<b>What's at stake</b>
EDITOR: If Supervisor Efren Carrillo is seriously committed to serving this county, he must rehabilitate himself before he rehabilitates his political career. A man who cannot care for himself cannot be expected to take care of thousands of people.
No matter the charges against Carrillo, the fact remains that he can't even control his own life. It is respectful that he is dealing with his alcoholism, but while he does, he needs to resign so someone else can continue in his absence. Otherwise, an entire county is at the mercy of its leader's rehabilitation.
It's not only Carrillo's future at stake — the entire county will struggle while one of its leaders is improving himself and not the county.
<b>Hypocrisy on gun laws?</b>
EDITOR: For many months, Press Democrat editorials and op-eds have demanded the passage of so-called common-sense firearm restrictions. While there is no evidence that any such laws have accomplished any good, the fact remains that every one of the laws being demanded has been in effect in California for a long time.
Now the Legislature is poised to pass a number of new laws that are the opposite of common sense. These laws — AB169, SB53, SB374, SB396 and others — would virtually outlaw many guns now legally in private possession, effectively confiscate many thousands of now-legal magazines and treat all law-abiding gun owners as criminals presumed guilty. Nearly everything connected to gun ownership that is performed legally will require repeated fingerprinting, background checks and permit fees. Illegal gun owners, of course, would be unaffected.
Unless the members of The Press Democrat's editorial board and others feel that it is appropriate to preemptively treat a minority class of law-abiding citizens as criminals, surely they should be forcefully speaking out against these non-common-sense laws. Wouldn't failure to speak out expose a deep hypocrisy behind their demands for common sense? Or do they believe that all firearm restrictions, no matter how extreme, are "common-sense"?
<b>For whose benefit?</b>
EDITOR: It seems obvious that killing more people with our missiles is not a good way to persuade them to stop killing people with their missiles.
An attack on Syrian military assets, however "limited," will still kill people including civilians, who are inevitably part of the collateral damage.
President Bashir al-Assad called President Barack Obama's bluff. The U.S. response seems to be largely a matter of saving face, rarely a good reason to kill people. If our attack were guaranteed to prevent Assad from ever using chemical weapons again, it might make some sense. But his chemical weapons are not and cannot be the target, as that would risk releasing toxic gas over a wide region. So Assad will lose some military hardware, which will quickly be replaced by Russia and other Syrian allies. How does this deter him from using chemical weapons again?
The United States will then have made yet another attack on a primarily Arab nation. Who, other than our own missile builders, will benefit?
ROBERT E. PARSONS
<b>Compassion and courtesy</b>
EDITOR: Who hasn't ever said "I am sorry I did that" and/or "I need help"? I expect that very few of us haven't. Supervisor Efren Carrillo isn't among those very few. Neither am I. Are you?