Ninth Circuit ruling threatens Native subsistence rights
Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat, or VOICE, is disappointed by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Feb. 12 to approve threatened-species status for the bearded seal — a decision that will significantly impact Iñupiat subsistence rights and food security. The Iñupiat have a high regard for sound sciences that protect our resources, but we believe sound science was not used by the Ninth Circuit and therefor strongly disagree with its ruling.
The court's decision was based on ambiguous 100-year climate models and directly undermines the Endangered Species Act requirement that threats to a species be identified as "foreseeable." The predictive climate projections used beyond 2050 were highly speculative and the current bearded seal population is plentiful.
Our goal at VOICE has been to work to protect our subsistence rights, our environment, and the cultural and economic sustainability of our communities. Our members have a long history of working to manage seal resources through the Ice Seal Committee that monitors seal populations in our region. We are concerned that this ruling shows a lack of consideration for Native sovereignty over a resource that we have relied on and protected for generations.
We urge the federal government to mandate that Alaska Native peoples not be disproportionately impacted by this ruling by guaranteeing that our right to harvest bearded seals will be protected and our harvest limits maintained.
— Sayers Tuzroyluk, Sr.
We don't need more gun laws
It's so sad that every time some mentally deficient individual gets hold of a gun and does something stupid everyone immediately jumps on the anti-gun bandwagon. You don't need any more gun laws; you need to enforce the ones we have. It's not a gun issue, it's a mental health issue. The people who are supposed to report individuals of questionable stability to the proper authority need to do their job. Guns are tools just like a hammer. It's not the tool — it's the operator of the tool.
— John Vandike
Schools need armed guards, metal detectors for safety
So the high school kids want to march on D.C. to push gun control to save innocent lives. Talk about grandstanding hypocrites. High school girls kill more innocent lives each year by abortion than all the AR-15 deaths put together. These school kids' bullying leads to more deaths than all the AR-15 deaths put together. Just maybe had they been nicer to their fellow classmates hundreds of kids would be alive today. It's a joke that every time there's a school shooting like this the focus turns to banning the AR-15. The clear facts show pistols are the main killer, not the AR-15.
Do we really want to reduce school shootings? If we do, armed guards and metal detector screenings at all school entrances solves most of the problem. However, to make that logistic work we'd have to have closed campuses. That means no kids leaving schools for lunch. Tell these kids that and they'll march on D.C. to protest their lost freedom.
— Richard Rhyner
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