Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Archives: June 2008

June
26th

2nd Amendment forecast: Litigation mixed with thunderstorms

While we’re on the subject of the Second Amendment ruling, here’s a sober look at its likely real-world effects, by the reporter who covers the Supreme Court for the Associated Press. The NRA is breaking out the champagne, but it may be in for a bit of a hangover.

By MARK SHERMAN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court embraced a personal right under the Constitution to have guns for self-defense. But in its historic examination of the Second Amendment, the justices left unanswered whether gun rights extend beyond the home or how far.

The court split ideologically in its decision Thursday striking down the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns. Each side, however, agreed it will take many lawsuits to spell out fully the right to keep and bear arms.

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June
26th

How to make ed boards like you

We have no reason to doubt the sincerity of Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna’s strong support for a federal reporter shield law. He’s been a champion of open government for a long time.


But it doesn’t hurt to be standing up for the press during an election season when he’s facing a strong opponent and a few friendly newspaper endorsements would certainly help.


Consider this headline on a news release today from McKenna’s office:


McKenna leads national movement for reporter shield law


Gladdens a jounalist’s heart, doesn’t it? The release announced that McKenna and his

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June
26th

No 2nd Amendment for freed slaves

Second Amendment defenders have lately taken to talking up the right to bear arms as a “civil rights” issue. It sounds odd: Equating possession of a deadly weapon to the right to vote, go to the church of your choice, etc.


Some of the logic amounts to innocence by association. The Second Amendment is in the Bill of Rights, alongside the First, the Fourth and the others. The right to firearms is surrounded by civil rights, so it must be one, too.


But a little known chapter of U.S. history connects the dots a little better. In his

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June
26th

Debating our letters policy

More than one reader has asked why we "reverse publish" anonymous online comments from the TNT website on our letters page, yet refuse to publish unsigned letters to the editor.


Here’s an exchange I had with a reader today on this issue. Feel free to join in.


I have had two letters to the editor of the TNT published in the past year or so. I signed my name to both of them since, as the instructions stated, “No anonymous letters or ‘pen names’ can be used.” I received comments from my coworkers, neighbors, friends and the parents

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June
26th

Friday editorials: Something for both sides in gun ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the D.C. ban on handguns is not the end of the world for those who favor reasonable regulation of guns. Gun-rights absolutists did not get everything they want.


Tacoma School Superintendent Art Jarvis gets high marks from the school board for his people skills, but nothing is more important that his No. 1 obligation and performance objective: Improving student achievement and cutting the dropout rate.


About our editorials:

If you have comments or questions about these topics, please email them to david.seago@thenewstribune.com. Editorials represent the consensus view of

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June
25th

Rossi-Gregoire rematch: Outside the margin of error, please

Secretary of State Sam Reed was in today and we wound up talking about Chris Gregoire’s nano-thin, subatomic, infinitesimal – superlatives fail me – victory over Dino Rossi in 2004.


The 133 votes that gave her the governorship, he noted, amounted to 46 ten-thousandths of 1 percent of the ballots cast. Legally, it was a victory for Gregoire. Mathematically, it was a meaningless difference. It would have been just as fair – though not legal – to decide the outcome with a coin toss.


What’s the margin of error in a state election? “We’re doing well if we

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June
25th

Gregoire and that tribal cash

I’ve been trading phone calls and e-mails with Kelly Steele, the state Dems spokesman, about our editorial that criticized the governor for taking campaign donations from the tribes.


The party wasn’t happy with the Seattle P-I story that sparked the editorial.


Their story clearly implied the money was passed through the state party to Gregoire — indeed you and others have used the word “funneled” — which is neither possible nor legal. The tribal donations to the party were in the form of exempt, so-called soft money, the use of which is strictly limited and

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