Snooping programs assume everybody is guilty

Re: "Kudos to Catania for championing email privacy," Local Editorial, Dec. 27

The National CounterterrorismCenter's surveillance of citizens through various government databases goes too far. It includes various types of information such as flight records, casino employee lists and names of Americans who are hosting foreign exchange students even though they haven't done anything wrong.

Going through databases of the various information mentioned above without a prior search warrant, which is required under the Constitution, violates an individual'sFourth Amendmentrights.

The other aspect of this kind of surveillance is what they call a dragnet, which encompasses everyone -- even those who haven't committed any crimes. When dragnet surveillance is practiced, it basically says that everyone is guilty until proven innocent. That is not the way it is supposed to be under constitutional law.

-- Bill Miller

Las Vegas, Nev.

Founders feared armed, tyrannical government

Re: "Founders didn't foresee Rambo-style weapons," From Readers, Dec. 23

The argument that the Founding Founders lacked vision with regards to modern firearms offered by Washington Examiner reader Bernard Helinski and many others on the left is false.

The founders did not envision computers, Facebook, modern printing methods, etc., yet we do not try to restrict the First Amendment or certain types of communication based on this fact.

In 1776, muskets were the advanced technology of the day, and the military and the citizens were similarly armed.Today's military far outguns today's citizens.

Does the average citizen need a semi-automatic rifle? They sure do. The Second Amendment was written to protect against a tyrannical government.

If you think tyranny can't happen today, consider New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to confiscate "certain kinds" of firearms. If he had proposed limiting "certain kinds" of speech, I daresay all those now lauding Second Amendment restrictions would be "up in arms" about their First Amendment rights.

-- Jeff Underwood

Simpsonville, Md.

New Years resolution: Don't depend on Uncle Sam

In light of the impasse on the federal budget, I resolve to live my life in such a way that to the greatest extent possible, I will not need government assistance.

Or have to be told what I should eat or how I much I should exercise in order to ensure that I do not need to take advantage of a health care system governed by the present Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act.

I will not contribute to politicians' campaign funds in hopes that they will enact "change" that is favorable to myself and others similarly situated at the expense of the rest of the U.S.

I will try to exercise control over my spending so I will not need to be bailed out or borrow more than I can expect to repay with my present income and then have to pass this debt on to my child.

I will vote for officials who will challenge me to keep these resolutions. I hope that I will have the will power to do so, but given my past history I have some reservations.

-- David Tsuneishi