The Montana Standard publishes letters from readers in the Opinion section. Here are this week's letters.
To submit a letter to the editor, go here.
Once again, there is a bill, HB 325, in the Montana Legislature to expand where concealed weapons would be allowed. This bill, if passed, would prevent local governments from regulating the carrying of concealed weapons by revising prohibited places for concealed weapons.
It takes me back to yesteryear, the early 2000s, when, according to a newspaper article, a man, who had been drinking, was upset due to an incident at a local watering hole. Re-thinking his desire for revenge, he tucked his pistol back in his waistband, causing it to fire. The bullet took off his right testicle, burned his penis and went through his thigh.
Oops, mistakes happen. Most often when one is in a stressful situation, under the influence or not in control of one's emotions.
Why should the right to concealed carry supersede my right to know who the heck is "packing heat"?
Remember: "The testicle you lose may be your own."
John Ilgenfritz, Helena
We need services
In response to anyone who wants to argue that social services are not vital to a community and that the free market provides for all they need, let’s forget the hype and look at reality.
As for the case that a free market offers upward mobility: Yes, but only for 50% of Americans, which has been the case for the last forty-four years, so you still need to acknowledge the needs of the other 29% who are lower income, unless you want to “sweep them under the rug”. As for suggesting giving US corporations a tax break will solve economic problems: U.S. corporations contributed 9% in federal income taxes in 2015, while individuals contributed 48%. There were 27 “profitable S&P 500” corporations, like GM, that paid no taxes at all that year. So giving tax breaks to corporations is not as great as presented.
As for suggesting that corporations provide people income and health care: Yes, they employed 19.2% of the individuals in the US in 2018, which leaves the remaining 80.8% either working in a small business, government, or being self-employed. So you have to acknowledge their needs for income and healthcare.
As for suggesting social services are not needed: Here’s what’s currently available to you and others: Social Security for the elderly & disabled, Medicare and Medicaid, prisons, healthcare assistance (ACA), court systems, policing departments, public schools, housing assistance for the homeless, fire service, job training, adoption services, environmental protection, public lands & parks, legislative systems… Do corporations offer these services for everyone?
As for arguing that you can get anything you want in the grocery store solely because of capitalism: Ask your local farmers and see how many get checks from the government to not produce their products so that you can get whatever you want when you want it.
So to argue that in some way voting for a Democrat, who supports social services, is voting for someone that is “Un-American” or stupid, think again because you are not presenting all the facts or taking into consideration all the people in America. You are not very aware, nor realistic.
The federal government is for all the people and that’s why we have it. Without it you would have a bunch of warring tribes instead of The United States.
Robb Blotkamp, Anaconda
Miracle of capitalism
To experience a miracle all you need do is go to the grocery store. Here in the middle of winter and Montana you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, bread, fish and almost any kind of food item you can think of. Than you have drugs, beer and wine and way too many other things to list here. The same miracle can be experienced at other stores where you can buy a huge variety of items you want or need.
If that’s not enough you can use your computer or phone to buy anything from around the world and have it delivered to your door or travel to any place in the world in hours. These and many other things we all take for granted just like warm housing or gas for our vehicles, heart transplants etc. etc. It is hard to imagine anything you could need or desire that isn’t available.
This miracle is created by corporations and the competition of capitalism: things leaders in the Democratic Party want to tax or change. Capitalism doesn’t make everyone equal, but it has lifted more people out of poverty and created a society where upward mobility is not only possible but usual. Capitalism continually lowers the cost of goods and services while increasing quality and availability. Check prices on large screen TV’s.
Republicans recently reduced federal taxes on corporations to 21%. This greatly helped corporations stay competitive while continuing to operate in the USA, hiring American workers. Democrats want to increase those taxes.
If taxes are increased they will be paid for with an increase in product prices and/or moving operations to a foreign country. Want to pay more at checkout then vote for a Democrat. This is how Democrats tax the poor and middle class while blaming “greedy” corporations for not paying their “fair share” and “income inequality”.
Corporations don’t pay taxes they collect them. The only way they can pay is to get more money for products. Rich and poor all need things, so they pay the corporate taxes.
Successful corporations hire more workers and competition for workers results in higher pay. Many corporations provide health insurance. A job with health benefits; helps the poor a lot more than food stamps and Obama care.
Keep the miracle. Not socialism, welfare and promises they know they won’t keep, of free health and education an economic impossibility. Don’t vote for a Democrat.
Gary Fitzpatrick, Lewistown