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Letters to the Editor

On pandering to the NRA, destroying the Cotton Museum, and eating horses.

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JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks

No Pandering to Gun Fanatics
I feel compelled to respond to a letter that appeared in your March 7th issue lamenting the failure of the Tennessee Senate's judiciary committee to report Senate Bill 250 out of committee. This bill purports to make it a crime under state law to enforce "unconstitutional" federal laws regulating firearms. The Republican members of the judiciary committee who expressed reservations over the constitutionality of that ill-conceived legislative proposal are to be commended for their courage in not pandering to the firearms fanatics.

Contrary to the letter writer's misconception, the 10th Amendment exists in harmony with the supremacy clause of our Constitution by preserving state powers in fields that are not occupied by the federal government. It does not make states the arbiters of federal constitutional law. Any Tennesseans who have been aggrieved by an unconstitutional infringement on what they believe to be their right to maintain unregulated private arsenals may challenge the law in federal court. However, in our democracy, states do not have the authority to nullify federal laws because their legislatures disagree with national policy. That notion was laid to rest at Appomattox Court House.

James F. Drummond Jr.
Memphis

Destroy the Cotton Museum?
The recent actions against Memphis parks based on their connections to racism and slavery would be laughable if the entire mess weren't so sick and twisted. This campaign was perfect for phony liberals and perverted politicians who don't really do anything about racial inequality but are the first ones to show up at any event that gets attention from the media.

Let's imagine for a minute that I believe that these parks insulted even 1 percent of the black population. Let's also imagine for a minute that I agree with the buffoons who believe these park names had to go because of what they represent.

With those things accepted, can anyone explain to me the morality of Friends for Our Riverfront fighting to preserve the cobblestones? Can anyone explain to me the glorification of the cotton industry through a costly museum and pompous cotton parades, secret societies, and extravagant balls? Surely, there is no part of American history more tainted with the blood, indignity, and sweat of black slaves than the cotton industry.

I find those who thump their chest over the racism of the park names to be hypocrites. Once again, liberal socialites have gathered for a session of mental masturbation and mutual back-patting while accomplishing nothing.

If these parks are indeed insulting to blacks, then there can be no defense for keeping the Cotton Museum and all the events that surround it intact in Memphis. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. It is time to destroy the Cotton Museum.

Tommy Volinchak
Memphis

They Eat Horses, Don't They?
Last week, food-safety officials in the United Kingdom, France, and Sweden found traces of horse meat in ground beef sold across Europe. Massive food recalls and lawsuits are ensuing.

Can it happen in the United States? Horse slaughter for human consumption was banned in the U.S. between 2007 and 2011. But now, a New Mexico slaughterhouse is getting approved by U.S. authorities to slaughter horses for human consumption, and a Philadelphia restaurant has already announced plans to serve horse meat.

I marvel at our hypocrisy of rejecting the notion of horse or dog meat on our dinner plates, while condemning cows, pigs, and chickens to the same fate. Obviously, we have established special relationships with horses and dogs as our companions, protectors, and sports competitors, rather than as food. But where is the ethical and logical distinction, given that all these animals are endowed with individuality, sentience, and an ability to experience the same feelings of joy, affection, sadness, and fear that we do?

Fortunately, our health-food industry has spared us from having to choose which animals to pet and which ones to eat. Their delicious soy and grain-based meat alternatives are available in every supermarket.

Trevor Faust
Memphis

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