of active military duty as a judge advocate officer.”

To his great credit, Gov. Deval Patrick is resubmitting her nomination, emphasizing his support.

As for those justices who voiced their complaints — in the least, they demonstrate contempt for our federal law. The council’s decision not to allow Major Frison to respond to these “complaints” is disgraceful, embarrassing, inexcusable, and unacceptable.

More importantly to many of us, however, is their contempt for the 1-2 percent of those in our country who, as a group, are supporting our worldwide deployments and serving in the longest war in our nation’s history with multiple deployments and long exposures to hostile fire. Collectively, they have incurred more casualties from suicide than from enemy fire. Our military personnel, particularly activated reservists and guardsmen, have already “more than reciprocated” by defending us all.

One can imagine Justice Holmes’ disdain. He would surely sympathize with his sister servicewoman’s predicament and would likely hold those that have treated Judge Frison this way with the utmost contempt.

State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell


Armed citizens make a nation more safe

To the editor:

FBI statistics show every 12 seconds a home is invaded; 6,646 break-ins every day, more than 3.5 million burglaries per year; 38 percent of all assaults occur during a home invasion and 60 percent of all rapes occur during a home invasion. Further, the FBI states only 12.4 percent of burglars are ever caught!

In Switzerland, all males are issued assault rifles for their militia service and are required to keep them at home, yet little crime exists there. If there is a Schuetzenfest in town, you will find rifles slung on hat racks in restaurants, and you will encounter men and women, old and young, walking, biking, and taking the tram with rifles over the shoulder, to and from the range.

The Swiss Federal Police Office reports that, in 1997, there were 87 intentional homicides and 102 attempted homicides in the entire country. Some 91 of these 189 murders and attempts involved firearms. With its population of 7 million — which includes 1.2 million foreigners — Switzerland had a homicide rate of 1.2 per 100,000. There were 2,498 robberies and attempted robberies, of which 546 involved firearms, giving a robbery rate of 36 per 100,000. Almost half of these criminal acts were committed by non-resident foreigners, which is why one hears reference in casual talk to “criminal tourists.”

In a word, Switzerland, which is awash in guns, has substantially lower murder and robbery rates than England, where guns are banned. The only conclusion is that, in countries where gun ownership by legal citizens is banned, only the criminals have guns and they like to use them.

The Second Amendment gives us our God-given rights to a firearm for defense against tyranny and for self-defense. That was and is the intent and that is the law our government officials are sworn to uphold.

Bill Weimar


Get ready for more tax hike pain

To the editor:

Democrats have told so many lies about taxes and the fiscal cliff that they apparently felt compelled to extend, but not reduce, the Bush tax cuts on incomes below $400,000.

After 10 years of claiming that the Bush tax cuts were only for the rich (a lie), that they caused the deficit crisis (a lie), and that the Clinton tax rates were wonderful (fiction), why didn’t President Obama and other Democrats just let the Bush tax cuts expire and revert to the Clinton-era tax rates?

The answer is that reverting to the Clinton era tax rates would significantly raise taxes on every middle- and lower-income person and shift the total tax burden from higher-income people (under the Bush tax rates) to middle- and lower-income people (where it was with Clinton’s tax rates).

Paying significantly higher taxes would alert every middle- and lower-income person to fact that Democrats have been lying about the Bush tax cuts for 10 years.

However, extension of the modified Bush tax cuts means that every tax increase felt by any American earning less than $400,000 has been caused exclusively by President Obama and the Democrats.

Most working Americans will have a lower net income in January than in December because of President Obama and Democratic senators and congressmen. And, these tax increases are just the beginning of the pain. More is coming, caused by Democrats to reward their special-interest groups.

Don Ewing