See Federalist No. 29 for intent 

Can we please stop pretending that the Second Amendment contains an unfettered right for everyone to buy a gun? It doesn’t, and it never has.

What did the Founding Fathers mean by that? We don’t have to guess, because they told us. In Federalist No. 29 of the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton explained at great length precisely what a “well-regulated militia” was, why the Founding Fathers thought we needed one, and why they wanted to protect it from being disarmed by the federal government.

A “well-regulated militia” didn’t mean guys who read Soldier of Fortune magazine running around in the woods with AK-47s and warpaint on their faces. It basically meant what today we call the National Guard.

The Second Amendment is an instrument of government. It’s not about hunting or gun collecting or carrying your pistol into the saloon. The Founding Fathers left it up to us to pass sensible laws about all these things. The Constitution is about government. 

Kenneth Ruark, Ingram

Youths need more to do 

The Big Elephant in the middle of the room is, Kerrville teens need something. 

There is hardly anything in this city to keep teens from getting into some sort of trouble. This past weekend’s police altercation with a teen that ended badly is pretty good proof of that.

This city spends so much on the “upper” half of this city, that the other half is pretty much left to its own devices. I think the city council should take a good look at what’s actually here, or what’s not here. Hardly any “entertainment” venues for middle and lower-income families or single parent families. Oh, there are a lot of churches here. But for the groups more susceptible to drugs or alcohol or just getting into mischievous trouble, very little to nothing is here. But they are here. 

Count the banks-to-entertainment ratio. More banks than you can shake a stick at. Bowling alleys, putt-putt golf/ go-cart/bumper boat? Arcade entertainment places (google: Bungee/zipline, not so much. This town could be more aggressive in looking for those venues to come out here.

It’s sad what happened this past weekend. And I pray for the family and the police officer who had to go through this. 

Joseph Fields, Kerrville

Less force should have been used 

Why didn’t the police officer use his Tasor gun to subdue the 17-year-old boy with the knife? He was brandishing the knife. It was not a gun.

This police used force beyond what the situation called for. A young man died needlessly.

My heart goes out to the family who lost their son. Look to God for comfort in this very tragic time. God always has your back. Lean on him. 

Susan Brennan, Kerrville

It never was about the guns 

The Kerrville Daily Times recently posted a poll, asking “Do you support giving the federal government new authority to deem individuals a danger to themselves or others and to temporarily seize their firearms?” There is so much wrong with the question, the results of the poll are meaningless.

First, the term “seize their firearms” indicates that liberals think the gun is the problem when it clearly is not. Seizing someone’s legally obtained weapon will not address the emotional or mental problem, or a lifetime of learned hatred, that manifests itself as behavior that threatens someone. If they don’t have a gun, they will find another way to hurt themselves or someone else.

Second, the federal government not only does not need any new authority to do anything, they should be stripped of the unconstitutional authority they have been abusing for decades.

Third, should Democrats once again occupy the White House or control both houses of Congress, this new authority will most assuredly be abused, as they abuse any authority they get their hands on.

The three recent arrests of potentially dangerous individuals by local law enforcement jurisdictions indicate that neither new federal authority nor new gun laws are necessary. We should enforce existing laws and pay more attention to potentially violent individuals who are already well known to family, friends, co-workers and local law enforcement.

In answer to Mr. Power’s August 26 missive, if the current laws have loopholes, then get your representatives to fix them. Restricting gun access from law-abiding citizens is not the solution to gun crimes. Don’t blame the NRA for fighting the liberal socialist power-grab.

The push for gun control has never been about the gun. It has always been about control.

Fred Fraley, Kerrville


(23) comments

Mary Lou Shelton

Mr. Fraley, Your letter is incorrect on many levels. I agree that the question was poorly worded, but what in the world does that have to do with liberals? The paper came up with the question. But I will give you full credit for the obligatory paranoid rant about those evil, socialistic democrats who want to take you gun away and leave you defenseless. Gene


If it's incorrect, Gene, then specify why. Why Liberals? Who do you think wants to increase federal authority to meddle in people's lives? Are you really clueless as to the end result of the agenda you promote?

Mary Lou Shelton

Ms. Brennan, Kudos for being the first to express what I think many of us are feeling right now. Here are some things I would like to know: was anybody actually threatened with harm by this teen? If not, then why such a rapid escalation? Why could the officer have not retreated until backup arrived (according to the paper it arrived within seconds of him shooting), or, like you mentioned, use some non lethal force? I think part of the problem is either lack of or very poor training in how to intervene with people who are in distress. Shouting out commands does nothing but further agitate and frighten. There are engagement techniques to get people talking, or at least listening, and they are quite effective when dealing with upset people. Officers trained to deal with potential suicides use such techniques. and here's the thing, if the techniques do not work, then the officer still has time to shoot or deploy some less lethal intervention. gene


Typical of liberals to jump to the conclusion that the cop did something wrong. I'm very surprised and disappointed in my friend Susan's response.

