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A fabricated issue

EDITOR: There has been much agitated talk about internet posting of plans for 3D-printed guns. Paul Penzone’s op-ed (“Don’t flood US with 3D-printed guns,” July 27) is a typical example of fear- inducing warnings about “drug cartels, arms traffickers and terrorists” poised to cause death and chaos if the plans are published.

The plans for 3D-printed guns already are available on the internet and have been since 2013. The guns produced by this method haven’t been used by drug cartels, etc. because they are primitive and ineffective, which is inevitable at the current stage of 3D-printing development.

Plans for the construction of other far-more-lethal weapons have also been available on the internet for years, so stopping this particular posting is totally meaningless. And there already is a federal law against manufacturing an undetectable gun, so that’s a nonissue.

In fact, the danger of internet-posted plans for 3D-printed guns is precisely as great as the danger of Sarah Palin’s Obamacare “death panels.” Both are fabricated issues, with no basis in reality, used by the party out of power to discredit the party in power. Both are propaganda — cynical distortions of facts promoted for political gain. If the one disgusted you, so should the other.

FRED BAUER

Petaluma

Bond and wage rules

EDITOR: Housing bonds shouldn’t be promoted using unwarranted assumptions. The Press Democrat’s July 28 editorial said that “if the prevailing wage rules and hiring preferences are enforced, it would ... drive up costs for non-union competitor” (“Housing bond shouldn’t drive up housing costs”).

The unwarranted assumption seems to be that lower wages in housing-bond-financed projects would result in more homes being built for the $124 million in taxpayer money. Let’s deal with basic facts. In a capitalist business, the less one pays workers, the more profit one makes. Businesses exist to maximize profits, not practice altruism.

Without a prevailing wage rule and hiring preferences in the bond measure, union contractors who pay a livable wage, provide benefits and require certified skills would be put at a disadvantage because non-union contractors could bid a lower price and make more money at the expense of their workers and the community. Do we really want to squeeze workers’ wages and increase the number of families who cannot afford a place to live?

The duty of the City Council is to level the playing field among conflicting constituencies and decide for the common good. Allowing demagogues to use the bond measure as a weapon against powerless workers won’t increase the number of affordable homes nor allow the middle-class to flourish.

GAYLE SHIRLEY

Santa Rosa

Fair’s serenity is gone

EDITOR: We are appalled at the way the Sonoma County Fair sucked much of the essence out of this year’s Hall of Flowers by making it a performance venue. Gardens should be oases of serenity. The Hall of Flowers has been a precious island of relative serenity amid the raucous activity of the fair.

Serving wine in the hall last year compromised that serenity. This year, injecting a steady stream of loudly amplified, dominating sounds has mostly destroyed it.

RICHARD and MARSHA PETERSON-JONES

Santa Rosa

State-sanctioned violence

EDITOR: Our organization, Minimizing Occurrences of Violence in Everyday Society, condemns the state-sanctioned violence against children of immigrants as authorized by our current administration.

Intimidation and moral bankruptcy are major factors enabling violence. Isolating children away from their parents to further a political agenda is like an act of violence against the innocent and has long-term psychological and social consequences.

For these poor children, after being surrounded by and fleeing violence, the security of being with their parents is their only antidote. Our government’s separation policy, and its consequence and still unknown resolution, lead to children being caught up in a cycle of violence. Such a policy has no moral ground in our country, which proclaims liberty and justice for all.

Let’s continue our efforts to stop violence by identifying causes as well as manifestations. This fear and intimidation impacts Latinos, as well as other racial and religious minorities, when they are dehumanized and thereby subjected more easily to violence. Our Sonoma County populations aren’t immune and need our support.

JOHN GOEHRING

Santa Rosa

Much-needed levity

EDITOR: I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to J.A. O’Brien for writing the beautiful bit of satire that you published in the letters section on Saturday (“Trashing trump”). Once I finished the last sentence — “… we were able to rise above it and keep quiet for those eight years when Barack and Michelle Obama brought the morality and wealth of this country to a screeching halt” — I was laughing so hard, I had to pick myself up off the floor. Thank you for the much-needed levity. I can’t tell you how much it is appreciated during this dark time for our country.

NANCY J. FLOM

Petaluma

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