Guns on campus

EDITOR: Idaho's bill permitting firearms on college campuses is in its final stages after the House of Representatives passed it on Thursday. After ignoring a large portion of the student body and Idaho police departments, Idaho's legislature plans to allow citizens access to firearms through a minor eight-hour weapon training course.

Kelby Monks, a student at Boise State and backer of the bill, believes that having more people in the possession of firearms would prevent a mass shooting. Yes, I believe I stated that correctly. Idaho legislators have decided to grant every stressed student — which researchers have confirmed to be linked to aggression — the right to carry a loaded firearm to school. Not only would this bill strongly increase the chances for a school shooting, but it would also place fear and paranoia into the hearts of nearly every Idaho college student, leaving them unaware of whether a turn of a corner will be their last.

Do guns kill people? Or do people kill people? Regardless of answer, giving guns to more people certainly won't help the situation.


Santa Rosa

Healthy food

EDITOR: Constance S. Miller's letter ("Where the calories are," Feb. 22) exemplifies the nutritional misconception spreading across the U.S. like wildfire: calories make you fat.

Miller concludes it's ridiculous to recognize sugary drinks as what fattens us when foods such as pasta also have high calories. There are calories in all foods, and, while calorie count is relevant, the composition of food — protein, sugar, fiber, starch — is equally important.

People believe that calories are the key. On the contrary, we need to pay attention to the type of food we consume because healthy foods and unhealthy foods can have the same calorie count. For example, nuts, quinoa, avocados and bananas are all high in calories. However, those foods provide our bodies with essential nutrients that chips and Big Macs do not.

Rather than emphasizing a representative unit of energy, we must emphasize the type of energy and nutrients a food provides, or does not provide. If we ever hope to make our county the healthiest county in California, we must end the trend of one-dimensional thinking about food.


Santa Rosa

How many is too many?

EDITOR: I have no problem with the latest family to come forward and reveal that they practice polygamy ("Polygamous life normal times 5," Monday). These are grown adults, and they are free to choose who and how they love. As long as the children are raised in a loving and responsible way, I'm fine with that.

The part that I do have an issue with, though, is the 24 children they have brought into the world. That's almost five children per "couple." With the human population on our planet already stretching the limits of the water, soil, air and ecosystems we all depend on, how can any conscious person even think of bringing that many more consumers of these precious resources into the world? Especially here in America where we consume vastly more resources per person than anywhere else on the planet.

Besides our own desire to have children, don't we have a responsibility to not unduly harm the one and only place in vast space where life can flourish, Earth itself?



Safer water bottles

EDITOR: On March 4, San Francisco banned the sale of plastic water bottles at events held on public property, vending machines. The disadvantage of this ban is that much of the revenue for nonprofit events and small businesses come from the sale of bottled water. But instead of opposing this new regulation people should see it as a positive opportunity.

Vendors and other businesses that profit from water bottles can find it just as convenient to sell reusable water bottles that generate double the profit, are equally efficient and are safer for the environment. Water bottles can be harmful to the environment since they are made of plastic that breaks down into smaller fragments and absorbs toxins that can pollute our water systems.

Citizen's wallets can also benefit from this regulation because by purchasing a reusable water bottle people can easily save hundreds of dollars a year. Water from the tap or a filtration system from home or the office is safer than water that has been stored in a plastic bottle made from harsh chemicals. By giving up plastic disposable water bottles people are helping themselves, their environment and their city.


Santa Rosa