Whidbey News-Times


Find Almberg’s actions on the Oak Harbor City Council reassuring | Letters

February 13, 2013 · Updated 3:50 PM


There have been well over one thousand gun-related deaths in this country just since the massacre in Newtown in December.

This is a shameful statistic and should at least spur debate among thoughtful people about the success of the American experiment in indiscriminately arming our populace.

Admittedly, there are reasonable people who have justifiable reasons for owning firearms—reasonable people should have no problem in documenting their qualifications and abiding by common sense restrictions on needlessly dangerous weapons, ammunition, accessories and irresponsible safeguarding of legal weapons.

And yet the NRA and its minions advocate resistance to any and all restrictions on gun ownership.

In the aftermath of Newtown there has been attention rightly directed at shortcomings in the way we deal with mental illness and the entertainment industry’s obsession with violence.

I recently went to the Sky Warrior Theater to see Silver Linings Playbook; a masterful portrayal of mental illness and its consequences.

The main feature was preceded by previews of three films showing continuous, loud and vivid depictions of shootings, dismemberments and incinerations of countless good and bad guys.

Clearly, our priorities need some attention.

The much-cited incident of Councilman Rick Almberg leaving a council meeting because of concern over the presence of Mr. Yonkman and his concealed weapon gains new relevance with the news of the California police shootings.

Mr. Yonkman, a military veteran, attempted to allay Mr. Almberg’s fears by stating that, as a military veteran, he was a “professional” at handling firearms. Well, Mr. Dorner, the California shooter, was a veteran of both the military and the LAPD and since there is presently no requirement for background checks, we should all feel intimidated by the presence of armed individuals.

Shameless attention-seekers like Mayor Dudley, Mr. Frail and the rest of the local and imported gun carriers notwithstanding, I find it reassuring that we are represented by people like Councilmen Almberg and Joel Servatius.

In spite of opinions by other recent letter writers, there is more than one way to interpret “a well-regulated militia” and the present interpretation is not working.

Ronald Cope
Oak Harbor


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