Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas
Open letters to Nate Bell
I read your comments about Boston yesterday. YOU ARE A MORON. I'm a gun owning conservative. That did not spare me when the bombs went off in Copley Square. I wasn't home cowering when I read your comments. I was in a hospital bed at Mass General. Bombs and jihadists don't select political parties to attack. They bomb Americans. If you had a brain you would know this. As I worried about family members in Newton and Wellesley during the lockdown I didn't consider their politics. I'm glad you don't represent me. You're insensitive to tragedy. You have oatmeal between your ears.
Dear Rep. Bell,
I am a 61 year old lifetime resident of the Great State of Arkansas. For almost 15 years, I had the privilege of serving as an elected Circuit Judge in the Second Judicial Circuit in Arkansas, and now sit as a Retired Circuit Judge as assigned by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
I have never been as appalled by a statement made by an Arkansas elected official as the one you made today. You have caused untold scorn to be heaped upon this wonderful state.
I certainly understand your rights under the First Amendment. However, your shallow attempt to then try and make an apology falls far short of what I would expect from an elected state representative under these circumstances.
At this point, the only course of conduct I feel you can take in order to rectify your callous and cavalier behavior is to immediately resign your position.
Prove to the citizens of Arkansas you have the ability to do the right thing!
Circuit Judge (Retired)
I am a 2000 graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law. My wife is an Arkansas native who was raised in Monticello and graduated from UCA. We know that Mr. Bell's views don't reflect those of his constituents or the people of Arkansas.
Bell's comments are deeply offensive to those of us who live in the Greater Boston area. We have family members and friends who are being terrorized by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The people of Boston have shown remarkable courage, patience and humanity during a time of tragedy. To see an elected official use the pain and suffering of our neighbors turned into an opportunity for partisan grandstanding is beyond insensitive, it is barbaric.
Rep. Bell should do the right thing and consider resigning his seat.
Rep. Peter Sullivan
New Hampshire House of Representatives
Hillsborough County District 10
Manchester, New Hampshire
Mad about Pryor
I am disappointed, ashamed and embarrassed over Senator Mark Pryor's vote and his failure to support a very modest extension of the national background check system for gun purchases. As a student of political science and active participant in our political processes, I am disappointed to find that Mr. Pryor places politics over people. His vote of "no" on the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey amendment clearly proves to me that Mr. Pryor is owned by the National Rifle Association lobby. He needs their money, he voted their way.
I am ashamed at his lack of understanding of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
The Manchin-Toomey amendment which Sen. Pryor, a Democrat from our great state of Arkansas, voted against, had nothing to do with our Second Amendment Constitutional right to bear arms. Absolutely nothing. Rather, it had everything to do with the exercise of that right by legal, and mentally capable, United States citizens. The gun bill would have simply expanded background checks on those seeking to lawfully purchase a gun. It would assure us that those who sought to obtain any legal firearm in the United States were U.S. citizens and enjoyed the full rights of citizenship. Senator Pryor failed to make that distinction and fell for the lies and misinformation of the NRA.
Many felons and people declared mentally incompetent do not enjoy the full exercise to their rights granted under the Constitution. The bill simply would have allowed a gun seller to look up the "citizenship status," if you will, of the person seeking to acquire a firearm. Is the purchaser of a firearm a "good citizen?" I think we all have a right to know, but I guess Senator Pryor didn't see it that way.
Finally, I am embarrassed to have to defend the honor of our great state to our neighbors in Iowa, where I was elected at the State Democratic Convention in 2012 as a National Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The people of Iowa are outdoor-loving, farmer friendly and hunting enthusiasts, just like my family and friends in Eastern Arkansas. But, they don't use AR-15s and Bushmasters to mow down the deer herd. Because of Pryor's vote, they may think people in Arkansas do.
I knew Mark in the early 1980s and hung out with him some in Georgetown. I guess the boy I knew changed into a man I do not recognize. He no longer gets my vote or my support for a seat in the US Senate. If I move back to Arkansas before his next election, I will vote the same way for him as he voted for the Manchin-Toomey amendment on April 17, 2013.
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