EDITOR: The way I see it, we've been tinkering with gun control since 1968 (after the Bobby Kennedy assassination) as a solution to prevent mindless violence. After 44 years, it is obvious gun control is the wrong answer to the problem. Why can't we be really progressive and find a different solution that actually works?
Allen's new job
EDITOR: The continuing ability of politicians to feed at the public trough never ceases to amaze me. I read that ex-Assemblyman Michael Allen found a position in state government that, in his words, is perfectly suited for his legal and medical background ("Allen lands new job with state panel," Jan. 4).
Imagine, landing the perfect spot so soon after not being re-elected and being able to increase your compensation as well. Additionally, the bothersome concern over term limits is eliminated as the role has no set term and continues at the pleasure of the Assembly speaker.
Skeptics might feel that Speaker John P?ez, the person who believed it was not Marc Levine's time to run for Allen's seat, might be rewarding his ally with this appointment, but given Allen's exceptional background for the post, it seems perfectly reasonable that a long job search for the right person by the speaker was not needed.
I know Allen's time in the state Assembly has prepared him well for the demanding work ahead in the 12 times a year that the board will meet.
EDITOR: Steve Stedman's letter ("Quixotic Sebastopol," Sunday) struck a nostalgic chord for me. I grew up in Sebastopol and lived there many years. Sebastopol was a self-sufficient community with a useful and well-supplied commercial component.
During World War II, I remember guarding the water supply in Swain Woods with my dad and other residents. There was a deep feeling of responsibility for the town by everyone I knew.
Stedman mentioned car dealerships and stores that no longer exist. I can remember several machine shops and even a blacksmith shop. Can you even buy a pair of socks in town anymore? There were packing houses and driers for abundant fruit crops and three lumber yards. As kids, we worked in fruit harvesting and processing and celebrated at the big apple show.
We may not need the blacksmith anymore; times change, and boutiques are more in style.
The town was not quaint in my day, but it was safe, and we seldom bothered to lock our doors. One thing it had was a decent and welcoming quality and a lot of solid, hard-working citizens.
Perhaps we chase an ideal that never existed. Is it better today? Maybe I'm not a fan of sheet-metal sculpture or something similarly quaint, but the town doesn't hold a candle to what it was.
EDITOR: Men, parents, merchants. We make the difference. Responsibility lies with us. No need to negate the Second Amendment nor dismantle free speech. Let's take personal responsibility for the violence in our homes, for the violence with which we nurture our kids.
Let's face the dark enjoyment of violent, perverse entertainment. We can make hard choices to set aside that diet of violence. We can replace that addiction with more heart-friendly activity. Let's exercise our freedom by making better moral choices.