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Saturday, June 5, 1999

Right to own firearms must be protected

With all the attention guns have been getting, it still bewilders me to think that everyone has missed the real point.

The Second Amendment has nothing to do with crime, hunting or sport shooting. We were given the right to keep and bear arms as a check against tyranny within our own government, and to allow us to protect ourselves in the event of foreign invasion, should our military fail in protecting us.

This, as well as other rights in the Bill of Rights, is the foundation of our nation. To successfully attack any of them is dangerous to our liberty and should be avoided at all costs.

Victor Limacher
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Rights to speak, shoot should be protected

When I was in grade school, I was beat up and picked on because I was the only white kid. When I moved, same problem.

My dad taught me the basic safety rules of firearms when I was 5. By the time I was 8, I had demonstrated responsibility to his satisfaction to learn how to shoot.

The gun was kept loaded and hidden. I was shown where it was and how to get ahold of it if I needed it. I never shot anyone.

I was taught by my parents and teachers (yes, in public school!) that the First Amendment was not for pornography, but to permit me to speak on issues I considered important, without interference of government. If enough other people are of like mind, then we are free to reshape society.

The Second Amendment is not for hunting but to guarantee that members of the public can protect themselves against enemies -- foreign, domestic, government or criminals.

Rik Cedestrom



"My guess is that sometime in the future we will normalize our relations with Las Vegas because of the Hawaii connection. I can't imagine us having a hard-and-fast (rule) that we're not going to ever play those guys again."

Kenneth Mortimer
President, University of Hawaii
On plans to resume relations with the eight teams that abandoned the Western Athletic Conference, especially the University of Nevada-Las Vegas

"He's lucky to be alive. When people fall 32 feet, we're normally investigating fatalities."

Alan Traenkner
Regional director of enforcement and investigations for the federal occupational safety and health administration
About a $135,000 fine levied against Hawaii Stevedores for a December accident in which an employee fell 32 feet onto the deck of a ship.

Poisoning pigeons is inhumane act

The media flatter us by telling us what a humane people we are. At the same time, they tell us of bombs, missiles and handguns that we use and, today, we learn of pigeon poisoning at the International Market Place. Again.

It's a hideous death for the birds, with blood coming out of their eye sockets, etc.

PBS recently aired a show about wildlife in European cities co-existing peacefully with humans. I know from my own experience that some cities not only allow pigeon feeding but vendors are right there selling the bird food.

Can't we be as humane as we're told we are? Must we always resort to the most brutal and inhumane methods?

Rosemarie Tucker

Cayetano paid off unions for election help

HGEA and UPW members must be beaming with pride. Governor Cayetano eagerly signed the bill that authorized a retroactive pay raise for state workers that cost $166 million.

Raiding the state Employee Retirement System enabled politicians to repay their debt to union members, who helped their re-election efforts in 1998. But what else could have been done with $166 million? Let's see.

Four new schools could have been built, tuition waivers of $4,500 for students to attend four years of college could have been provided, tax incentives for small businesses to hire 7,500 new workers could have been set up, or half of the Hawaii Convention Center's long-term debt could have been retired.

But, noooo, instead of using this huge amount of money to improve the economy, it went to pay off our bloated government work force.

I don't know of any private-sector companies that are in a position to grant their workers such a retroactive pay raise, since most of them laying off employees.

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach

Hoku winners deserve to revel in their awards

In his May 25 column, Dave Donnelly refers to the prestigious Hoku Awards ceremony as the "Hokey Awards" and an "Only in Hawaii" show. 'A'ole, Mr. Donnelly, you are wrong!

All the nominees work tirelessly all year to entertain people and bring joy to their lives. They're given only one night to be honored among their peers. They deserve a little respect, not criticism.

If they want to shed a few tears, or share their thanks with those who contributed to their victories, why not? To all the nominees and winners: maika'i.

J. Ha'aheo 'Aina Cockett
Via the Internet

DeSoto has insulted concerned electorate

Thanks to City Councilwoman Donna Kim for doing her homework in giving us a true picture of opportunistic Council members.

Meanwhile, Councilman John DeSoto's recent comment that voters don't "give a rip" when it comes to capital budget requests is a sad indication of the level of thinking on the Council.

His statement shows that he is willing to engage in unprincipled politics just to bring home the pork. It is also an insult to people like myself who do care about how city government operates.

C. Nakamura

UH school is needed to keep Hawaii healthy

This is supposed to be the healthiest state in the nation. If so, why are negative health statistics for minority groups -- in heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other chronic diseases -- soaring to new heights in Hawaii?

I am alarmed by this, because it reflects the ill conditions of our health and welfare. There is an obvious need for culturally competent and sensitive health professionals to address this. Training our own health professionals will help facilitate the process.

I am a single parent and a doctoral student trying to finish my program at the University of Hawaii School of Public Health. Without the school, there will be little or no possibility for myself or others, whether from this state or elsewhere, to attain our goals.

Rhoda A.L. Kaluai

Would you trust Pada with your children?

I could not believe Angelene Lim's May 27 letter, asking that Kimberly Pada be given a chance to redeem herself. Pada was found guilty of a lesser crime instead of the rightful charge of attempted murder of her son, Reubyne Buentipo Jr.

I agree that, from time to time, we may fail our children. But our actions would never leave a child battered, bruised and in a coma. Since Pada will not serve a full 20-year sentence, she should never be allowed to be with her son again. If she is, that in itself would be a crime.

If Lim means what she says, she should be there to pick up Pada when Pada is paroled and let her babysit for her family's children.

Eric Daido
Via the Internet


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