Letter: Right to hunt, farm laws not needed

From: Kate O’Halloran


Article 1, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution states: “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.” And yet, the General Assembly of 2015 is promoting constitutional amendments for hunting and fishing (SJR 2) and for farming (SJR 12).

These laws sound innocuous enough. But they protect special interest groups and corporate entities who are already protected and supported with taxpayer dollars. They don’t fix anything that is actually broken.

They have the effect of removing home rule. They have the effect of disenfranchising the majority who struggle to understand why the few are given so much. They elevate corporate greed to a constitutional right.

The right to farm law already has caused individuals and small farmers to suffer economic and health loss. Should SJR 2 and SJR 12 become constitutional amendments, the people of this state will have even less ability to orchestrate industries and activities for the maximum benefit of all.

A sense of commitment to public health and safety seems to have been lost entirely. I was taught that being a good citizen meant that my interests must be weighed against everyone else’s, that the Golden Rule was to be translated into law and public policy. The new lessons: Get what you can for yourself, and some people are more equal than others.

I urge you to let your representative and senator know that they represent all of us, not just the wealthiest, the lobbyists or corporate interests. Vote no on SJR 2 and SJR 12.