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Second-guessing deputies

EDITOR: All armchair quarterbacks have the correct answer the next day, while criticizing someone who had to deal with crisis management.

A 13-year-old shouldn't be walking down the street with a replica assault rifle. If you have a child and he or she plays with toy guns as I did as a boy, be a responsible parent and tell them — don't ask them — to keep the toy down and not to aim it at anyone. If a police officer comes by, put it on the ground.

It would be proper for parents and teachers not to teach that guns are bad. They are not, and everyone has the right to have one.

Children should be taught personal responsibility and consequences of actions. Pedestrians have the right of way, but does that keep you from having to look both ways before crossing the street? No, because a car can still run you over. The same goes for a gun. Please have one; it's a right. But do it responsibly.

I feel sorry for the boy. He should have been taught better. I feel bad for the deputies that had to respond. They didn't go on duty looking to kill anyone. They also have a family to go home to after protecting you the citizen.

JAMES C. PERA

Petaluma

Polluting machines

EDITOR: I'm very disappointed that Mayor Ken Brown reversed his position and voted down Sonoma's leaf-blower ban ("Mayor changes vote, kills leaf blower ban," Wednesday) I'm working toward a gas leaf-blower ban in San Jose. A couple of City Council members have expressed measured support for a ban and efforts are ongoing.

All should be aware that beyond the noise issue, two-cycle gas motors burn a gas-oil mix that is highly air polluting — so much so that two-cycle powered vehicles have been banned from our roads for decades.

A recent World Health Organization study drew a direct correlation between air pollution and lung and other cancers and health issues. The operators of these machines are placing themselves and all of us at higher risk. Have you ever stood down wind of a two cycle motor? The air pollution is palpable. Carbon dioxide and other pollutants contribute to atmospheric warming as well.

Far from aiding lawn service workers, the mayor's vote is abetting their exposure to toxic air pollutants.

For the air pollution issue alone, these and all gas blowers should be banned. Portable, cleaner, quieter electric machines are readily available.

MARTY STUCZYNSKI

San Jose

Afraid of police

EDITOR: When I read that another one of our youths has been killed by one of the people whose job is to protect us, it turned my stomach. As a mother myself, I have to be honest I am more scared of the law enforcement here in Santa Rosa than I am of the gangs.

ALYSSA WHITTEN

Santa Rosa

Not consenting

EDITOR: Does everyone know that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is considering fluoridating the county water system? Do people understand that although this is a common practice many cities and counties are voting to stop fluoridation because of the dangers involved?

I wonder why you are not advising us of upcoming meetings and not covering the important meetings at the Glaser Center where dentists and toxicology experts have testified to the dangers of fluoridated water. Are our supervisors attending these meetings and getting educated?

I do not consent to be medicated by county officials. I do not consent to adding a toxin to our water based on outdated/poor science.

JOY HELSTIEN

Windsor