Letters to the Editor, Feb. 2-5, 2013
February 2, 2013
When the Sundance Film Festival sweeps into the Eccles Center, PCSD students are taken into foreign countries and unique stories through the student outreach program. Each year, Sundance partners with the Park City Performing Arts Foundation to program the lecture hall at Park City High School with films, filmmakers and students.
This year, Jaimie Atlas from the Park City Performing Arts Foundation scheduled my students to attend films and participate in question/answer sessions with filmmakers. My students saw women lobbying for representation in Sierra Leone in "30%." They were introduced to Salma, a Muslim woman who was locked up for 25 years, forbidden to study and forced into marriage, in the film "Salma." Park City students learned about the pharmaceutical industry and people dying because of a lack of access to medication in "Fire in the Blood."
The Sundance Institute and the Park City Performing Arts Foundation ensures access to the Sundance Film Festival for everyone through this student outreach. The access to question/answer sessions with world-class filmmakers is extraordinary. It’s eye-opening for our students. Viewing films connects to our curriculum. Per the new core, films at the Sundance Film Festival Student Outreach allow us to engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
Through this student outreach, our young learners are exposed to the art of filmmaking, careers in the industry, different cultures, and unique ideas.
As a teacher, I am grateful to the Sundance Institute and the Park City Performing Arts Foundation for making the festival student-friendly.
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Correction: assault rifle was used at Newtown
Those of you who read my letter in last Wednesday’s Park Record may want to correct my statement that an AR style rifle was not used in the Newtown shootings. My letter was written well over a week before it was published and was based on news reports from all the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN) stating that the AR was found in the killer’s trunk and was not used in the shootings. There was so much misinformation on the weapons used that the local police chief held a special news conference to set the record straight. Unfortunately, my letter had already been submitted to The Park Record before the news media reports were corrected. An AR was used in the Newtown murders.
However, The Park Record’s pro-gun control editorial also contained incorrect information when it said that an AR was used in the Gabby Gifford shooting. An AR was not used in that shooting.
Court affirmed rights of civilians to own guns
In response to Randy Jones’ guest editorial on Saturday, I would like to set the record straight:
As a law student studying constitutional law, the Second Amendment states: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
Given the interpretation techniques used in District of Columbia v. Heller (a landmark Supreme Court case in 2008 proclaiming gun rights for all upright persons subject to regulations), the amendment may be broken down into two sections: the prefatory clause and the operative clause. The former is inspired from a contextual background, going back to the gun-right provision in the English Bill of Rights and how even during Colonial America, concern was raised that the government might disarm the states or citizens for arbitrary control. Concerns were of disarming the militia able-bodied males in a line of duty from the states.
However, the operative clause asserts that the right should also carry over to civilians for their own protection and self-defense. The opinion protects the constitutional privilege of carrying and bearing typical arms used for hunting or self-defense, but under the expectations and regulations of legislatures. Those that are not eligible (i.e. criminal, mentally disturbed, non-registered folks) don’t get this privilege but everyone else who qualifies has that right.
Since the days of the massacres at Columbine and Newtown, issues of gun control are important to resolve but that is between the NRA and our representatives in the federal or state level. So long as guns don’t get into the wrong hands or interfere with proper protocols insuring our safety, ownership and possession of firearms for lawful purposes should be intact and not prohibited in accordance with the basic right of our Second Amendment for self-defense, defense of others or even licensed hunting.