Believe it or not

To the editor:

I did vote for HB 1261 entitled "An Act to regulate the right to carry a firearm on the campuses of public institutions of higher education". I admit that I should have voted no instead of yes. Perhaps what caused my confusion was the fact that on line 7 of the act it provided … "any public institution of higher education may require that any firearm in a campus dormitory of a public institution of higher education not in a person's immediate possession be stored in a locked gun safe." On its face, that seemed to make sense, that is, to keep a gun locked in a gun safe. As a young freshman at the "other university" many years ago I always carried a shotgun in the trunk of my car and, in fact, stored it in my campus dorm room during the week. At the point that I voted in the House, I did not know that two out of six of our Universities have banned guns on their campuses. I thought that the bill just sought to keep firearms properly locked in gun safes. I had received only one email from a retired police chief regarding the bill before the vote and he asked me to vote in favor of it.

I learned the error of my vote when I attended the cracker barrel the following weekend. The input came from Democrats and Republicans alike. I decided then that I would do what I could to help defeat it in the Senate. The next week I contacted the president of the University of South Dakota and talked with him. I worked behind the scenes to defeat the bill in the Senate. Chief Mabry's testimony before the Senate State Affairs Committee was critical in defeating the bill. It was the 17 Senate votes to not strike the "not" on Feb. 15 that finally put HB 1261 to rest.

Next year, if I am reelected for another term, I would just ask that you email me with your concerns before I vote. I need the input to be able to properly represent District 17. In this instance, the vote was 63 to 3; it would have been 62 and 4 if I had voted the other way. It would not have been determinative, but this is not always the case.

Representative Eldon Nygaard,

Trial mistake

To the editor:

As a former Vermillion resident, I am relieved charges have been dropped against the inmate accused of murdering Cheryl Miller and Pam Jackson. As an 11-year-old at the time, I wondered, like everyone else, what happened to them. My family knew the Millers very well. Evidence should not be based on untrue statements by others.

Cathy Bell

Quit the hassles

To the editor:

I have witnessed many pros and cons at several meetings concerning the refinery to be built north of Elk Point in Union County.

Many questions have been asked and professionally answered to the liking of most of the interested people. I have found the majority in favor and very few negatives for the refinery to proceed.

We need more fuel manufacturing in the United States and not in some country overseas trying to take control on over-pricing our fuel.

We now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to become independent of others who are making a fortune on the United States' people.

Come on, fellow citizens – let us all work together for this project and show the world we can do it! Quit the hassles and let us all go to work and make the Hyperion refinery happen.

Don Emmick

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