In response to HF 8 and HF 9

Current Minnesota law requires any person wanting to purchase a pistol or an “assault weapon” (and assault weapon is defined in state law), to apply for a Transferee Permit. Currently these permits are good for one year. Persons who have a valid permit to carry do not have to apply.

The new law would require one to be at least 21 years old or older, would apply to all firearms (that must include black powder firearms?), and would be valid for one purchase and would then expire immediately. Valid permit to carry holders would also have to apply for the transferee permit.

To get one of these permits, one goes to the police department or the county sheriff’s office to apply. They then basically do a background check. If you pass and then go to purchase a weapon, I guess then another background check is done?

I wonder if funding to police and sheriff departments is included to handle the extra work?

Then there is the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 in the U.S. Senate since the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 did not go anywhere. Basically, the bill includes 205 “military-style assault” firearms listed, by name, that will be banned. In most cases it is the “cosmetic” features that are attached to the rifle, shotgun, or pistol that makes it an “assault weapon” to the anti-gun people. So, if it has “scary looking stuff” on it, it qualifies.

Quoting from Gun, The term “assault weapon” seems to give an impossible characteristic to an inanimate object. No inanimate object can assault anybody. For example, any knife could be used to assault someone, however, the knife is not an “assault knife.” Instead, an assaulter (a person) used a tool (a knife) to assault someone.

Dave Dickey, Aitkin

It only takes a moment

Like many motorists, I am frustrated when I see a vehicle swerving only to look over to see a driver texting or operating their phone. It amazes me that the driver thought whatever was on the phone at the time was more important than the innocent lives on the road.

My job forces me to drive more than most, so I see the distractions all the time. I hear the excuses – I only looked down for a moment, my kids were misbehaving, I was waiting for an important text.

Nearly 20 percent of all fatal crashes can be blamed on driver distraction. Each year, 65 people lose their lives to distracted driving and more than 200 suffer life-changing injuries. It only takes one time for a driver to take their eyes off the road and make a fatal mistake that will change their lives and the lives of others around them forever.

Distracted driving is more than texting. Distracted driving can include driving with headphone usage for both ears, failing to drive with due care, operating a cell phone on a provisional driver’s license, and improper lane usage.

We’re pleading with people to do their part and put the distractions away. If you are the passenger, speak up and tell the driver to focus on the road and offer to be a designated texter. Together, we can save lives. For the safety of every resident in Aitkin County, do your part to keep our roads safe.

Lieutenant Adam Fulton, Minnesota State Patrol

What have obligarchs done lately?

Pat Williams weighed in on old-time “seize the means of production” socialism last week. Nice, full-throated “Go team of rugged individualists!” (A bit sensationalist, perhaps: “Honeymooning in Moscow.” Informed evaluation of a socialist country seems sensible for a Democratic Socialist, though visiting the self-reported happiest-in-the-world countries of northern Europe would have allowed Bernie to see something closer to what Democratic Socialists are working for in the U.S. No politician here is suggesting that we emulate Russia in the pre-oligarchical Putin era.) Pat’s opinion on Venezuela may be based on news Pat hears through media outlets chosen for Pat on behalf of the billionaires who profit from our divisiveness, media providers. They tabulate what we read and like and send us more material in the same vein, making us feel self-righteous and like buying things.

Socialism’s historical experiments usually involved a single political party/state/dictator/authoritarian owning most major industries and allowing little personal freedom. The refreshing Bernie-influenced progressives trying to keep the Democratic Party relevant and honest (putting their finances where their mouths are, refusing corporate money) are talking about a smart re-do of unfettered capitalism, reining in extremes of wealth and poverty. Bernie got listeners by reviving the term “billionaire class.” He has worked with Democrats (except when he’s broken from them, voting against fixing Obamacare because Medicare for all is better, and wisely agreeing to appear on Fox News to talk about what folks in middle America want to discuss, on 4/15. This gave the DNC such conniptions they called him disloyal.) That Bernie. Most popular politician in the U.S.

People like him because they get that Democratic Socialism is: different from earlier, severe socialist undertakings, and appealing, government for the people. The Democratic Socialists want billionaires to pay more taxes on their so much money that they don’t know what to do with it all. (They haven’t figured out that only they can prevent climate change, by revolutionizing energy infrastructure.) We can spend it on other stuff that people like too: Medicare, Social Security, education, healthcare, police, firefighters, roads, libraries. In Democratic Socialist countries the middle class thrives and poverty decreases. (Fifteen bucks an hour would greatly increase security for working folks.) Don’t forget labor unions’ winning benefits that workers enjoy: worker comp, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, weekends, health insurance, pensions, sick and parental leave, child labor laws.

It has been in the billionaires’ interests that Americans remain divided from each other, conquered by the manipulators of our very tastes. Time to say no thank you to that frontal lobotomy and put on our thinking caps. Why don’t we do it like the happiest folks?

Democratic socialism isn’t going to stifle the unstoppable crop of entrepreneurs in this country. The Green New Deal will turn them loose. In the situation comedy that this country has become, I would love to see the occupant of the White House be a cool old cat. (“So what have oligarchs done for you lately?”)

Marcia Baer, Aitkin

Are pedestrians safe in any crosswalk?

Probably not! I feel the only reason that I am alive yet today is because of my own vigilance having walked in this city of Aitkin for over 30 years and walked in safer country settings for more years than I can count.

Not all drivers seem to know pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks even though not all are marked. This means to me, any intersection you need to cross to reach your destination is considered a crosswalk unless perhaps signage may say otherwise!

