Short takes for April 25

Booze and bullets? Yikes!


The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 – signed into law in Georgia this week by Gov. Nathan Deal – is being called “extremism in action.” We call it stupid. Or how about irresponsible? Sad? The bill certainly is a game-changer and is being applauded by gun owners. But we’re not clapping. Americans have the right to bear arms, we’re not arguing that, but to allow guns in bars? Guns and liquor. That doesn’t spell trouble. They sure must love their guns in Georgia, but what happens down the road when a couple drunks get into an argument at the bar? Before, there would be a bar fight and they would settle things with their fists. What now? Draw? Who knows – after July 1 when the law goes into effect there might just be a gun fight. Who needs fists when you’ve got firearms? We’re not against people owning guns, we’re not chastising gun lovers, collectors or hunters; we’re not against conceal and carry; and we’re all for the Second Amendment, we just happen to believe there are some places where guns just don’t belong, no matter how responsible the owner of said weapon claims to be. This bill and its passage is further proof that the gun lobby owns too many politicians, and that will never change, and this country is starting to look more and more like a 21st century version of the Old West. It’s a little scary. A provision in the bill states that owners of bars – or should we go back to calling them saloons – have the final say when it comes to letting guns into their establishments. Good. Let’s hope the majority have the common sense and good judgement to put a nice big “No Guns Allowed” sign on their front door.

Texting and driving persists


On Wednesday afternoon, a woman sitting behind the wheel waiting for the light at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and Minnesota Highway 23 to change to green could be seen looking down, scrolling on her smart phone, periodically glancing up to see if the light had changed so she could proceed. Wow. As anyone who lives in Marshall knows, that’s not a real friendly intersection to begin with and this driver was only asking for trouble. We still don’t get it. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety this week announced that a whopping 550 drivers were cited for texting while driving in a recent 10-day span. Hopefully, those texters have learned their lesson and won’t do it again – and we should use that as a reminder to put the phone down. If you think it’s not a big deal to check your phone when you’re stopped at a light, you’d be wrong. Under the state’s no-texting law, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send texts and emails when they are part of traffic – and, yes, vehicles stopped at a stoplight are part of traffic.

6 from MHS are Boys Staters


Congratulations to the six students at Marshall High School who have been chosen to represent the school at this year’s Boys State event. Once again, the week-long event will take place at Southwest Minnesota State University and will attract hundreds of high school juniors from across the state. Marshall High School’s Michael Larson, Collin Reilly, Lestat Clemmer, Alex VanKeulen, Michael VanKeulen, Robbie Moe and Amiel Hassan will spend a week this summer learning about Minnesota government at all levels.