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Letters: Fourth gov. branch

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  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 23, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    No, Mr. Dalton. There are still only three branches of government, and ten amendments in the Bill of Rights. And one of those amendments is the Second.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    April 23, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    so.... what you are saying is that anytime a group successfully rallies their group members into political action that it is overstepping its' bounds?

    That would of course mean that all unions are a 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th,.... etc branch of government, many churches, PETA, Sierra Club, and a phlethora of other groups, .... in other words the people. Oh... but that's the way it's supposed to be. Thanks for helping us see that the system is working.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    Just think - IF the first 3 branches of government would uphold the Constitution (like they swore to do), there wouldn't have to be that 4th branch of government you allude to.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    April 23, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    I know how you feel. I feel the same way about all those liberal groups that rally its members and the public in general to get behind their agenda.

    The ACLU, the radical environmental groups, the NAACP, Unions, Planned Parenthood, etc., etc..

    Oh wait...they don't count because even they do the same kinds of things as the NRA, they support things you are in favor of. Did I get that right?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 23, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    I'm not sure the NRA, should get as much credit for this as they are. Yes Lepierre is very public and vocal but I believe the defeat of the background check bill says more about our politics than it does lobby groups. What is on displaly here is the political power a small proportion of the population has gained through gerrymandering, through the death of democracy in the senate, and through the effect of equal state representation in the senate. The President nailed it in '08 when he said there is a group in this country of angry, (mostly white males..my addition) who have lost the power to direct society as they want, who are clinging to their guns and religion as the last vestigae of what they perceive as liberty.

    Fix the gerrymandering, fix the filibuster and poof the NRA becomes smoke in the wind.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 23, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    Great letter!

    The NRA bought off our government. They appear to be the 4th branch of government! Great letter!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 23, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    "so.... what you are saying is that anytime a group successfully rallies their group members into political action that it is overstepping its' bounds?"

    Most would not agree with that.

    but when companies spend millions in campaign donations and countless millions in their lobbying efforts, we are not really sure that our legislators are doing what is right for he people or what is right for Americans and the US.

    Defense contractors Lockheed and Boeing collectively spent over $30 million to lobby congress in 2012 alone. Does anyone NOT think that money affects legislation?

    The National Association of realtors spent $41 million lobbying in 2012

    Blue cross Blue shield spent $21 million

    The top 20 spending companies on lobbying spent over 450 million dollars.

    They spent over $850,000 per congressman. And that is only the top 20.

    How many of you think that help to produce good laws?

    Seriously, tell me that we can get good laws for America when Corporate American spends this kind of money for favorable legislation.

    Walmart forbids its employees from accepting meals, travel or gifts from suppliers.

    Lets push for the same restrictions on our politicians.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 23, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    The real 4th branch of government is the IRS! They are more powerful than the other 3 branches combined. Don't believe it? Just don't pay your taxes and you will find out who controls you, your property and your liberties. The IRS has bankrupted more citizens and businesses than healthcare costs, more than the price of energy, more than Unions, more than global warming, more than losing your job and more than all the guns in Chicago. The NRA has never taken anyone's property, has no power to put you in jail or confiscate your money right out of your bank account without your permission. Any by the way, the IRS just got a lot more power; Obamacare!

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    April 23, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    What we really need to solve the gun problem (bad people with guns) is to have a "gun possession" license. Anyone who may want to possess a gun, must get a background check in order to get this license.

    Just because someone has a license, does not mean they actually own or possess a gun. It just means they can legally do it if they wanted to. It is like a driver's license. It just says I can legally drive a car (mine or someone else's), not that I own one.

    In fact, under this system the government has no idea if they have any guns, what types they are, or how many they may have.

