Kerry is pro-gun/hunting/fishing in letter to the editor
UPDATE: Peter sent me this e-mail:
Please put these comments in your news letter.
I am not fighting the gun battle. I
am worried about the environment. If we let the earth continue to
be raped by a president with the worst environmental record in history
we won?t have to worry about hunting and fishing, and owning guns.
With global warming, habitat fragmentation, pollution and other environmental
concerns being ignored, the fish won?t be edible and the game will
be no more. By the way I hunt to put meat on the table and not for
The following letter appeared in my local newsletter's letter to the
editor on 10/15/04: http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2004/10/15/15leters.htm
Kerry's the choice
I have been hunting and fishing for
over 50 years. I am a Republican. I am voting for Kerry. Here are
some of Kerry's positions on guns directly from his Web site:
Kerry is a strong supporter of sportsmen's
rights to hunt and fish. He is a lifelong hunter. He is a gun owner
and he believes in the right to bear arms. Kerry emphasized his strong
belief in the Second Amendment. He has said that he will "work
to ensure that the basic rights of all Americans to legally and safely
hunt and fish are protected."
will support greater land conservation for hunting and fishing, and
will work to prevent the construction of new roads into our remaining
roadless areas, specifically to prevent further fragmentation of our
Bush, on the other hand, is clueless on the environment. He has a
devastating environmental record which will have long-term detrimental
affects on hunting and fishing and our own health. Bush released new
guidelines in January 2003 that will reduce federal wetlands protection.
Bush proposed a rule that would remove
mercury emissions from Clean Air Act regulations that have been used
to limit the most toxic air pollutants. Mercury contamination in fish
is poisoning us. Just read the advisories in your 2004 fishing regulation
Lake Ariel, Pa., (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I called the local board of elections
and they have him listed as a republican and I checked on the internet
and found out that the same letter was sent by the same person to several
Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA: http://www.bradenton.com/mld/thetimesleader/news/editorial/letters/9860046.htm
I called dear old Pete and he said that
he had sent the letter to about 5 papers. When I started to talk to him
I found out that he was very uninformed because he thought that the assault
weapons ban had to do with full-atuo guns, he did not know that Kerry
was supported by the anti-gun and anti-hunting groups, he did not know
that Kerry had co-sponsored a bill that would ban many current semi-auto
hunting guns or that Kerry had voted to ban hunting ammo.
When I asked him if he felt the 2nd Amendment
had more to do with protecting our hunting rights than our right to keep
and bear arms he started to talk about the type of guns that they had
when the 2nd Amendment was written. I said that you can not talk about
that because to agree with that you would also have to agree that the
"Press" at the time only had hand written letters and everything
that was printed was hand printed on a press one at time and the type
was hand set. The founding fathers could have never envisioned the modern
printing press and the internet, TV and radio so the 1st Amendment and
the "Freedom of the Press" should only apply to hand presses
and hand written letters and not to anything that uses computers or electronics.
I also pointed out that the musket of the
time was their assault weapon and that the large barrel and smaller ball
was designed to maximize their rate of fire. That in fact a high rate
of fire was the main goal of musket and the British tried to use a breach
loading black powder gun with a much higher rate of fire than the musket
and it was very successful when it was used however the leader of the
unit, who was the biggest proponent of the gun, was killed in battle and
after the battle the unit was broken up and the guns turned back in and
never used again. If the Americans or British could have made a machine
gun using the technology that they had they would have made them and used
Pete's main points when I talked to him
was the war and the environment and that he was looking at the whole picture
and not just our gun/hunting/fishing rights. I said that the points that
he made in the letter only dealt with our hunting/fishing rights and the
2nd Amendment. He said he supports the 2nd Amendment as long as the gun
are the ones that the government approves. He said the he would rather
have Kerry as President and fight the anti-gun groups and anti-hunting
groups rather than vote for Bush and not have to worry about our ability
to hunt or our 2nd Amendment rights and fight with the Bush administration
to improve their environmental record.
The question is who will the pro-gun/hunting/fishing
groups have more influence with?
- Pres. Bush who has supported us and who we have supported, to improve
his environmental record or
- Pres. Kerry, who has never supported us and who we have never supported,
to not support or sign another expanded gun ban or more hunting/fishing
regulation pushed and proposed by his anti-gun/hunting/fishing friends
who have given Kerry a ration of 100%.
