<b>Do no harm</b>
EDITOR: Among the explanations verging on excuses offered by law enforcement for the killing of an innocent child by a Sonoma County deputy, the one that rings out is that the deputies feared for their lives. Really?
We give a person a job as a peace officer, arm him with a gun and then authorize him to shoot simply because he is fearful?
This newspaper reported that police only have three-quarters of a second to decide whether to use deadly force ("Law officers trained to take out threat," Saturday). That isn't enough time to think, never mind to ask a question. So our public policy appears to endorse shooting first and asking questions later.
We are not at war in Sonoma County; we do not have martial law. We need our law enforcement officers to keep the peace, not disturb it. Law enforcement officers should consider the ethics taught to the healing professions: first, do no harm.
EDITOR: Upon returning from a week's vacation I was faced with past Press Democrat editions containing articles regarding the untimely death of Andy Lopez. A couple things stood out for me, one being I wasn't there and neither were you, so all the rampant speculation as to what happened is disconcerting.
Another issue is the use of school buses to transport protesters. Who authorized the use of taxpayer dollars for the use of the buses? Is protesting a part of curriculum now?
My sympathies go out to the Lopez family, but there seems to be a lack of respect for the dangers faced by law enforcement every day. I wonder if Lopez had been carrying a real gun, and not a facsimile, and an officer was shot, would there be protesters bused into the neighborhood?
EDITOR: Some say the casino coming to Rohnert Park will bring jobs and prosperity. I'm afraid all it will bring is crime, drunken drivers, the exhaustion of our water supply and overuse of our police. If I had known we'd be getting a casino, I would never have bought a house here. The purpose of the casino is to make its owners rich and its patrons poor. The concerns of local residents don't seem to matter. We could use more businesses here in Rohnert Park, but not this one.
EDITOR: Sonoma Mayor Ken Brown deserves better than ad hominem reactions to his vote against a leaf blower ban ("Mayor changes vote, kills blower ban," Wednesday). With both sides making compelling appeals, Brown's reversal is understandable. Remarks impugning his integrity reflect shame only on those making them.
Of forms of government, Winston Churchill said, "Democracy is the worst — except for all the others," underscoring the difficulty of deciding not between competing interests but between meritorious needs, values, concerns and rights in conflict. These hard choices are made in the community so local leaders can make a difference. The best listen to constituents and then, most attentively of all, to conscience. Over 20 years, I've never known Brown to do otherwise.
I support transitioning high-impact gardening equipment to environmentally sound alternative power sources and decibel levels. Brown's record says he'll help make that happen without crippling small businesses. This evolution is good for everyone, and purveyors of all sizes should make the transition. Deferring a ban gives them time to do so.