Comments about ‘Letters: Fourth gov. branch’

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Published: Tuesday, April 23 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Pleasant Grove, UT

No, Mr. Dalton. There are still only three branches of government, and ten amendments in the Bill of Rights. And one of those amendments is the Second.

Omaha, NE

so.... what you are saying is that anytime a group successfully rallies their group members into political action that it is overstepping its' bounds?

That would of course mean that all unions are a 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th,.... etc branch of government, many churches, PETA, Sierra Club, and a phlethora of other groups, .... in other words the people. Oh... but that's the way it's supposed to be. Thanks for helping us see that the system is working.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

Just think - IF the first 3 branches of government would uphold the Constitution (like they swore to do), there wouldn't have to be that 4th branch of government you allude to.

Orem, UT

I know how you feel. I feel the same way about all those liberal groups that rally its members and the public in general to get behind their agenda.

The ACLU, the radical environmental groups, the NAACP, Unions, Planned Parenthood, etc., etc..

Oh wait...they don't count because even they do the same kinds of things as the NRA, they support things you are in favor of. Did I get that right?

salt lake city, utah

I'm not sure the NRA, should get as much credit for this as they are. Yes Lepierre is very public and vocal but I believe the defeat of the background check bill says more about our politics than it does lobby groups. What is on displaly here is the political power a small proportion of the population has gained through gerrymandering, through the death of democracy in the senate, and through the effect of equal state representation in the senate. The President nailed it in '08 when he said there is a group in this country of angry, (mostly white males..my addition) who have lost the power to direct society as they want, who are clinging to their guns and religion as the last vestigae of what they perceive as liberty.

Fix the gerrymandering, fix the filibuster and poof the NRA becomes smoke in the wind.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Great letter!

The NRA bought off our government. They appear to be the 4th branch of government! Great letter!

Far East USA, SC

"so.... what you are saying is that anytime a group successfully rallies their group members into political action that it is overstepping its' bounds?"

Most would not agree with that.

but when companies spend millions in campaign donations and countless millions in their lobbying efforts, we are not really sure that our legislators are doing what is right for he people or what is right for Americans and the US.

Defense contractors Lockheed and Boeing collectively spent over $30 million to lobby congress in 2012 alone. Does anyone NOT think that money affects legislation?

The National Association of realtors spent $41 million lobbying in 2012

Blue cross Blue shield spent $21 million

The top 20 spending companies on lobbying spent over 450 million dollars.

They spent over $850,000 per congressman. And that is only the top 20.

How many of you think that help to produce good laws?

Seriously, tell me that we can get good laws for America when Corporate American spends this kind of money for favorable legislation.

Walmart forbids its employees from accepting meals, travel or gifts from suppliers.

Lets push for the same restrictions on our politicians.

Hayden, ID

The real 4th branch of government is the IRS! They are more powerful than the other 3 branches combined. Don't believe it? Just don't pay your taxes and you will find out who controls you, your property and your liberties. The IRS has bankrupted more citizens and businesses than healthcare costs, more than the price of energy, more than Unions, more than global warming, more than losing your job and more than all the guns in Chicago. The NRA has never taken anyone's property, has no power to put you in jail or confiscate your money right out of your bank account without your permission. Any by the way, the IRS just got a lot more power; Obamacare!

Orem, UT

What we really need to solve the gun problem (bad people with guns) is to have a "gun possession" license. Anyone who may want to possess a gun, must get a background check in order to get this license.

Just because someone has a license, does not mean they actually own or possess a gun. It just means they can legally do it if they wanted to. It is like a driver's license. It just says I can legally drive a car (mine or someone else's), not that I own one.

In fact, under this system the government has no idea if they have any guns, what types they are, or how many they may have.

In order to buy a gun, they must prove to the seller (not the government) that they have this license. If someone is caught with a gun and does not have a license, they face criminal charges.

Salt Lake City, UT

Groups of all stripes now have more power than individuals in our governmental system...fact. Why is this so? I believe it has happened for only one reason and that is that groups can donate more money to the election campaigns of politicians. Take the money out of politics and the rightful balance of power would be restored.

Centerville, UT

JoeBlow You forgot the Unions, and other liberal groups donating millions, GE was a big sponsor of Obama.

American Fork, UT

It's not just the NRA, although they seem to be the gold standard at buying off government. It's big oil, big pharmacy, big religion, big health care, and pretty much everyone who makes a buck off the defense industry. And none of them have the interests of the average citizen in mind.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

NRA the fourth branch?