Please try to write their local newspapers when you see letters like
Costume gets kid cuffed, Pine Bush senior had replica of Civil War musket
October 13, 2004, By Christian M. Wade, Times Herald-Record
UPDATE: Things are not as clear cut as they seem.
I appears that the rule is that all blanks are suppose to be turned in
at the end of the event and that is hard to do if you leave early. Those
and other problems aside, it looks like the kid was arrested improperly
because he did not have a gun and that is a requirement if they want to
arrest you for having a gun on school grounds. This is the type of arrest
that you can bring a law suit for because they could have taken him back
to the station and looked up the law and looked at the rifle to find out
if it was a real gun or a blank shooting replica.
Pine Bush – Last weekend, Joshua
Phelps was fighting Confederate soldiers with a Civil War-era musket in
his arms, re-enacting the epic 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville.
When the Pine Bush High School senior was
done charging around the grassy fields behind Montgomery's Brick House
Museum, he tossed his musket, a bayonet and Union soldier's blue uniform
in his car and forgot about it.
Yesterday, a security guard at the high
school saw the butt of the musket. He called the cops. The discovery by
the guard sparked a chain of events that got the B-average student arrested,
suspended from school for five days and facing weapons charges. He could
be expelled from school and even jailed.
Phelps, 17, was sitting in study hall when
the security guard told him to come to Assistant Principal Aaron Hopmayer's
office. When he got there he was told that a rifle had been spotted in
his car. He wasn't concerned. He knew they would understand. "I actually
thought it was kind of stupid, at first, when I heard it was about the
musket," Joshua said. "I didn't think I'd get arrested over
He went with them to the parking lot and
let them search his car. They pulled the musket from his back seat along
with a uniform and Civil War-era accessories. Minutes later, he was arrested
by Town of Crawford police, handcuffed, and charged with fourth-degree
criminal possession, a misdemeanor. The cops confiscated the gun. His
mother, Valerie Michaels, is outraged. "They arrested my son for
having a Civil War costume," she said yesterday. "The school
district has blown this incident totally out of proportion. It's ludicrous."
The musket was part of the teenager's Civil War-era costume, which included
his uniform – shoes, leather belt, jacket, hat, powder keg and a
leather cartridge box.
Over the weekend, Phelps participated in
the re-enactment of the May 1863 battle of Chancellorsville at the Brick
House Museum, an annual event hosted by the 124th New York State Volunteers,
the famed "Orange Blossoms." The re-enactors model themselves
after the original regiment, which was mustered into action from Orange
County in the summer of 1862. The unit would take part in the battles
of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg the following year – key conflicts
in the war.
Michaels said she understands how school
officials would be concerned, in the post-Columbine era, after discovering
the musket on school grounds. But she said once they learned the musket
was a replica, they should have given him a break. "I don't understand
why the school wants to push this so far," she said. "There
are bigger problems at that high school than this. It just doesn't make
Town of Crawford police Chief Daniel McCann
disagreed. Replica or not, he said, the musket could have been used to
fire a projectile, such as a small rock. He said officers found 14 to
15 rolled cartridges with black powder, and a bayonet. "I know this
might appear to be a minor thing, but it's not," McCann said. "The
musket was found in his car on the high school grounds and could have
Pine Bush Superintendent RoseMarie Stark
called yesterday's incident a "student discipline matter" and
School officials say bloody massacres like the April 20, 1999, one at
Columbine High School, have prompted state and federal governments to
enact laws about weapons in schools.
Many states have a zero-tolerance stance,
meaning a fake musket that fires blanks carries the same penalty as a
loaded AK-47 assault rifle. In New York, each case must take into account
the weapon, the circumstances and the student's history. "There is
a concern among school districts, even with replicas or fake guns,"
said David Ernst, a spokesman for the state School Boards Association.
In Pine Bush, the high school had recruited
students to become involved in the Civil War re-enactors club. Phelps,
who joined the Civil War Club a few months ago, said he was looking to
get more involved in extra-curricular activities, hoping it would boost
his standing on college applications. He found an ad for the club in the
school district's annual catalog. After joining, the Orange Blossoms,
who are affiliated with the club, gave him a uniform, the replica musket
that shoots blanks, a powder keg and a Union soldier's uniform.
"If they [the school district] were
really so afraid that a replica musket could be used to shoot someone,
then why are they giving them out to 17-year-olds?" Michaels asked.
