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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Letters to the Editor

I had two LTEs published this week, one in today's (Sunday) Tribune Review:

Trib. Letter

Your papers, please

I find it chilling that the Trib editorializes in favor of the Real ID Act of 2005, passed without debate and under the radar of the American public by its attachment to the Iraq war supplemental appropriations bill ("Security 'burden'?," May 31 and

It's a national ID card that would make Stalin proud, an internal passport that requires machine-readable technology to allow access to the data contained in it (remotely accessible RFID is what the Department of Homeland Security wants) and that can contain biometric data.

The government's ability to track every movement of its citizens doesn't go into effect into 2008 -- there's still time to repeal this unconscionable legislation, or have the courts block its implementation, not as an undue burden on the states, as the governors of the several states are alleging, but as an unconstitutional federal power grab and an invasion of citizens' privacy and freedom of movement.

Andrew Lewis

And one in Friday's Post-Gazette:

Post-Gazette Letter

Right to bear arms

In your May 23 editorial "Misfire: A State Gun Commission Misses Its Target," you ask, "Why can't local municipalities pass their own enhanced firearms measures by referendum? Why shouldn't a person be limited to buying one handgun a month, something that Gov. Rendell has supported in the past? (An exception could be made for collectors.)"

There is a very simple answer to these questions. Both of these measures would violate the constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Article I, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states: "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

While people may claim ambiguity in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (although reading the constitutions of the several states that were signatories should clear that up), there is absolutely no ambiguity in our commonwealth's constitution. Any measure which restricts the right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves would be null and void as well as unconstitutional.