Letters to the Editor

Provide shooting facilities

It’s ironic that the article, “Target shooting worries residents,” is right next to an article about a trap range that was closed due to the encroachment of residential development. I’m sure the folks who are complaining in Crooked River Ranch don’t want the shooters to move elsewhere, but to get rid of their firearms and take up planting trees in the forest and communing with nature. I’ve met these people.

There doesn’t seem to be a cry to stop the plans to shut down ranges, such as Redmond Gun Club, which give shooters a place to participate in several different shooting disciplines; shotgun, rifle, handgun and archery. These displaced members have no choice but to go out to the forest and other public lands to pursue their sport.

You never hear anyone suggest that “a range” should be developed, so that everyone can share the forest and other public lands together with a reasonable amount of safety and harmony for all. Shooters don’t mind sharing public lands with others, but the same courtesy doesn’t seem to exist.

Shooters have the right to pursue their sport on public lands, just like anyone else who enjoys such places. One answer to the problem would be to stop closing existing shooting facilities and to encourage development of new shooting facilities in areas that don’t have them.

Richard Weister

La Pine

Publish the number of suicides

I enjoyed John Costa’s musing on Dec. 22, about Alysha Colvin’s sad and tragic suicide. An old friend of mine who is the chaplain for the Sheriff’s Office told me that suicides in the county are very common. And yet this fact is kept from the public. While the public is deliberately educated about annual homeless counts, we are deliberately kept in the dark about annual suicide numbers. Why? Is it because the powers that be don’t want the public to know how sick and despairing our community is? I suspect this is the reason.

I believe they don’t want us asking the probing questions such as: Why are families collapsing in America? Why is depression at an epidemic level? Why are kids estranged from their parents in record numbers and husbands from wives? Because if we ask these questions, maybe we’ll discover that all is not well. Maybe we’ll discover that it takes more than a village to raise a child. It takes a strong family. And it takes the fear and love of God. So, I call on The Bulletin to begin publishing the number of suicides each year. Maybe this is a problem our society can and should examine and address.

John Shepherd

Sisters

Chudowsky doesn’t understand amendment

I observed, with some concern, the description that Bend City Councilor Victor Chudowsky recently provided to The Bulletin of the Citizen’s United court decision and Move to Amend. His point of view represents a clear misunderstanding.

The constitutional amendment that Bend City Council has been asked to support in essence says that corporations are not people, and money is not speech. Chudowsky’s statement that “the United States needs to protect all types of free speech” clearly misses the point.

The amendment would leave in place full protection for all types of speech. What would change, rather, is the volume of speech. Corporate and other special interest speech, driven since the Citizens United decision by billions and billions of dollars of untraceable “black money,” would once again be regulated and restricted.

The big money voices, which are far too loud, now drown out the voices of real people like you and me. The unregulated flow of money into our political processes profoundly corrupts the system of government. Move to Amend would level the playing field, finally. We must return to governance that is “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Be proud that the state of Oregon had the wisdom to pass a resolution in favor of Move to Amend this past July, the 16th state to do so.

John Rahm

Sisters