<b>Catering to protesters</b>

EDITOR: The tragic death of Andy Lopez has been co-opted by self-interest groups with an obvious grudge against law enforcement officers. Sadly, The Press Democrat is playing along. It has failed in its obligation to impartially give us basic background facts in the case.

The shooting occurred during school hours in an area known for gangs. Was Andy carrying his gun home from school? Was he even attending school? One early report said, without explanation, he had changed schools. Was he a problem child? I'm not saying he was, but the questions should be answered. Is Andy's family in the U.S. legally? What kind of work do the parents do?

Your silence and your catering to the protest groups makes me wonder.



<b>Jaded accolades</b>

EDITOR: Not to demean or in any way minimize the motives of those who have proudly served or are serving in the military, but Veterans Day, aka Armistice Day, officially ended World War I, "the war to end all wars" and, to paraphrase President Woodrow Wilson, was meant to honor those who died in battle.

As to more contemporary conflicts, e.g. the first Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan, honoring our "courageous heroes" has become a trite, jaded, overused accolade. In these ill-advised, ill-conceived conflicts, only a small percentage of troops actually have seen combat. Serious wounds and deaths are no less tragic, but, as we hear regularly, many are not combat related.

Our bloated presence half a world away in lands where we are despised has resulted in many casualties among the vast number of support troops, i.e. electricians, plumbers, food preparers/servers, medical and supply personnel, computer geeks, etc. I'm certain cases of hang nails and foot fungus are far more prevalent than heroic combat wounds and deaths.

So, Veterans Day rightfully honors those who, as President Abraham Lincoln so solemnly intoned at Gettysburg, "gave the last full measure of devotion." Let's not get carried away with courage and heroism. Only a relative few were/are worthy of such praise.


Santa Rosa

<b>Bad choices</b>

EDITOR: I'm sorry, did you say "peeking"? If I'm offended, I can only imagine how the woman who was peeked at must feel. What a pathetic decision by the prosecutor and an even worse decision by Supervisor Efren Carrillo if he makes a deal.


Santa Rosa

<b>Leaving foster care</b>

EDITOR: I honestly don't know why California didn't change the law regarding foster care until three years ago. It seems impossible that anyone could expect these 18-year-olds who have been in foster care for the majority of their lives, and at least their teenage years, to be able to survive when they are booted out the door on their birthday ("Hardship fosters group spirit," op-ed, Nov. 1).

Some young adults who have been living with their parents and have a home find it hard enough to live on their own as it is. To even begin to think that a foster child who doesn't have a real home could manage to live outside of a foster program with practically nothing seems absolutely ridiculous.

I believe that this new law is very important and that these kids need to have a transition period of a few years as they start college so they can comfortably adapt to this new world rather than being thrust into it with no experience or assistance whatsoever.


Santa Rosa

<b>Culture, not cops</b>

EDITOR: In the recent tragedy involving the shooting death of a 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy, it's too easy to blame the cops.

I cannot even begin to imagine what the parents of this boy are going through right now. A 13-year-old boy, carrying a BB gun very similar to an assault rifle, is dead and nothing will bring him back. But what about the cops? What should happen to them?

In short, nothing. Perhaps a reassignment to (unarmed) clerical positions to ensure they never again fire upon a child with a toy gun, but in today's reality, these cops did what they had to do.

It is tragic, but these cops did the only thing their job and training allowed them to do. Yes, the cops are wrong, but guilty of nothing more than being too aggressive when thinking their lives were in danger.

Today's cop has a tougher job than any cop that came before him, and our world is such that the death of a 13-year-old carrying a BB gun must be blamed on our society and its ever-increasing lust for guns and violence — not on the cops.


Santa Rosa