Letters to the editor: 09-05-19

Column provides unintended chuckle

I am mildly entertained by the monthly humor column by Mikie Kerr, published in WHT as “Constitutional Corner.” Her listed credential for her ranting is that she is a “constitutional enthusiast.”


Me too!

I am also enthusiastic about medical issues and aeronautics, and will soon start submitting columns to WHT on surgery and space flight.

I could write a couple pages, pulling examples of unintended humor out of Ms. Kerr’s column on Aug. 30, but I will confine myself to one. She said, “The Second Amendment is short and quite easy to understand. However, the people’s right to keep and bear arms is infringed when states pass mandatory background checks.” If it were that “easy to understand,” I am not sure the U.S. Supreme Court would have taken so many opportunities to address its meaning.

But as to the “clear” unconstitutionality of background checks – and ease with which she makes this global pronouncement – let’s reflect on the words of Warren Burger, appointed by President Nixon as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1969-86:

“The Gun Lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies – the militia – would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.”

Now I don’t mean to suggest that WHT should discontinue publishing opinion pieces by constitutional enthusiasts. I just hope readers won’t be misled into taking Ms. Kerr’s enthusiastic pronouncements as having any basis in fact – or law.

James W. McGowan


Parable of the protectors

About 150 years ago the philosopher Auguste Comte stated categorically that the chemical composition of the star is, by its very nature, forever beyond the reach of human knowledge. This, of course, has been refuted through the study of the stars and the tenuous matter of interstellar space by means of astrochemistry.

With larger and improved telescopes along with advanced instruments, much more has been discovered about our universe. Humans have always been intrigued with the sky wondering if we are alone in this vast universe. Again, with great strides in telescopes and instruments, we now know that there are hundreds, if not millions, of other planets circling around distant stars. Is there any kind of life form on any of these? We hope to find out, but then, maybe some people don’t care or want to.

Possibly when you were little, your mother baked fresh cookies and then put them up high on a shelf out of your reach. Then you got a chair to stand on so that you could reach the cookies. Then, along came your big brother and took the chair away because he was the “protector” of the cookies. Now you could no longer reach the cookies.

If you are not religious, then Maunakea is just a pile of rock that came out of the ground and is not sacred. But if you are religious, then God put that mountain there as a stepping stone for humans to stand on to get a better view of her amazing and wonderful universe that she created.

Then the very few self-proclaimed protectors came long and would not let the astronomers use the mountain to build an even better telescope. They were there to defy what God had put there and deny the astronomers their cookies thus denying all of humanity in their quest for what’s out there.


Ted Johnson