EDITOR: The death of Andy Lopez is a tragedy for all of us because it signals the descent of our society from peaceable neighborliness and mutual care to a state of constant internecine conflict. If our conflicts were expressed solely in dialogues, even arguments, that would be tolerable. Now, however, conflicts are too often expressed with mutual violence implemented by guns. Nowhere is this more evident than in the militarization of our law enforcement agencies.
How can we reverse our descent into armed madness? One way is very simple and direct. The Board of Supervisors can begin to de-militarize the Sheriff's Office There is, for example, no real need to have a military surplus weapons carrier in its armory. There is no real need to equip peace officers with riot gear to monitor peaceable protests.
To our militarized deputies, I say, we citizens are not your enemy. We are your employers and clients, even if some of us are certifiably crazy or enraged by life from time to time and need your help.
To our supervisors, I say, it is time to exercise real leadership to bring peace back into law enforcement; back to our peace officers.
EDITOR: I have read letters complaining that the insurance required by the Affordable Care Act covers unneeded services such as maternity care. I wonder if the writers support the law providing birth control?
There are services I will never use on my employee insurance, including prenatal and well-baby care, but I feel that society benefits from those services even though I never wanted or had children. Do I need prostate exams? No, but society benefits from preventive services. The worst offenders were policies that provided for Viagra but not birth control.