Rudy Vallet from Goshen, lost his courageous
battle with leukemia and died Saturday, October 2, 2004 at New York Presbyterian
Medical Center. He was 63.
Few people in Orange County have ever worked
as hard, have spent as much time with as many clubs and groups as Rudy
did in protecting all aspects of our lands and our rights as Rudy did.
Rudy held many positions in many clubs and groups in Orange County
and attended many meetings across the state representing Orange County.
Rudy was also very active in SPARC,
Stewart Park and Reserve Coalition, a group who has led the fight to preserve
the Buffer Lands west of Durry Lane next to Stewart Airport.
Rudy was awarded the "Sportsman of the Year" award from the
Orange County Federation of
Sportsmen's Clubs, Inc. in 2002. The award recognized the years of
hard work that he had spent as an officer in the club and representing
the club at many functions and meetings. As the Federations current Secretary,
a position that he held for many years, Rudy spent many hours preparing
the monthly meeting minutes, writing letters, and representing the Federation.
Rudy was very active in the local community,
serving on the Goshen Village Planning Board, and in a myriad of environmental
organizations. They inlcude: Orange County Federation of Sportsmen's Club,
The County Seat Conservation Club of Goshen, The Stewart Park and Reserve
Coalition, the Sterling Forest Partnership, the Quassaick Creek Project,
the Edgar Mearns Bird Club, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, the Nature
Conservancy, Southern Catskill Anglers and the Goshen Heritage Coalition.
He was also Orange county sportman's delegate to the seven-county Region-3
Fish and Wildlife Management Board.
In lieu of flowers, relatives request that
contributions be made in Rudy's honor to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,
Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter, 1311 Mamaroneck Ave., Suite 310, White
Plains, NY 10605.
Soft-spoken land advocate will be missed
By Bill Conners, For the Poughkeepsie Journal
One of the leading voices in the
movement to protect several thousand acres of land in the Mid-Hudson
region from development has been stilled. Rudy Vallet of Goshen,
Orange County, died last weekend following a long battle with cancer.
Vallet's name has long been associated
with sporting and conservation causes, but if there is one issue
where his name jumps to the forefront it has to be the decades long
battle by SPARC -- the Stewart Park and Reserve Coalition -- to
save the Stewart Buffer Lands from the ravages of developer's bulldozers.
Now known as Stewart State Forest,
more than 5,000 acres immediately to the west of Stewart Airport
have been set aside as park land. It is possible that the outcome
of a pending lawsuit brought by SPARC and other interested parties
which would block the construction of an access road could expand
the protected acreage.
The state had taken the property from
hundreds of landowners in the early 1970s using eminent domain laws
-- the right of government to appropriate private property for public
In a case that is pending before the
United States Supreme Court right now, the question to be resolved
is whether the government should be allowed to seize private property
and then convert it to commercial use.
I had the privilege of serving with
Vallet on the Department of Environmental Conservation Region 3
Fish and Wildlife Management Board. As I watched and listened to
Vallet in his capacity as chair of that board, it was easy to see
how he could capture the hearts and minds of the students he taught
during his long career as a teacher.
Vallet's was a firm yet gentle voice
in an arena where it sometimes seems that the loudest voice wins.
That wasn't his style. Even when you were arguing with him, it didn't
feel like you were. He knew how to stand his ground and make his
point, and he knew how to do it in a non-confrontational manner.
Responding to criticism that SPARC
was driving up unemployment by blocking the access road and the
construction jobs that would come with it, Vallet countered that
just as many jobs would be available if an access road were built
that didn't destroy valuable park land.
For all the folks who served with
Vallet in the Orange County Federation of Sportsmen, SPARC, the
Fish and Wildlife Management Board and the many other organizations
that were lucky enough to captured his attention, it will be difficult
to accept that he will no longer be that at the table to make sense
out of nonsense. He had a way of doing that. He could, in a very
gentlemanly fashion and in a voice not one octave higher than normal,
boil arguments down to their most basic elements and then get everyone
to at least listen to each other in spite of the differing opinions
Vallet would be the first person to
point out that he was not the only soldier in the battle to save
the buffer lands, that it was and continues to be a battle that
must be fought by an army of conservationists. But every army needs
its generals, among whom I count Vallet.
Rudy Vallet's legacy will not be just
what he did, but also how he did it.