Intimidation and fear at the City Council

Intimidation and fear at the City Council

I attended the City Council meeting Tuesday night to voice my opinion on "open carry" of firearms in the city of Ashland. I came away angry and dejected. I saw the lack of courage, or was it intimidation, of the council, when it comes to a reasonable and sensible gun display ordinance (even though they showed great courage in approving marijuana dispensaries for Ashland).

I use the words "gun display" deliberately, because that is what the ordinance was about — not gun ownership, but where a gun can be displayed (open carry).

I saw the action of one person intimidating the council by bringing into the chamber a pistol in a holster and a semi-automatic hanging from a leather strap (I assume semi-automatic, even though it looks like an assault rifle to me). When the council started to discuss and vote on permanently tabling the ordinance, the person took out his phone, stood up and began to capture on video the comments of each council member and how they voted as his gun swayed from the leather strap around his neck and his pistol in full view of each council member.

The ordinance, if passed, would have made bringing guns into the chamber illegal, especially during council business. If I remember correctly, many people were outraged when the Black Panthers brought loaded guns into the General Assembly in California during a session discussing gun display.

Bill Harris


Geoengineering must be curtailed

When technological ingenuity causes vast environmental change, we often call it geoengineering.

Many activities have been suggested to fall under this heading. While immense projects damming and diverting rivers have been undertaken for millennia, probably the greatest and most destructive effort at geoengineering has been purely accidental.

When the steam engine was invented three centuries ago, no one thought it could pose a global threat. But the impact of this invention, followed by invention of the internal combustion engine, has been profound. On the positive side of the ledger, these technologies allowed great industrial advances and a tremendous liberation of humans from labor. Unfortunately, this success, coupled with the availability of cheap fossil fuel energy, now threatens the very ability of our planet to support life as we know it. Our human future is threatened.

The impact of gas emissions resulting from these steam and internal combustion engines is well-known. Our understanding of how these gases are impacting our global climate is clear and accepted by climate and atmospheric scientists across the globe. It is only the campaign of lies promoted by corporate greed that sows doubt and prevents our solving this problem. This geoengineering exercise must be curtailed.

Alan Journet, Ph.D., co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now