OPINION

LETTER: Individual rights

Margaret Howards/Leavenworth

To the editor:

On Sept. 29, I attended Rep. Pat Proctor’s town hall meeting. The meeting was held in a small room in one of Rep. Proctor’s restaurants that was totally unsuited to a town hall meeting. Surely there are far better venues in the city that could easily accommodate a bigger gathering of people in a much larger room allowing individuals to social distance in a pandemic that has already killed more than 680,000 people in the United States alone.

In addition, in the town meeting Rep. Procter referred to refugees and immigrants potentially being relocated to Leavenworth while they await their immigration status as “illegals.” Obviously, they are not illegal if the U.S. government has allowed them to enter the United States and are potentially relocating them to our city while their cases are pending. This rhetoric serves no purpose but to exasperate the complex issue of immigration.

I also thought keeping businesses in Leavenworth was a priority of Rep. Proctor. Instead, he would rather see a business close and Leavenworth lose jobs rather than house immigrants while they await court rulings.

Furthermore, Rep. Proctor talked about the slippery slope of regulations the United States has concerning all the regulations currently placed on its citizen’s individual freedoms. He mused that perhaps it is time to address these regulations asking why one needs to wear seat belts. Although he clearly stated he is not against wearing seat belts, he wondered why we would have these safety regulations and that perhaps we need to look at all the safety regulations currently imposed upon society by our government.

I can still remember the heated arguments about smoking and one’s individual right to smoke and how the tobacco lobby put forth a multitude of untruths about the safety of smoking. I absolutely do not want to return to those exasperating days.

It appears to me that Rep. Proctor is taking the stand that individual rights far outweigh and are far more important than protecting the health, safety and welfare of the whole community.

– Margaret Howards/Leavenworth