More gun violence
EDITOR: Once again, blindly embracing the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms” has trumped (sorry, no pun intended) our Declaration of Independence’s long-cherished ideals regarding “unalienable rights, endowed by our creator … including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Twenty-six are dead in a Texas church.
The issue of gun violence in the United States is multi-faceted. This means that in order to address this our country must examine mental health support, the divisiveness of our current discourse, the access to and capacities of firearms available to individuals and the constitutional tenets written, some would argue, at a different time for a different circumstance. These issues cannot be addressed in isolation; they must be addressed concurrently.
Now is the time for us to demand of Congress a comprehensive, multi-faceted, fair, constitutional and honest package of legislation addressing this national disgrace. Now is the time to stand up for our nation’s citizenry, and for our Declaration of Independence, by facing down Guns, Inc. with its absolutist lies and sinister, dark money. To suggest otherwise is to accept being part of the problem.
The American public must expect and does deserve better than what we are seeing now.
America: It’s great again
EDITOR: So Donald Trump wants to “make America great again”? Last week, millions of citizens from Virginia, New Jersey and Washington state, to name a few locales, found their collective voices and responded with a resounding “no” to hatred, racism, sexism, genderism and willful ignorance. I’d say that’s pretty great.
RICHARD A DURR
EDITOR: Ronald Reagan used an illustration to warn people of government actions. He said that if you were having some problem and folks approached saying, “We’re from government, and we’re here to help,” run in the opposite direction.
I’d like to borrow that concept to regard proposed tax changes. My warning to the average person is to run in the opposite direction when you hear, “We’re Republicans, and we’re here to help with taxation.” The results of such changes can be damaging to you. (But not if you are wealthy or a large corporation.)
Emergency alert systems
EDITOR: We didn’t know about Nixle when the fires started. We live two miles south of Coffey Park. I smelled smoke about 10 p.m. but assumed it was a neighbor’s fireplace. I didn’t see their chimney smoking, so I called the fire department. The dispatcher said, “fire’s in the hills. If you’re not in danger, I can’t talk to you now.” “In the hills” didn’t raise a red flag, so we went to bed. A neighbor knocked on our door at 3 a.m. to tell us about the approaching fires.
Nixle and other wireless alerts are useful, but they carry the assumption that everyone has a cellphone or a computer that they leave on 24/7.
Hawaii has an outdoor emergency warning system. The sirens are tested the first Monday of every month when a one-minute tone sounds. The system is designed to alert people day or night to check radio, TV or the internet for further instructions in an emergency.