Sunday's Letters to the Editor
Published: Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 at 5:58 p.m.
EDITOR: While absolutely horrified by the Newtown, Conn., massacre, I can’t help consider the hundreds of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere caused by drones operated via computer from afar by American men and women of Adam Lanza’s age and background.
Almost daily we read of children killed “accidentally” during such attacks, with our armed forces commanders initially denying responsibility but soon after apologizing and offering pitifully small amounts of head money to the grieving survivors. A connection between hyper-violent computer games, drone atrocities abroad and mass slayings here at home? Perhaps.
Cops in schools
EDITOR: So, that’s it? The National Rifle Association’s answer to school shootings — just put armed police officers in every school. How will we pay for this? Oh, of course, silly me, we’ll just take away the school lunch program and extra-curricular activities.
A coach’s legacy
EDITOR: With all of the recent tragic events in the news, it was heartwarming to read Bob Padecky’s column about Sarah Wadsworth and the impact she had on the lives of so many kids at Petaluma High School (“ ‘Madame’ gone, but her impact lives on,” Thursday).
Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Coach “Madame” during her short life, the comments of her colleagues and students leave no doubt that her legacy will continue on through the people whose lives she touched. Anyone know how to say “Bravo!” in French?
EDITOR: Recent articles and editorials about older drivers and their transition from driving highlighted this important topic. For some, they also added to the public perception that older drivers in general are unsafe. If that were the case, however, with more than 36,000 drivers age 70 or older in Sonoma County, we would be seeing a lot more crashes involving older drivers.
Unfortunately, the majority of these drivers will outlive their ability to drive safely and unless we can provide a more humane transition from driving, we could witness an epidemic of such crashes in the future.
An older driver who begins to notice minor impediments but cannot imagine life beyond driving is a potential threat to public safety. The Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging’s Transportation and mobility committee is working to create support groups for such individuals.
Here they can learn about life beyond driving before they are unfit to drive. We are also broadening the scope of our transition from driving seminars to include corporations and service providers. This is a start, but more is needed to help ensure that older drivers who give up their car keys are able to remain active and involved in our community.
Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council
How many shots?
EDITOR: If a sportsman deer hunter needs 10 to 30¬rounds to bring down that deer, I don’t even want to be in the same country with him/her. They are too lousy a shot to own any firearm, even a BB gun.
JOHN A. McDONALD
EDITOR: Using two feet, the left on the brake and the right on the accelerator, to drive an auto with an automatic transmission is dangerous (“Two-footed driving,” Letters, Dec. 8). Drivers who use this method treat the left foot on the brake as a clutch. As far as I know, driving schools are not teaching this method. If it were safe, I’m sure they would teach it.
Just imagine an emergency requiring a fast stop: Without thinking, you could apply both feet instantly. There is no guarantee that the car would stop because the right foot would be applying the most force, and this is the foot on the accelerator.
Some of the accidents in which a vehicle has hit a building while intending to park might have been caused by the confusion of using both feet. Two-foot driving is a risky procedure.
Former DMV safety manager
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