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Guns aren't the problem

EDITOR: It's time to speak out against the attack on our Constitution by non-thinking liberals. Box cutters were used by terrorists to take over planes on 9/11. You can still buy box cutters. Timothy McVeigh didn't use guns. He put together fertilizer and racing fuel to take out 168 innocent people and injure 680 others. We can still buy these two ingredients without any problem, permits or police checks.

If a murder is determined to kill, he or she can do so without any trouble from the gun-control people. We can still purchase axes and sharp knives or use our cars to take out anyone. Gun are not the problem. Shutting down the mental health hospitals, turning mentally ill people out onto the streets and thinking that they can take care of themselves is dangerous.

I took my psychology training at Patton State Hospital in 1958. These people are not capable of taking their meds or caring for themselves. The population of America has tripled since then and so has the mental health problem. Reopen Agnew State Hospital, Patton State Hospital (it is a drug rehab center now) and other mental hospitals now.

M.C. POWERS

Windsor

Taylor is only choice

EDITOR: Santa Rosa City Council members say that they wish to be a more cooperative body. It would appear to me that in order to get off on the right foot, it would be mandatory for them to unanimously appoint Don Taylor to fill Susan Gorin's position. He received more than 23,000 votes in the recent election, and any other selection would be both divisive and would disenfranchise 23,000 voters.

WALLY SCHILPP

Santa Rosa

Hall of Famers

EDITOR: Few were surprised this week when the Baseball Writers' Association of America failed to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame.

Like it or not, the BWAA has been given the task of determining how baseball will remember the steroids era. And since Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and the rest of the cheats will remain on the ballot for another 14 years, the debate will continue for quite some time.

If we remove the specter of steroids from their careers, Bonds and Clemens are first-ballot Hall of Famers. Bonds holds the single-season and career records for home runs, and he was one of the most prolific hitters ever. With seven Cy Young awards, Clemens is arguably one of the top three pitchers ever. What the writers are asking us to do is pretend two of the greatest players in history contributed nothing to the game.

Of course these players should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Because history will judge them not only by their outstanding numbers but also by the era in which they played. Those who feel an obligation to take some moral high ground with respect to the "character" of Hall of Famers may want to reconsider the elections of Ty Cobb, Gaylord Perry and many others.

JAY GRUENDLE

Sonoma

A civilized nation

EDITOR: I was not able to attend the gun violence forum in Santa Rosa ("Sharp divisions over guns," Friday). Reading the Press Democrat article, though, I am not surprised that commenters on the website say the crowd was overwhelmingly in favor of the Second Amendment.

Cooler heads knew that those who promote fear would be out in force, echoing the likes of Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association and radio host Alex Jones. Please don't let their loud voices silence the quietness of people such as me who are very much ready to see common-sense gun control measures, such as assault weapons bans, universal background checks, a reductions in the ability to buy massive quantities of ammunition and even, yes, a tax on ammo.

These direct measures on gun control can and should be coupled with increased mental health care, which, of course, could be funded by an extra tax, just as preventative health is funded by tobacco taxes.

The time is now. Let's move to become a more civilized nation, not the "violent nation" described by Alex Jones.

ELEANOR GUERIN

Santa Rosa