Nah, it's George Soros and moveondotorg

Far East USA, SC

"You forgot the Unions,"

My oversight. Completely agree. All money corrupts. Yes, even unions and liberal groups.

It's easy being independent. One can criticize ALL transgressions and issues without being concerned with party. My post, and my list did not breakdown the parties receiving the money.
It makes no difference in the big picture.

I see Soros and the Koch brothers as the same, just on different sides of the political fence. Both are trying to buy legislation.

GE was included in my top 20, although not by name.

The big money is not a liberal/conservative, GOP/Dem issue. I fully assert that the Dems are just as likely to be bought off as the Reps.

But, make no mistake. They are ALL bought off.

If you get the money out, then our congress will have to vote their views, and the views of the American people.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Soooooooo it appears as if repubs are ok with congress being bought off by the NRA and ignoring the wishes of 90 percent of us.


If you folks don't believe that the millions spent by the NRA to buy off legislators didnt influence them then I have ocean front property to sell ya. The issue here is freedom and democracy: not the freedom to buy guns but the freedom of our entire nation. How can we have freedom when corporations and lobbyists control congress?

Are we the United States of America or the United Special Interests of America?

That's the question we should all be asking ourselves. Yet, it seems as if the repubs are ok with flagrant and foul bribery. How much longer will The Lord stay his hand from wiping us clean off the map with such horrible corruption? Have we learned nothing from the nephites of old???

Hayden, ID

@ Hutterite. If you don't like the NRA, "big oil", "big pharmacy", "big religion" or anyone who makes a profit, don't give them your money. Next time you need medicines, gasoline, or anyone who makes a buck, call BIG GOVERNMENT!

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT


However, the NRA is just one branch on many of the 4th branches.

It's all about the money.
Secret Combinations who "manage" or "control" the government - not who ARE the government.

The common fool thinks it is the Mafia or street gangs -- Ha!
Child's play.

In reality it is WallStreet, International Bankers, Industrial Military Complex,
Big Oil, Big Pharm, Big Tobacco, and of course the NRA.

The stupid Citizen's United ruling backed with Mitt Romney's talk about Corporations being "people" and possing any and all Constutional rights and priveledges of "People", but who can break any laws, even murder -- and can't be punished, jailed or executed for it.

Master Mahan economics 101
Lie, plunder, steal, and even murder -- to get GAIN.

The Golden Rule.
He who has the Gold, makes the rules.

I pity good Latter-Day Saints who idolize and worship Babylon, and the Gadianton's who own it.

Ford DeTreese
Provo, UT

I have yet to see a pro-gun argument that holds water.

The gun-fatality statistics comparing nations are pretty hard to ignore.

The second amendment applies, by its own language, only to a "well-regulated militia." Of course, the courts have expanded that application well beyond what language or reason permits.

The second amendment says nothing about "guns." We already legally regulate all sorts of "arms" that our "well-regulated militia" needs to keep us safe: nuclear weapons, flame throwers, grenades, tanks, bunker busters, ICBMs, etc.

If the presence of guns is supposed to keep us safe, we should be the safest country on earth, since we have the most guns.

We don't regulate guns because profit is more important to many people than human life.

Tooele, UT

Re: "I have yet to see a pro-gun argument that holds water. The gun-fatality statistics comparing nations are pretty hard to ignore."

And our absolute, abject failure to fudge or affect those statistics by deranged leftist legislation is even harder to ignore.

There's the National Firearms Act (1934); the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968; the Gun Control Act of 1968; the Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990); the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1993); and, of course the thoroughly discredited Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994), along with myriad state and local people-control laws.

The problem? They only control the wrong people.

None of these liberal power grabs made us safe, though the proponents of each promised us they would.

Today's liberals insist on doing the same thing again, hoping for a different result this time.

Insane? I think Dr. Einstein would say so.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Nate and Fitness Freak
The Supreme Court noted in its decision overturning the Chicago/DC gun bans that you can't ban all guns... but that doesn't mean there can't be regulation. Everything the Democrats were proposing is Constitutional as far as the court has seen it.

"And our absolute, abject failure to fudge or affect those statistics by deranged leftist legislation is even harder to ignore."

This doesn't make sense. You're saying that laws pushed by liberals make it harder for us to reduce gun violence stats relative to other nations... but those nations like the UK have laws that are even more strict than what the liberals are proposing. So... you are somehow arguing that there's an inverse bell curve where really strict and really loose gun laws both work but somehow moderate regulation is the worst option.

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