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Cut in half

EDITOR: Thanks for your excellent editorial urging fully funding pensions for teachers (Editorial, Friday)

However, something is missing from this editorial. While it is true that public schoolteachers do not pay into Social Security, those of us who have worked in the business world before going into teaching have paid enough into Social Security to be eligible to draw a Social Security check upon retirement. But, guess what? Because we receive a retirement check from the state Teachers Retirement System, our Social Security check amount is cut in half to avoid "double dipping."

Changing this practice would be a good start toward fairness.

DOROTHY L. BRISTOL

Santa Rosa

Good column

EDITOR: Thank you for publishing the column by Melinda Henneberger ("Don't confuse mental illness with evil," last Sunday). It is one of the few intelligent articles I have seen on this subject, especially in relationship to the tragedy at Newtown.

The simple fact is that most of the news coverage I have seen on this issue has been uninformed -- a sad commentary on the level of bubble-head journalism we have today.

PHILIP TYMON

Guerneville

GOP to blame

EDITOR: The Republicans are again holding America hostage. At this juncture of a financial cliff, America is again suffering as a result. In recent weeks, the stock market, Christmas sales, millions of Americans on Social Security, Medicare and other social service and entitlement programs have all suffered, having been forced to tighten their already strained belts for the holidays.

Over and over, this party of irresponsible and foolishly elected politicians has been trampling on taxpayers. The "Millionaires Club" attitude of being exempt from tax increases is because this "good old boys network" makes up that club. The American taxpayer foots the bills for health insurance, travel expenses, housing in Washington and satellite offices, etc.

This type of hostage situation should be treated as any hostage situation: criminal. That the American people are allowing this is also criminal. That only the rich can think about running for any political office is criminal. This is a pay-up-front political system that is now in the hands of the kidnappers -- the Republican Party!

JAMES HARRIS

Santa Rosa

Head in sand

EDITOR: In reading the letters to the editor, I am surprised at the fervid hate for the NRA. The NRA has at least proffered a plan to help guard our schools.

Certainly there are logistical problems with its suggested solution of having armed patrols at schools, but we seem to be able to deal with armed guards at banks and even shopping malls. Is money more important than our children?

And why the hatred toward the NRA? At least they have come up with an idea, problematic though it may be. Where is the liberal left's idea? Oh right, just ban the guns.

That is like an ostrich sticking its head in a hole in the ground. Avoid reality and maybe it will avoid you, too.

NICHOLAS MANVILLE

Sebastopol

Concerning letter

EDITOR: I read with great concern the letter written by Bob Phillips ("Cops in schools," Sunday). It seems as though Phillips would rather have free lunches for schoolchildren than armed guards in school.

Having armed guards in school may have possibly saved 26 lives. If this is his way of thinking, possibly children and teachers are in big trouble. Children's safety should be the priority.

MIKE BELLI

Healdsburg

Disgusting letter

EDITOR: This is in response to the letter "Dangerous ideas" by Peter Mancus on Friday. The writer believes "gun control is hitting the target with the first shot" -- that any gun control is "restrictions against the right to be armed." Seriously?! He compares "a dog who licks its vomit" (to) "ineffective solutions which trade liberty for their delusions." Wow! Talk about bile and hate.

Nationally, people are horrified about the Sandy Hook massacre. A scene tragic and sad -- where children were so disfigured with bullets intended to explode in the flesh that their pieces could not be readily identified.

I find the letter disgusting. This is not a right-against-left political battle. It is a national psyche destroying reenactment of mentally ill people who have too easy access to weapons of military grade mass destruction.

American psychos kill our most vulnerable, precious, innocent children as a way to act out some intention that no one can guess.

To all who believe they need an assault weapon to defend their home, their liberty or to hunt -- grow up. Become a proficient shot, stop being so damned paranoid and get a musket -- as the Constitution intended.

PAMELA HOM

Santa Rosa

No safe place

EDITOR: I'm the widow of a Vietnam veteran who was also career military. My husband, Ed, loved hunting and target shooting, and we owned many guns. He taught our son to shoot and attended hunter safety classes with him. We thought our guns were safely stored and that our son could be trusted to use them only with permission. Our guns were locked in a steel gun safe. Our ammo was stored separately in locked metal cans. Despite these precautions, our son searched for the key and accessed the safe without us knowing.

People are blaming Nancy Lanza, the gunman's mother, for being negligent. I'm sure she thought that her guns were safe and her son was trustworthy. Sometimes angry people become dangerous people. Whether in a locked cabinet, drawer or closet, there is no safe place in our homes for guns.

DELPHINE MANGAN

Santa Rosa