    In order to buy a gun, they must prove to the seller (not the government) that they have this license. If someone is caught with a gun and does not have a license, they face criminal charges.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    Groups of all stripes now have more power than individuals in our governmental system...fact. Why is this so? I believe it has happened for only one reason and that is that groups can donate more money to the election campaigns of politicians. Take the money out of politics and the rightful balance of power would be restored.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    April 23, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    JoeBlow You forgot the Unions, and other liberal groups donating millions, GE was a big sponsor of Obama.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 23, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    It's not just the NRA, although they seem to be the gold standard at buying off government. It's big oil, big pharmacy, big religion, big health care, and pretty much everyone who makes a buck off the defense industry. And none of them have the interests of the average citizen in mind.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 23, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    NRA the fourth branch?

    Nah, it's George Soros and moveondotorg

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 23, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    "You forgot the Unions,"

    My oversight. Completely agree. All money corrupts. Yes, even unions and liberal groups.

    It's easy being independent. One can criticize ALL transgressions and issues without being concerned with party. My post, and my list did not breakdown the parties receiving the money.
    It makes no difference in the big picture.

    I see Soros and the Koch brothers as the same, just on different sides of the political fence. Both are trying to buy legislation.

    GE was included in my top 20, although not by name.

    The big money is not a liberal/conservative, GOP/Dem issue. I fully assert that the Dems are just as likely to be bought off as the Reps.

    But, make no mistake. They are ALL bought off.

    If you get the money out, then our congress will have to vote their views, and the views of the American people.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 23, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Soooooooo it appears as if repubs are ok with congress being bought off by the NRA and ignoring the wishes of 90 percent of us.

    Interesting.

    If you folks don't believe that the millions spent by the NRA to buy off legislators didnt influence them then I have ocean front property to sell ya. The issue here is freedom and democracy: not the freedom to buy guns but the freedom of our entire nation. How can we have freedom when corporations and lobbyists control congress?

    Are we the United States of America or the United Special Interests of America?

    That's the question we should all be asking ourselves. Yet, it seems as if the repubs are ok with flagrant and foul bribery. How much longer will The Lord stay his hand from wiping us clean off the map with such horrible corruption? Have we learned nothing from the nephites of old???

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 23, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    @ Hutterite. If you don't like the NRA, "big oil", "big pharmacy", "big religion" or anyone who makes a profit, don't give them your money. Next time you need medicines, gasoline, or anyone who makes a buck, call BIG GOVERNMENT!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 23, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Agreed.

    However, the NRA is just one branch on many of the 4th branches.

    $Money.
    It's all about the money.
    Secret Combinations who "manage" or "control" the government - not who ARE the government.

    The common fool thinks it is the Mafia or street gangs -- Ha!
    Child's play.

    In reality it is WallStreet, International Bankers, Industrial Military Complex,
    Big Oil, Big Pharm, Big Tobacco, and of course the NRA.

    The stupid Citizen's United ruling backed with Mitt Romney's talk about Corporations being "people" and possing any and all Constutional rights and priveledges of "People", but who can break any laws, even murder -- and can't be punished, jailed or executed for it.

    Master Mahan economics 101
    Lie, plunder, steal, and even murder -- to get GAIN.

    The Golden Rule.
    He who has the Gold, makes the rules.

    I pity good Latter-Day Saints who idolize and worship Babylon, and the Gadianton's who own it.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    April 23, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    I have yet to see a pro-gun argument that holds water.

    The gun-fatality statistics comparing nations are pretty hard to ignore.

    The second amendment applies, by its own language, only to a "well-regulated militia." Of course, the courts have expanded that application well beyond what language or reason permits.

    The second amendment says nothing about "guns." We already legally regulate all sorts of "arms" that our "well-regulated militia" needs to keep us safe: nuclear weapons, flame throwers, grenades, tanks, bunker busters, ICBMs, etc.

    If the presence of guns is supposed to keep us safe, we should be the safest country on earth, since we have the most guns.

    We don't regulate guns because profit is more important to many people than human life.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 23, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    Re: "I have yet to see a pro-gun argument that holds water. The gun-fatality statistics comparing nations are pretty hard to ignore."

    And our absolute, abject failure to fudge or affect those statistics by deranged leftist legislation is even harder to ignore.

