Letter to the editor: Houghton County resolution is wrong

I’m writing to complain about the Houghton County Board of Commissioners’ Resolution 23-10 “Affirming Support of All Constitutional Rights” that was recently passed by a 4 to 1 vote. The resolution states, as if fact, that gun control laws “conflict” with Second Amendment rights. This is not true. Countless court precedents have already confirmed that gun control laws do not conflict with the U. S. Constitution. Many gun owners themselves favor gun control laws and see no such conflict. For a local governing body to make that claim as if it is an uncontested fact demonstrates either ignorance of or complete disregard for how our Constitutional American system of government works.

The resolution further asserts, again as if fact, that what is needed to prevent shootings is not gun control but “adequate” mental health programs. I wish it were so simple. Of course, we need “adequate” mental health programs. All of us definitely need to think twice before we vote down the next millage to fund such social service efforts, we need gun control, too.

I thank the board for raising the issue of gun violence because it is a matter of deep concern to us all, and it is far more important than other board issues, like potholes or the like. Gun violence should not be reduced to a mere either/or proposition. It’s not gun control OR mental health. It’s gun control AND mental health programs along with a host of other solutions. It is just plain wrong to claim, as the resolution does, that gun regulations such as red flag laws, registration of long guns, mandatory gun storage and “additional limitations on the lawful ownership and use of firearms” are unconstitutional. They are not.

I can only assume the purpose of the resolution was to give the sheriff and prosecutor cover to ignore our state and federal laws when, in fact, it is the resolution that is unconstitutional. As citizens, we need to make sure our elected officials obey the laws of our Constitution.

Denise Heikinen



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