Recent editorials from Alabama newspapers:


April 18

The Decatur Daily on a Meals on Wheels fundraiser:

Each February, Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, with the assistance of The Decatur Daily, holds a fundraising appeal for its Meals on Wheels program.

In 2019, the February appeal raised more than $21,000. In 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic struck, it raised $26,966.

The Meals on Wheels program faced unprecedented challenges though most of last year because of COVID-19, even as the elderly, infirm and otherwise homebound residents became even more dependent upon it for hot, nutritious meals.

“A lot of the folks that we deliver meals to, even before the pandemic, are isolated often from family and from friends,” Sam Janis, who, with his wife Betty, has volunteered with Meals on Wheels since 2006, told The Daily. “The contact that we would have with folks is sometimes the only contact they have with another human during the day.”

But Cindy Anderson, director of community services for the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, said many of the program’s usual volunteers had to stop participating during the pandemic because they were in groups considered at high risk for complications from the coronavirus.

That took a toll on both the number of delivery days and the number of residents served by the program. Meals on Wheels had to cut back weekday deliveries to just Wednesday deliveries.

The pandemic also had an impact on the community’s generosity, but in that case, the impact was for the better.

Community Action Partnership exceeded its February totals for the past four years, and the donations continued coming in even into March and April.

Contributions made to Meals on Wheels during The Decatur Daily appeal this year totaled $35,616.

Even during arguably the worst crisis to strike the nation since World War II, the people of Decatur and Morgan County rose to the challenge, as they always do. If they could do nothing else, because of social distancing and medical vulnerabilities, they opened their wallets and their checkbooks.

During the pandemic, Meals on Wheels volunteers have served a new purpose. Whereas before they brought nutritious food and a friendly face, during the past year they have been a vital connection to shut-ins and the rest of the world.

Local residents have helped keep Meals on Wheels going, even in the face of the pandemic and budget cuts. In so doing, they have helped maintain a lifeline to those who would otherwise suffer from isolation even in the best of times.

During times of crisis, Americans have proven again and again that they take care of their own. People here are no different. They saw the need, and they met it.



April 17

The Dothan Eagle on a bill that makes it a crime for local police officers to enforce any new federal gun restrictions:

A majority of conservative Alabama state senators believe they’ve found an ingenious solution to federal restrictions they disagree with — simply criminalize their enforcement.

Those 21 senators approved legislation last week that would impose misdemeanor charges on law enforcement should they enforce any new federal gun control measures. The Alabama Second Amendment Preservation Act “would expand freedom and liberty for Alabama citizens by ensuring that certain federal restrictions would not be supported by the government or the government agencies of Alabama,” bill sponsor Sen. Gerald Allen said.

The problem, as any high-school government student should know, is that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution holds that federal law supersedes any conflicting state law.

“We are going to get sued,” said Sen. Rodger Smitherman, a Birmingham Democrat. “We are going to lose.”

Similar legislation is gaining ground in several states in response to the Biden Administration’s efforts to address gun crimes. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 2020 saw 600 mass shootings in which four or more people were killed, not including the perpetrator. In 2021 so far, the organization has tracked 147, the most recent being at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis on April 15, which left eight dead.

The intent of such legislation — a show of support of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms — would be better expressed as a legislative resolution. By codifying a prohibition of enforcement in direct conflict with the U.S. Constitution, lawmakers are putting the state’s peace officers in an untenable position between violating state law or committing unconstitutional acts, and setting taxpayers on a path to foot the bill for litigation that is bound to fail.

The Alabama House must send the Second Amendment Preservation Act to a swift death; the Senate needs a remedial course in basic constitutional law.