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Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

Empty words on gun violence

EDITOR: New rules. From now on whenever there’s a mass shooting:

If you are a politician who doesn’t support serious gun control, you no longer get to “send thoughts and prayers.”

If you believe that letting people purchase any weapon or any ammunition or any size magazine because we “have to protect Second Amendment rights,” you don’t get to talk about mass shootings as “tragedies.”

If you think it’s everyone’s constitutional right to openly carry weapons wherever they like, you don’t get to say your “heart is with the grieving families” or express sorrow for the officers who died trying to save the victims.

If you’re a voter and you don’t let elected officials know they must pass significant gun regulations now, you don’t get to shake your head and say you “feel so badly for the poor families of the victims.”

And if you are a parent and you haven’t yet stood up in some way to demand serious gun control, then the next time there’s a school shooting you don’t get to secretly rejoice because “thank God it wasn’t my child.”

Maybe next time it will be your child, your parent, your wife, your husband.

BETTY BEAVERS

Santa Rosa

Less-than-healthy plan

EDITOR: Sonoma County’s vision for public health is to make our county the healthiest in California. But is this just an empty slogan? The supervisors’ proposed revisions to the cannabis ordinance remove health, safety and nuisance protections for neighbors who are exposed to pungent terpene odors.

In 2018, a group of Petaluma-area residents successfully sued a cannabis grower for nuisance when odors impinged on their homes. The Press Democrat reported that the stench caused significant breathing problems for an adult with asthma and a young paraplegic who needed a breathing tube.

Is this how our aspiring healthiest county will now treat residents with health conditions who are exposed to chemical nuisances? Just live with it or move?

The ordinance also proposes that growers be allowed to subject neighbors to unproven techniques that blow plant oil aerosols or oxidizing agents into the air next to their yards. The long-term safety of inhaling these chemicals has not been tested in children, pregnant women, people with asthma or even healthy adults. This isn’t my vision of the healthiest county in California.

CRAIG S. HARRISON

Santa Rosa

Newsom’s racism claim

EDITOR: I heard Gavin Newsom saying that racists are trying to recall him. Evidently the 2 million people who have signed recall petitions are all Proud Boys. I did not know we had Proud Boys in California. I’ve never seen a Nazi flag or a Confederate flag. I’ve never seen a Proud Boy rally or a group of them walking down the street.

Maybe, like John Kerry, Newsom has done a bad job for the state of California and a lot of citizens of this state aren’t very happy, so they’re trying to recall him. This does not make them racist or Proud Boys. It just makes them citizens who care about their state.

Don’t be afraid, vote what you believe.

JIM BARRETT

Cotati

Humanize the Border Patrol

EDITOR: I got a flat tire that near Lordsburg, New Mexico a couple years ago. I found a hardware store that sold me a tire and changed it. I spoke with the owner of the store about the Border Patrol.

She said that prior to George W. Bush, Border Patrol folks lived in town and were part of the community. She lamented now most lived in Las Cruces and commuted. Twenty years ago she'd known a goodly number. Now there were 10 times as many officers and she knew none of them.

Two days later, I was hiking the Continental Divide Trail, sprained an ankle and had to hitch on a lonely highway north of Antelope Wells, New Mexico. A border patrol SUV stopped and picked me up. They were cold and distant. They dropped me off with no verbalizing.

I think a great policy would be to recruit, educate and train local men and women to serve as Border Patrol officers. As it is, there are few, if any opportunities to thrive along the border. The key is going into the schools and families and providing a visionary pathway that a young person can make their own. Humanize the Border Patrol.

JEFFREY J. OLSON

Santa Rosa

Comparing the parties

EDITOR: Congress recently passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which will help all citizens by increasing economic and employment growth and cut child poverty in half by expanding the child tax credit.

Despite the fact that 76% of Americans like the measure, including 59% of Republicans, all Republican lawmakers voted against it.

Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing more tax cuts for the rich, including a repeal of the tax on estates worth more than $11 million. This would be another massive handout to rich families, following on Donald Trump’s $1.9 trillion tax cut, 85% of which benefited the wealthiest Americans.

There can be no doubt which party best serves average Americans and which serves the rich.

TOM WODETZKI

Albion

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