The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 31, 2013

State public health committee not open to civil discourse

(Continued)

NORMAN —

An audible gasp was heard from people in attendance. Surely, I thought, Rep. Shannon will speak to Ritze about the importance of maintaining civil discourse and avoiding name-calling, widely considered to be counterproductive to effective communication.

I understand that a majority of the legislators that I talk to do not agree with me, but I have never encountered anyone who behaved as self-righteously as Rep. Ritze behaved with me.

The holier-than-thou reception I received was a shock to me. I understand and respect the opinion of those who believe differently than I do. I expect the same treatment in return.

I am a non-threatening grandmother of two and a lifelong Oklahoman who just celebrated my 46th wedding anniversary. I have never felt any intimidation about going to the Capitol until this year. I tried to see you about my experience, but our assistant was unable to make an appointment for me.

Your press secretary took my name with contact information, but I have had no reply to my concerns, and for this reason, I am writing this letter.

What am I left to conclude about exercising my First Amendment rights at the Oklahoma Capitol? I have to think that a visit to the Capitol is an exercise in futility at best, a potential verbal assault at worst.

What should I expect the next time a bill comes before the public health committee that I want to discuss? Should I not go? Should I bring my brother along as a body guard in case the hostility toward those with my opinion should escalate?

I am certain that had I spoke to Rep. Mike Ritze in the manner he spoke to me, I would have been escorted out of the building.

I am very disappointed in the legislature and its disregard for a voter peacefully exercising her duties as a citizen.

Judy Drury

Norman

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Tax free starts today

    A few years ago, Oklahoma shoppers were getting used to driving south to take advantage of Texas’ tax-free weekend. The outlet mall on Interstate 35 near Gainesville was packed with as many Oklahoma tagged cars as those from Texas....

    August 1, 2014

  • Just wondering about things

    Editor, The Transcript: Why are our companies still investing so much in China, now that they own over a trillion dollars of our debt? Why is China pouring billions into their military and threatening many of their neighbors? Why don’t we ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Top conservatives, liberals

    Three local lawmakers made the lists of top 10 conservatives and top 10 liberals in the Oklahoma Constitution’s 2014 Conservative Index. Editor Steve Byas reported that it’s the 36th year for the publication’s index....

    August 1, 2014

  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014

  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014