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Opinion Letters

1) As a gun owner, parent, teacher and American, I believe that there is no legitimate reason for civilians (such as myself) to own weapons capable of firing more than 10 shots before reloading. A 30 rounds mag (typical of AR15 or AK47-type assault rifles) can do as much or more damage as a hand grenade.

2) Hunters don't need 11 shots in a row, unless they’re hunting wild hogs, and a couple guys with 10 rounds each will do the job.

3) There are already too many assault weapons in circulation. We need to stop adding to the problem. I am not advocating the confiscation of legally-owned weapons. Instead, I am advocating that a finite amount of them are in circulation, as opposed to an infinite amount, growing every year.

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I believe all N.C. citizens including our governor and state legislators would agree with the Declaration of Independence that "all men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” There are currently 1.5 million N.C. citizens with no health insurance coverage. Research shows that these people without insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their insured counterparts (2009, American Journal of Public Health). That is over 3,000 people in N.C. that will die every year if the legislature and governor do not expand Medicaid as currently prescribed in the Affordable Care Act covering an estimated 500,000 new low income citizens. Senate leader Phil Berger apparently believes that every citizen does have the right to life, when he writes, “Senate Republicans are committed to ensuring every North Carolinian receives the highest-quality care and outcomes.” Maybe they are just unaware that not expanding Medicaid would result in the pointless loss of life of so many of our fellow citizens or maybe they believe that we simply cannot afford expanding the current program.

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Recently, after a serious falling accident, I experienced medical treatment from our local healthcare system at Highlands- Cashiers Hospital and at Asheville’s Mission Hospital. Doctors and nurses at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital saved my life and I spent 10 days in Mission’s ICU getting well.

My treatment and care at both hospitals was, in my opinion, the best there is. Highly qualified doctors, nurses, staff and specialists in both hospitals exhibited the utmost in professionalism and impeccable care.

It saddens me to think that our children and grandchildren will never know this quality of healthcare. As Obamacare unfolds, we are seeing how, with this onerous law, the federal government dominates the system and we will watch as the quality of medical care declines. Government is inserted into what should be strictly a patient/doctor system. As bureaucrats in government agencies dictate how doctors and hospitals treat us, good doctors will leave the primary care profession and hospitals, especially emergency rooms, will be overrun with more patients than they are equipped to handle.

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Well over a half century ago, the infringements, abridgments and usurpations of government against our liberties ordained in the Bill of Rights began. Recently, this has accelerated to an intolerable assault on our Constitution, individual freedoms, and personal prosperity. Reasonable, freedom loving individuals see the dangers posed by the centralization of government power and realize the power-mania and greed of the few that chart this course must be reined in. Unfortunately, the seeming ignorance and apathy of millions of Americans may not make this possible in our immediate future.

This authoritarian government, and opportunistic demagogues, are currently taking advantage of the emotions created by the heinous events perpetuated by seeming mentally ill individuals. Claiming “the interest of [so-called] safety,” these demagogues have accelerated their assault on the 2nd Amendment which states "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Why? The 2nd Amendment answers that question as it also states, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state." Thomas Jefferson once said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” The 2nd Amendment was established as a safeguard against tyranny.

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