Just had a conversation with one of our “leaders” asking why not get cameras monitoring crosswalks? I say spend some of our taxpayer’s dollars for pedestrian safety in this community. We taxpayers mostly spring locally for way too many new squad cars, new hires, raises for current employees but no money for cameras at crosswalks! Many of you should know if you read news reports, almost daily a number of pedestrian’s are killed due to being hit by some car drivers that do not understand the crosswalk laws!

How many walkers have to die due to not being monitored by the law? Perhaps they are too busy and too much paperwork? Seems to me if cameras were monitoring, they could sit in the office a lot more? Cameras are the way of our world today. Businesses, law enforcement and yes, even homeowners are using them today to protect themselves, as we are told the law can’t be everywhere, and we surely know that, don’t we? So why not cameras at crosswalks to save lives? I feel those in charge of our lives especially locally need to try harder to keep us all safe. Let me be the first to tell you times have changed dramatically and sadly not for the better!

So, will my recent conversation with the powers that be about pedestrian safety, wondering why not install cameras monitoring cross walks even be considered? Of course, I wonder will this recent conversation go anywhere, or just be swept under the rug like so much else because it is not their idea or perhaps, they just don’t care? I asked that he let me know if the talks he promised me will take place and what the outcome is/was?

Walkers/pedestrians none of us want to be the next statistic of being hit and killed within legal crosswalks, by some car drivers that do not give us the lawful right-of-way. Are pedestrians really safe within this city’s crosswalks? Walking almost every day, I will say, not always! Remember every street corner is a crosswalk!

Georgia Johnson, Aitkin

Killing innocent blood

We all know the reprehensible, evil, murderous “law” put into place recently that allows taking away the life of babies even now to full term. It makes most Americans very angry and heartsick.

These rogue lawmakers are perpetrating a scripture mentioned in Psalm 94: 20-21 which reads, “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.”

And further in Isaiah 59: 7 the Word of God says, “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.”

These lawmakers are fulfilling these scriptures. These totally depraved lawmakers have made a law to suit their own selfish motives. And it is strictly political. There are eight states now that have “gathered themselves together” to perform this atrocity: Vermont, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Oregon, New York, Alaska, New Jersey, Colorado and District of Columbia. Let not Minnesota “gather with the vultures.”

These “representatives” of the American people are there because they have been voted in.

Let’s not keep them in power by voting for them next time around. It makes me wonder which of their own children they would deny life to? It’s real easy to not let a baby have a life, when you yourself have one. These lawmakers have had a chance at life...of being reared by parents, childhood, schooling, marriage, children, grandchildren, careers, travel, etc. Who are these butchers who have decided to take the babies lives? Yes, they are “lawmakers” and they are God’s “ lawbreakers.”

You know this country started aborting when development hadn’t gotten very far but just like a cancer, it grew and we were able to take babies’ lives away from them until now a full term. What is to keep these monstrous lawmakers from another law (God forbid) to extend up to a year old? Think, America....

The only way is to vote them out of power.

Darla Gould, McGregor


The U.S. is a sovereign nation, independent, with supreme authority or power over itself. The U.S. became one by declaring itself to be one, when in the Declaration of Independence, the forefathers wrote of Americans as being “one people.” A sovereign nation is governed by its citizens through elected representatives. We are also a nation founded by immigrants. Our immigrant forefathers established laws by which our sovereignty is maintained. Among those are statutes relating to immigration into our country. “We the people,” through our elected representatives have occasionally changed those laws, rules and regulations. “We the people” have the right to establish who we allow in to become American citizens.

Every civilized country in the world has borders, to keep people in or out, depending on circumstances. Walls are nothing new and as far back as the great wall of China, invaders were kept at bay by this structure which is referred as “one of the seven wonders of the world”. It worked and still exists today!!! Israel has both fences and walls at its border to keep Arab terrorists out for the safety of the Israeli people. Germany had the Berlin wall separating East and West Germany to keep repressed people of the East from fleeing to the West. No one was trying to get in. Cuba is surrounded by water - no wall is necessary. Deserts, mountains and jungles act as natural barriers.

There is huge controversy about our government building a physical barrier to separate Mexico and the U.S. Immigrants are illicitly sneaking into our country in unprecedented numbers with over one and one half million new undocumented aliens projected by the end of 2019. Everyone who enters illegally is an illegal alien the second they step into the U.S.A. Our country is being overrun by uneducated immigrants, with no jobs waiting, no money and nothing but the clothes on their backs. They have a poor command of our language. A physical barrier would stem the tide. Once these illegal aliens get across the border they disburse and disappear. They become a burden on American taxpayers who foot the bill for their welfare, education and medical treatment. Any children born to them are automatically American citizens.

America’s laws over immigration are designed to allow a steady flow of people wishing to become Americans. Laws already on the books aren’t enforced. People risk life and limb to get here to enjoy our freedoms, I know of nobody who risks anything to get out. Immigrants in years gone by assimilated into our culture in order to become Americans. They learned English, obeyed laws, integrated into our society, worked hard and were patriotic. Now it seems all they want are the free benefits made available to them by the politicians in D.C. (to buy future votes). Make those who sneak into the U.S.A. get in line behind those who have waited patiently in line for years and obeyed our laws. Those people understand what it is to be full-blooded Americans.

Pat Williams, Yankton, S.D.

Loaves & Fishes meal program

Loaves & Fishes is working to make sure Minnesota seniors are aware of our services in Aitkin County. We provide free, healthy meals to people in areas where the need is great. More than half of our guests are seniors.

Loaves & Fishes meals are available at no cost. Seniors are welcome to join us for an evening meal on Mondays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. in Aitkin at First Lutheran Church. We also serve a senior lunch at noon on Tuesdays at First Lutheran Church. In Palisade, our dining site at Bethel Lutheran Church is open on Thursdays at noon. Please visit our website at for more information.

Jody Ambroz, Loaves & Fishes Meal Program

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