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Animal rights, human rights

March 12, 2012
Morning Journal News


This pertains to Salem's new ordinance on pets.

Let me start by saying that I'm very happy that one of our members of council has enough sense to oppose such dangerous legislation. I do not know Mr. Whitehill, but high five to you sir.

I'm sure you noticed, I labeled this legislation dangerous. It sets a scary precedent for the people, essentially saying that government can put a cap on what you can do with the fruits of your labor.

Surely, something such as cats and dogs is rather insignificant. However, as I stated, it sets a precedent, the likes of which we've seen abused by government at all levels for decades. Does it stop with cats and dogs, or will the council someday cite this piece of legislation as a means to cap the number of cars you can own? The number of children you can have? The amount of trees you can plant on your private property?

I am not an advocate of having five cats and dogs, in any combination. Personally, I think that's a little nutty. However, I do not see what jurisdiction the city has to put a cap on the number of pets you may have. What I do see, and I am making an assumption here, is likely a knee-jerk, emotional reaction to some issue regarding someone having too many pets.

But how many people will this legislation effect, as far as pets go? Is this really a growing problem in our city? Is this something that our servicemen will be expected to enforce? What will happen to the animals if someone is found to be over the cap? I again return to the prospect of this setting precedent for more dangerous legislation in the future. None of this seemed to be addressed, at least in the article -I did not attend the council meeting.

I vehemently oppose this act, on the grounds that I'm not certain it's even legal and if it is, I worry of the precedent it sets.

Folks, this may seem like a minor issue, but it's time to take back our government. Legislation such as this does nothing to increase your freedom, or your rights, or protect you. It does the opposite, it limits your freedom, your rights and increases the potential for the government to have the ability to harm you. I am not insinuating that any member of council acted in a deceitful manner here, however, in the world we live in today, I'm not certain how many people are aware of the things our Constitution says our lawmakers can and can't do - even our lawmakers themselves.

Grant Mingus




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