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Obama’s relatives

EDITOR: Regarding Melania Trump’s parents obtaining green cards and permanent legal status, possibly through what has come to be known as “chain migration,” I have to say that at least they are legal residents and not relying on public housing, disability checks and welfare benefits like former President Barack Obama’s undocumented aunt and uncle, the Onyangos, as was reported in 2011. I guess everyone, including the press, has forgotten about that.

AUDREY CHAPMAN

Sonoma

The NRA is voters

EDITOR: Thank you for printing the Sunday story headlined “NRA muscle built on rallying votes.” There have been so many false reports in mainstream news and social media about the National Rifle Association giving money to politicians. Yes, the NRA tries to influence policies to protect our rights.

Also printed Sunday was a letter by David Montgomery (“Ban all guns”). He says “the government has more and bigger guns than you or the NRA.” Some people said that the last time we declared our independence from a tyrannical government.

GREG KAWAGUCHI

Sebastopol

Guns and budget cuts

EDITOR: It’s hard to conceive of a more dismal pair of front-page headlines than those that showed up next to one another on Friday: “District makes huge cuts” (to Santa Rosa schools’ budget) and “Trump calls for arming teachers.”

So we are now failing our children in every way: not providing adequately for their education and doing nothing to protect them from violent men toting weapons of mass carnage, other than further militarizing everyday life by distributing guns to their teachers.

The thought of countering the NRA and its bought-and-paid-for representatives (I’m looking at you, Sen. Marco Rubio, and far too many others) by at least making military-grade assault weapons unavailable to the public, is, of course, off the table. Second Amendment rights! Well-regulated militia!

Meanwhile, teachers laid off (hopefully not the ones with military backgrounds, so they can be among our Hallway Defense Forces), larger classes, electives reduced. What do we offer our kids in return? The possibility of occasional shootouts in the hallways to help ease the drudgery that is coming.

ANDREW HIDAS

Santa Rosa

The right conversation

EDITOR: From my conversations with local NRA members — whom I identify by their bumper stickers — I believe their primary concern isn’t having the gun of their choice for hunting or self-defense. They believe the Second Amendment gives them the right to keep even the most powerful firearms so they can defend themselves against the tyranny of the U.S. government.

If we keep stressing that no one needs military-type firearms for hunting, we are missing the point of their resistance, and we will continue to get nowhere.

But what confuses me about the gun lobby is this: Even in the unlikely event of a dystopian government takeover, one where the U.S. government begins to infringe on all our rights on the way to a military dictatorship — to use the most extreme example — no civilian militias, regardless of how many there are and how well armed they are, would have the remotest chance against the U.S. military’s might if it were determined to use it against its own people. Does anybody want to argue with that?

It seems to me that politics and whom we choose as our elected representatives are the only realistic way to deter government tyranny. We need to have this conversation with hard-line NRA members. Because we’re not getting anywhere the way we’re going.

TRINA DE LA CHAPELLE

Santa Rosa

Saying farewell

EDITOR: Goodbye, Santa Rosa. I never thought I would be saying that, but time and things changed.

We retired and moved here to our dream house. Strange how some things have a major impact. Like others, we found out a fire will do that.

Now comes the recovery period. Find temporary housing. You want how much? Your excuse is the insurance company will pay for it. Then the house sellers. Another you want how much? Same answer. And don’t even ask about a builder.

Some ladies from the hospital where I volunteer are in the same boat. They gave me some festive hats to lift my spirits. I have spent 18 years with some of the greatest nurses there, and some of them also are in the boat.

So here’s my final goodbye to those who in our time of need turned on us, and instead of opening their hearts to us, went for our wallets, turning to greed.

My hope is that none of you ever hear someone beating on your door with these six words: “You have to get out now!”

JAMES MONA

Santa Rosa

Trump rushes in

EDITOR: Donald Trump says he would have charged inside the building even without a gun and confronted the Parkland, Florida school shooter. This is the same guy who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War with five different deferments because of bone spurs in his feet. The same guy who wants a military parade, wants to arm teachers and tells us not to worry about the National Rifle Association. His valor never ends.

CHRISTOPHER RIEBLI

Graton

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