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Republicans & the NRA are keeping the anti-gunners in check

To the Daily Sun,

In a recent letter to The Citizen, Garry Patton of Hampton wants to vote for sensible gun control.

As with most anti-gunners, Mr. Patton points to 19 mass killings that occurred over 10 years. What he doesn't say is how any one of these mass murderers got their weapons. Were they stolen or bought legally? If these killers had no criminal record, no history of mental issues or one of many other factors, a background check wouldn't have prevented any of these murders.

Your president loves to use politics on many of these events. For example, he went to Newtown, Conn., after 27 children and teachers were killed, and most recently to Charleston, S.C., after the Church killings. If he thought it was so important, why didn't he attend any of the 390 people that died from guns in 2014. Also in 2014, there were 2,500 shootings in the home of your president. He will show up anywhere that he feels will get attention to take our guns away.

In the Washington Times Sunday Edition, Aug. 24, 2014, it was reported that Chicago's crime rate dropped as there was increase in concealed carry gun permits.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte keep fighting for the citizens of our country to keep our guns.

We owe it to our Republican Congress and the NRA for keeping your president and other anti-gunners in check.

Years ago during Meredith's Bicentennial Parade a group of men dressed as gangsters carried a sign that said, "Ban Crooks not Guns." As a Second Amendment supporter I can say that is true today.

L. Michael Hatch


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Susan Estrich - What courts do best

Sometimes what courts do best is the same as what second-grade teachers do best: clean up sloppy sentences. You know what the student meant to say, but what they actually did say doesn't quite make sense.

Six words: If you can't afford health coverage, subsidies are available through "an exchange established by the state."

But what if the state didn't set up an exchange and instead is relying on the exchange set up by the federal government?

Do you then NOT get a subsidy?

The majority opinion referenced "more than a few examples of inartful drafting," but concluded that "the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase."

In other words, Congress meant for the act to work, not to fail, and so the court, recognizing the frenzied state of drafting and redrafting mid-election, decided to read the bill so that it would work. It decided to read the bill so that poor people would get subsidies regardless of whether their state created an exchange. Congress was trying to help people who needed help, and the Supreme Court, as it has done in the past (maternity leave being an example of a gendered law that was upheld), has cleaned up the inartful language that would bar precisely what Congress was trying to provide.

So what's everyone yelling about? Simple. This was never about principle. This wasn't a dispute about the separation of powers or abuse of executive power or anything like that. This has been a fight about politics, fair and square.

Plenty of elections turning on it. But all politics.
So the people from the states that "weren't entitled" to subsidies actually wanted the subsidies — they were just against the law. You won't see many people sending those subsidy checks back in the mail, or insisting that their 20-something kids not be covered, or — imagine — excluding people from buying insurance precisely because they are sick. What could be more ridiculous?

I hope someone has tallied up the amount of time the Republicans have wasted filibustering and coming up with votes sure to fail in an effort to thwart their political defeats. And then what do they do? They go running to the courts to demand that the judiciary, known as unduly active when they're against you, become the staunch defenders of constitutional government when you're out to crush Congress.

In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said: "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare." By Scalia's lights, the court has saved the law twice now from its sloppy drafting — or unconstitutional abuse of power, which is how he would have it.

But there is another way to see it, which is simply this: The court did its job. It cleaned up some drafting and interpreted the law as a good-faith effort to accomplish what its drafters set out to do, which is expand affordable access to quality health care. No small job and not done perfectly, certainly not this time. But if we would spend half as much time figuring out how to fix the law, which is here to stay, as we have playing games that would neither destroy nor fix it, Americans might be better off in more ways than one.

(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)

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