I give cops the benefit of the doubt every time, until doubt is removed. You don't have all the facts yet.

Mary Lou Shelton

arm, I made it clear and I also think ms Brennan did that training is the problem. read the post for what it says, not what you think it says. gene


Training is NOT the problem until it has been determined that the officer did something wrong. Just because the kid was shot does not mean that the officer was in the wrong. Police officers have a right to protect themselves also.

Mary Lou Shelton

arm, can you no longer read? the paper came up with the question. I was wondering why the segue into a rant about liberals. stay on topic if you can. gene


The paper did not come up with the question. It is wording from the liberal red flag laws being proposed. You should read more than what comes from your propaganda outlets.

Mary Lou Shelton

oh I see, so there was a copyright on the question in question. so no organization can ask the same or or similar question? I filled out an NRA survey on line about a month ago, and they asked the identical question. give your paranoia a rest. gene

Mary Lou Shelton

arm, polices forces nation wide are reviewing their polices. actually, in many cases, training is the problem. all a person can do is what they are trained to do. the point I am trying to make, probably way over your head, is that some methods work better than others. this is a perfect opportunity to review training methods, contact other departments that have attempted more engagement type interactions, and copy the methods that work. based on the information I have, it lessens the chance of violence which lessens the chance of injury to the officer or person they are dealing with. amazing how rigid minds can see no alternative but to continue as things are, and suggestions to review and learn and change are somehow blaming. the use of engagement techniques has likely saved me from serious injury more than once. gene

Mary Lou Shelton

arm, I decided to make it a little simpler for you: in the early stages of the Viet nam war, when troops came under attack in the open, they sought the nearest shelter, usually a road side ditch. they were trained to do so. as it turns out the Viet cong had booby trapped the ditches, and people were killed and injured as a consequence of following the training. the training was wrong for the changed circumstance in that war, but the troops who were killed and injured were not wrong, even though they did the wrong thing. they simply followed their training. would you have rigidly stuck to something that was harmful if you were in charge of military strategy, or would you have thought perhaps we should do something different?

and a question: I realize that in your mind you are an expert on all things, but have you ever had any sort of intervention training? gene


Gene, I have no idea what you are talking about, because you did not understand what I was talking about. Give it a rest.

Mary Lou Shelton

I know exactly what I am talking about. that makes one of us for sure. gene


Your obfuscation remains intact.

Mary Lou Shelton

arm, I stay on topic. you don't. whenever you see that you are on the losing end of logic, which is always, you retreat to the old obfuscation ploy. is that your new word for the month? gene


We started out talking about Constitutional meaning and you obfuscate to the Viet Nam war. Stay on topic indeed.

Mary Lou Shelton

no, you started out talking about the constitution. my letter had to do with people following the training they receive, be it good or bad. I never said a word about the meaning of the constitution. gene

Mary Lou Shelton

and since we were both talking about different things, no wonder neither of us could make sense of the follow up posts. gene


The issue of gun control is and has always been your (liberals) misunderstanding of the Second Amendment and your (liberals) misguided and failed attempts to fix the perceived problem.

Training is NOT the issue until or unless it is determined that the officer did something wrong.

Mary Lou Shelton

you know arm, many cities are changing their training to better deal with situations. a person does not have to do something wrong to be exposed to better training, or to have it make their job safer. I welcomed the training in PMAB that I received from the state. even though I had not been doing anything wrong from the standpoint of usual procedure, the techniques made my job easier and safer. that should not be a difficult concept to understand for most.

as to the second amendment, I expect I understand it just as well as you do. I just don't fill up pages with rambling diatribes. gene


Come on, Gene. The only reason we are having this discussion is the assumption by you and others that the Officer did something wrong. IA grilled Sgt. Hal Degenhardt unmercifully. There was a witness. His body cam and the camera in the car caught everything. He did nothing wrong. He defended himself. KPD does not need to modify their training.

Mary Lou Shelton

wrong here about me. I never said the officer did anyihing wrong. I said this was a good time to review training and contact other departments who had broadened their ability to respond to different types of situations.

as to the second amendment, I will again state I understand it just as well as you do. gene


After questioning his actions, you stated " I think part of the problem is either lack of or very poor training in how to intervene with people who are in distress." You were not referring to a routine reevaluation of general training. You automatically assumed he did something wrong.

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