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Charter issue like a loaded gun

Published: Fri, May 3, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Charter issue like a loaded gun

Never give a loaded gun to a crazy person, because not only might they shoot the enemy but they also might shoot you. The proposed charter amendment on the May 7 ballot may sound like a good law, and in the right hands it might be, but to others it could be a loaded gun waiting to go off.

Frack Free Ohio wants the law so it can stop oil drilling in the city of Youngstown. This law gives everyone living in the city basic rights to make their life better, but it also gives anyone over the age of 18 and who is a resident of the city the right to enforce the law as they see fit. To Frack Free Ohio this means stopping the drilling, but to you or me that could mean many different things.

The new law will guarantee our right to clean air, water, a noise free area and a toxic free city. This means that WRTA buses could be removed from the city streets because of the pollution and noise they make. Your neighbor or even a family member who smokes could become a polluter and have to face this law because the people interpret the law, not the police, mayor or city council.

You as a resident can use this law the way you want to to clean up the city, but this also means that anyone who moves into the city and becomes a resident can also make the law.

This law is too broad and with so many people making and enforcing the law as they see fit, it will cause nothing but confusion and fights in the city about who is right and who is wrong. We already have too much of that going on. This law should be voted down because it will lead to nothing but trouble .

James D. Vaughn II, Youngstown

Charter opponents have long reach

As a seasonal resident along the Allegheny River south of Warren, Pa., I had the opportunity two years ago to witness a confrontation over a proposed environmental bill of rights in that city similar to the one that now embroils Youngstown.

The sponsoring group in both cases was the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a group headquartered in a small Pennsylvania city which has assisted 110 communities in four states on environmental issues.

The environmental rights issue was defeated in Warren thanks, I believe, to the type of strident opposition which reminds me of the assault mounted here in Youngstown. However, the issue did receive a quite significant bloc of votes in Warren, which gratified its backers.

Since Warren is much smaller (pop. 12,000) and way less racially diverse than Youngstown, the result of the vote there may not necessarily be an indi- cator of what will happen in Youngstown, despite the tenor of the opposition here.

The entrenched powers in Warren no more wanted some upstart group from downstate telling them what they should do than Mayor Charles Sammarone, Atty. David Betras and Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Humphries want what they apparently view as an out-of-state “clique” setting standards for Youngstown.

In Warren, the opponents went so far as to claim what the environmental coalition proposed was contrary to the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights in the way they said it would impede environmental free-wheeling.

In Youngstown, opponents such as Sammarone and Betras have gone so far as to say that the environmental rights sought in the amendment to Youngstown’s City Charter (including no fracking for gas and oil in the city) could hobble the city economically, and even force the closure of the city’s new pipe mill, and that such rights constitute “bad law.”

I may appear na Øve, but I seriously doubt that the Pennsylvania group wants to set up any sort of road block to economic development in Youngstown, and I don’t doubt that its environmental goals are sound.

Robert. R. Stanger, Boardman

Shocking letter

I was shocked and surprised to read the Apri 26 letter from an Air Force officer who believes the Second Amendment is about the National Guard. Anyone believing that is uninformed as to American history.

The Bill of Rights was written by our founders to protect people from government. The National Guard is government. In 1956, the Arkansas governor called out the National Guard in Little Rock, and it was immediately federalized by President Eisenhower. So much for the state militia theory.

More gun laws make as much sense as more laws forbidding murder and assault. Laws are obeyed only by the law abiding. The most ridiculous being those signs on business doors requiring licensed gun owners to leave their weapons outside. Gun free zones tell criminals that there will be no opposition to their murderous rampages. It is no accident that schools are targets for mass murderers.

The Supreme Court has ruled that police have no obligation to protect private citizens. Give up your right to own and carry a gun and the government police will vigorously investigate your murder.

Donald Johnson, Liberty Township


1Billyc1943(21 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago


Most would agree the mentally ill people should be able to defend themselves from criminal activity.

Under your premise, mentally ill should have unrestricted access to firearms.

Most would agree that children should able to defend themselves from criminal activity.

Under your premise, children should have unrestricted access to firearms.

In your view all those folks who are now are prohibited to purchase guns should have "their right" to purchase without restriction "not infringed".

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2HappyBob(285 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Mr Johnson,

Regarding your concern about “gun free zones”.

It is well established under Ohio law that property owners can restrict who enters their property. Property owners can also be armed and they can authorize others to be armed on their property. Ohio schools can also authorize employees to be armed.

What Ohio law does allow is a property owner the privilege to post his property announcing that he does not allow just anyone to carry a gun onto his property.

You can keep repeating the myth that “there will be no opposition to their murderous rampages”, but is simply isn’t true. It still is a lie.

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3RustOnMyBelt(136 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I,too,own a fishing camp near Hickory Twp along the Allegeheny.The trout that inhabit the streams in that fragile ecosystem are the proverbial "canary in the coalmine". They are sensitive to droughts, errosion from roads being built,runnoff from farmlands,noise and vibrations within the Earth.There is cause for great concern over the boom in fracking and the risks ,known and unknown,of exploiting the lands near the forests.The July 2009 Field and Stream made mention of these dangers.The In-Fisherman Magazine,likewise,warned of the same threat to fish in the expansive Chesepeke watershed .We did not inherit the Earth from our Fathers,we are borrowing it from our children. There is no need to rush on this.The fuel has been there for millions of years-it will wait. Besides,it will only go to the highest bidder and not you and I.

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