Open Forum for week of Jan. 3

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for the Open Forum for publication in the next available issue after receipt. Letters may be sent to Forest Lake Times, 880 SW 15th St., Forest Lake, or by e-mail to [email protected] Letters should not exceed 250 words and must be signed with the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Deadline is noon Monday. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters and assure that rules of libel and good taste are not violated.


The Almighty NRA

Dear Jesus,

I got a call to action the other week asking me to send this message to the NRA. “In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the NRA must stand down and allow Congress and the President to pass gun control legislation.”

Before I ask, “What would you do?”, I’d like to ask if you know why we have to ask them to allow Congress?

I want to send the message but don’t want them to think that they have so much power we need to bow down to them. What would you do?

Your distant admirer, Cindy Dina.

Cindy Dina


Time for Regulation? 

In the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School opponents of stronger federal regulation of guns in Minnesota and elsewhere have argued that the best way to protect school children is to (1) arm teachers, (2) hire armed security guards for schools.

The irony is numbing – What does it say about the greatest country in the world that the weapons used in recent massacres (Sandy Hook, Aurora, Milwaukee, Virginia Tech, Red Lake) are not seriously regulated, yet (their argument goes) our 133,000 schools need guns on school grounds to protect children from individuals wielding these weapons?

I recall that the shooting of President Reagan and his press secretary James Brady in 1981 generated a blistering debate about gun control. The debate centered on the right to bear arms laid out in the Second Amendment versus the need to place restrictions on this right, similar in principle to those placed on the First Amendment (in today’s world, one’s right to free speech does not include talking about blowing up planes in the airport security line).

This debate was heavily influenced by the fact that a president had been shot, and eventually the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which instituted background checks on gun purchases, was signed into law. This legislation passed with the support of 77.3 percent of Democrats in the House of Representatives and 36.5 percent of the Republicans.

Will the tragedy at Sandy Hook produce similar bipartisan support for stronger federal controls as occurred when President Reagan was shot?

Michael Harwell
Forest Lake


Renters’ Lump of Coal

To renters: The mayor needs money and he’s decided you’ve been getting a “free” ride for too long…not paying property taxes!

His black and white cow, named Cash, which has been milking the old township for years since “One Great Forest Lake” was created, is now almost dry. Therefore he and his (two) voting partners have created a new source of income, called a franchise fee, to be added to your utility bills.

All residents will now be paying $4 per month on your electric bill and an additional $3 per month if you have a gas meter. These fees are subject to sales tax, also. At present, there is no collection charge by the utility providers.

Example: Trailer park residents with both gas and electric will pay $90 per year.

This “fee” can and will increase as the mayor and his voters wish (our stormwater fee went from $6 to $32!). So watch your purse strings.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Elvin Norby
Forest Lake