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Irresponsible Obama

EDITOR: Tuesday's article about President Barack Obama's position on the debt ceiling ("Obama says he won't negotiate over debt") demonstrates a staggering arrogance, even for Obama.

In a fit of petty pique that is decidedly unpresidential, he preemptively blamed Republicans for events that have not happened (delay of Social Security checks, veterans' benefits and payment of troops) as well as ruining the economy — which is more demonstrably related to profligate spending than anything else.

He is guilty of the very thing that he blames on others: a my-way-or-the-highway mentality. He declared that he will not negotiate on raising the debt limit, which clearly leads to more spending. He ignores any effort at budget balancing and indeed has only succeeded in getting unanimous votes against his budget proposals — from both parties.

This one-way posture ill befits presidential responsibilities. If he was guilty of nothing else, how can any responsible federal official shove a gigantic national debt on our children and grandchildren just to support the current unprecedented spending spree?

The debt ceiling is intended to curtail exactly such irresponsibility. What a great example for families, which do not have the ability to print money.

BOB CHRISTOFFERSON

Mendocino

Quick work

EDITOR: On the same day that The Press Democrat showcased a front page photo of the final steel girder being placed on the new casino in Rohnert Park, I heard a DJ on a local radio station raving about how fast it had gone up — "just in no time at all" — as he excitedly talked about this project, how many workers were out there every day, amazing progress, yada yada. One has to wonder how quickly the construction would be happening if this were a school, a library, a clinic, or a housing complex for homeless veterans.

SHERRILL DUNNING-RILEY

Santa Rosa

Self-defense at risk

EDITOR: Limiting high-capacity magazines helps criminals and hurts honest citizens.

High-capacity magazines are more useful defensively than offensively. Defensively, you generally do not have spare ammunition or magazines. So you're limited to whatever ammunition your firearm has loaded. If you have a concealed weapon permit, it's tough enough to conceal a firearm; concealing extra ammunition is often just not possible.

The attacker plans the attack and can carry as much ammunition as possible. This could be a backpack full of reduced-capacity 10-round magazines, multiple guns or clothing that has pockets to keep extra ammunition.

The defender can only plan possible scenarios. Allowing high-capacity magazines offers the defender flexibility.

I often hear people say that you only need one shot to stop an aggressor, but that's not true. In the average police shooting, four shots are fired to stop a dangerous person. That's a trained police officer with regular range time. In your underwear, in the middle of the night, your shots are probably not going to be that accurate. And then that assumes a single aggressor. What if you face two or more criminals?

Making large magazines illegal benefits the attacker, the criminal.

WALTER HANSEN

Santa Rosa

Landfill contract

EDITOR: I have lived a few miles from the Mecham Road landfill for 20 years, and I was shocked to read that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors intends to sign a 30-year contract with Arizona-based Republic Services ("Dirty decision," Letters, Sunday).

I thought this was over two years ago when Supervisors Shirlee Zane and Efren Carrillo voted no on this deal because of Arizona's immigration law. Now it appears that Zane and Supervisor David Rabbitt are "driving the garbage truck" full speed to get this 30-year contract signed this month to have Republic take over in March. I also understand that no public hearings will occur. Is that true?

This unbelievable 30-year contract is simply wrong for the citizens of Sonoma County, no matter where you live.

RALPH HARDIE

Cotati