Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor
An officer’s duty
EDITOR: One of the arguments being made about former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s actions is that George Floyd died because of drugs in his system, and thus his death was not Chauvin’s fault. If someone in police custody shows signs of severe medical distress, what is the duty of that officer? Surely, it is to render first aid and seek medical assistance immediately. So, even if the “he died because of drugs” argument is true, it seems pretty clear Chauvin failed Floyd.
If the next time a banker or hedge fund trader is arrested for financial crimes, the person arrested suffers a heart attack and collapses while being walked to the police car, should we expect to see the officers place weight on the arrestee’s neck and then claim innocence because it was the heart attack that killed him or her?
I don’t expect we’ll see that; no. Rather, we’ll see an immediate medical response to save the person’s life.
EDITOR: You wrote that the criteria to enter the orange tier is currently to achieve a positivity rate of 4% or less. When California has vaccinated 4 million people in the most disadvantaged communities, the criteria to advance to the orange tier will change from 4% positivity to 6% positivity. This is an egregious decision. Getting people vaccinated is an excellent way to combat the coronavirus. However, it is mistake to allow further reopening with a higher positivity rate.
BENJAMIN DAVID MARTIN
A winning solution
EDITOR: Chris Borr’s excellent letter (“Making RP safer,” March 31) reminds me of an idea to assist nonprofit organizations in replacing the funds they have traditionally earned by sale of fireworks. There’s a win-win-win-win solution if these organizations will adopt a highway,” secure a corporate sponsor to make a donation to their cause and share the public credits with that sponsor on the “Adopt A Highway” sign as well as other public notices.
The organization gains the funds to continue its mission. The sponsor gains publicity and high-value community goodwill. The highway agency realizes savings in maintenance costs. And we, the general public, benefit from cleaner highways and lower maintenance costs.
What’s not to like about four ways to save and win versus the added public safety costs and other losses due to fireworks as Borr describes so well.
PETER J. LESCURE
Republicans and inflation
EDITOR: As Republicans and their pundits pontificate on the inflation sure to come from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan it is useful to review basic definitions of American economics. When prices (and profits) go up, it is called economic growth and is a good thing to be encouraged. When wages to up it is called inflation (or sometimes an overheated economy) which is a bad thing and is to be discouraged. The Republicans have been wrong about inflation since George H.W. Bush was president. Check it out.
Border Patrol jobs
EDITOR: Jeffrey J. Olson’s suggestion for humanizing the Border Patrol by hiring locals fails to consider that most border towns are small and can offer only a small pool of candidates for agent jobs (“Humanize Border Patrol,” Letters, March 25). Lordsburg, New Mexico’s population is 2,400. Antelope Wells, New Mexico, which isn’t a town but a port of entry, is populated by only two agents living in trailers, cut off from any community. The closest towns of any size are three hours away. Also, Border Patrol agents are assigned to locations based on mission need.
True, there are few opportunities to thrive on the border. Without investment by industry, small towns and their pool of agent candidates will likely continue to dwindle. To thrive, the better educated will move to a bigger town with more opportunities. If hired by the Border Patrol, they may get stationed far from home.
The position of Border Patrol agent requires not only firmness and good judgment, but great humanity. Some agents are hardened by their own prejudices. Others, daily facing masses of hungry, tired people desperate to find safety and hope, are hardened by the strain of doing a job constantly redefined by changing policies.
Ban assault rifles
EDITOR: Merriam-Webster defines assault as, among other things, a violent physical or verbal attack, a threat or attempt to inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person. If you were to ask any of those who oppose banning assault rifles how they would respond if someone were to assault a member of their family, would they believe the individual had the right to do so? I think not.
So what is it about assault weapons that they don’t get? These products were developed to, as their name implies and Merriam-Webster puts it, to assault. By all accounts, this is an offensive violent act.
Manufactures are proud to categorize their products as assault weapons. They should be included in any legal recourse taken.
Those who believe they have the constitutional right to have these killing machines are proclaiming that assault is now an acceptable way of life. Whether it’s a hate crime or one committed due to mental illness, the outcome is the same. I don’t want to lose more members of communities due to lack of common sense. Ban these products.
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