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.
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.
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