    There's the National Firearms Act (1934); the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968; the Gun Control Act of 1968; the Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990); the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1993); and, of course the thoroughly discredited Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994), along with myriad state and local people-control laws.

    The problem? They only control the wrong people.

    None of these liberal power grabs made us safe, though the proponents of each promised us they would.

    Today's liberals insist on doing the same thing again, hoping for a different result this time.

    Insane? I think Dr. Einstein would say so.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    @Nate and Fitness Freak
    The Supreme Court noted in its decision overturning the Chicago/DC gun bans that you can't ban all guns... but that doesn't mean there can't be regulation. Everything the Democrats were proposing is Constitutional as far as the court has seen it.

    @procuradorfiscal
    "And our absolute, abject failure to fudge or affect those statistics by deranged leftist legislation is even harder to ignore."

    This doesn't make sense. You're saying that laws pushed by liberals make it harder for us to reduce gun violence stats relative to other nations... but those nations like the UK have laws that are even more strict than what the liberals are proposing. So... you are somehow arguing that there's an inverse bell curve where really strict and really loose gun laws both work but somehow moderate regulation is the worst option.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    Moving the comments on this article to the Comics page of the DN would be a service.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 23, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    Re: "You're saying that laws pushed by liberals make it harder for us to reduce gun violence . . . ."

    Not harder. Nor easier. As I said, they've simply been proven time and time again to have no significant effect.

    There have been hundreds, if not thousands of attempts [counting state and local Second Amendment infringements] to make us safe by burdening one or another Second Amendment freedom. All promised we'd be safer if we just accepted or embraced them.

    Exactly NONE of those attempts delivered on that promise.

    Now, liberals are again promising safety and security if we'll just accept their, oh so reasonable, but absolutely clear, infringements of our Second Amendment rights.

    One doesn't have to be Dr. Einstein to see that he must have been talking about precisely that kind of insanity.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 23, 2013 2:50 p.m.

    "As I said, they've simply been proven time and time again to have no significant effect."

    But, haven't we heard time and time again that 15 million people in the last 10 years were denied gun purchases because of background checks?

    Weren't 15 million people denied access to a gun on the day that they wanted to purchase one?

    Now, I believe that the work around for them is so easy, that it makes the current background check requirement fairly useless. Certainly many of those 15 million people bought from sources that did not require background checks.

    So, unless background checks are made universal, I believe that the current requirement is ineffective. I support background checks for all gun purchases.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    When you look at what the NRA has accomplished over the last 25 years it is astonishing. Gun rights and ownership have greatly expanded. It is one of the greatest liberal expansions of American's rights during this time. Coincidentally, fatalities by guns has also greatly expanded. Thru this liberal expansion of gun rights we've put more guns in idiot's hands and sadly this has produced thousands of innocent deaths. This is America, and fear sells. My only recomendation is too not buy the snake oil the NRA is selling.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 23, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    Reference the letter. Has no one ever heard of the fourth estate?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 23, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    Re: "I support background checks for all gun purchases."

    No doubt. Because the checks that are in place have made us SO much safer, huh?

    Dr. Einstein was right.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 24, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal "Dr. Einstein was right."

    Indeed.

    Recipe for Big Government:

    Identify a problem.
    Propose an ineffective solution.
    Apply pressure until the law passes.
    Wait for the problem to show up again.
    Repeat.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 24, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    Look at how many blame the NRA for standing up for the 2nd Amendment. What is wrong with those citizens that they would let government take about their right to keep and bear arms - or to diminish that right by "infringing" the process used to acquire those arms?

    The NRA is funded by citizens. It is not some magical entity that somehow has the power and the ability to "dictate to government". People give the NRA donations and expect the NRA to speak for them with a louder voice than they have individually.

    All "groups" for all parties function basically the same way. Unions use some of the dues paid by union members for political purposes. Special interest groups use the money donated to them by citizens to speak their "piece".

    Too many people complain about "speech" even as they use that right themselves. Whether speech is performed by an individual or by a group of like-minded citizens, it is protected by the Constitution and should be respected by every citizen whether they agree with the subject of that speech or not.