Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

Press Democrat readers comment on school shootings, and more.|

Ask a better question

EDITOR: Here’s the question I keep hearing: “Why should we punish law-abiding people who have the right to carry guns?” Here’s the question we should be asking: “Why should we punish law-abiding children for going to school to learn? Or teachers for going to work? People shopping for groceries? Community members worshipping at their church or synagogue?”

If we ask the right question, it may be possible to figure out reasonable laws. If not, it’s likely that tomorrow, next week or next month it will happen right here in our community. I pray that it doesn’t, but thoughts and prayers aren’t working for me. Are they working for you?


Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa eyesore

EDITOR: I commend Sonoma County for taking action to aid no-income citizens. Now it is time for the city of Santa Rosa to do away with the closed Burger King eyesore at Stony Point Plaza. Dangerous signage is falling from the building, and the fenced lot is filled with trash and dumpsters. Discourteous folk camp overnight on the grass and sidewalk. This situation has dragged on for nearly two years, and enough is enough. Santa Rosa families deserve to shop in a plaza that is safe and well-kept.


Santa Rosa

Students safety

EDITOR: The stabbing at Montgomery High School is a tragic incident for everyone involved. I do not think a police officer on campus could have prevented it. However, students may help prevent attacks. I doubt that a student takes a knife to school to injure someone, but rather out of fear and for self-defense.

Everyone at schools needs to be involved in keeping them safe — students as well as staff. One officer alone cannot see what students in close contact with others see.

When they notice aggressive behavior and bullying, they should report it. The school should take immediate action by interviewing and counseling the involved students and reporting to their parents and police. There are hundreds of students at a school — hundreds of pairs of eyes that can be vigilant and keep it safe.



Environmental poisons

EDITOR: The recent freight train disaster in Ohio revealed the danger of vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen. PFAS chemicals, long used in household products because they resist heat, grease and water, already detected in the blood of 97% of Americans and now recognized to be carcinogenic, will soon be banned in California by (rare) bipartisan legislation, and in many other states. Even the airline industry will be required to detect levels of toxic pollutants in cabin air that damage nervous systems and are carcinogenic.

Why do we allow ourselves to be chronically exposed to the toxins from gas-powered lawn equipment? Vinyl chloride, PFAS chemicals and the pollutants in airplane cabins are all considered Class 1 carcinogens by the National Cancer Institute, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and other organizations. In that same notorious class are benzene, formaldehyde and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons spewed from these antiquated gas garden machines. And why do we accept the deafening raucous noise?

Some cancer experts suspect that 80% of cancers are precipitated or worsened by environmental poisons. Though new purchases will be outlawed in another year some will still keep using their old dangerous junk, because no one who develops cancer thinks it could ever happen to him.


Santa Rosa

A deflection

EDITOR: How beautifully Bob Proctor tries to deflect with his diatribe on the use of the word “loophole” (“Jealous people,” Letters, March 18). But thank you for bringing it up so that we may now illustrate how wrong, and even backward, his framing is.

Loophole is defined as “an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules.” That perfectly describes the situation, and so is an utterly realistic usage of the term. Further, the ambiguity or inadequacy comes from the fact that it is the wealthy who buy a voice in Congress and can get this legislation passed, not those with less resources. Perhaps Proctor avoids this obvious truth.

What this leads to is this. American taxpayers pay inordinately for services that the wealthy and corporations get, such as forces to protect their goods domestically and abroad, roads to haul them on, the natural resources from federal lands to build them, the lines of communication and schools to educate their workforces.

So, this has nothing to do with jealousy. It does have to do with fairness. The top 10% has 70% of the wealth. Do they pay 70% of the taxes? Of course not. They procure the loopholes.



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