Make it easier to 'fire' state senators

Re: the April 17 Legislative Briefs and the article "State lawyers ask high court to keep $82M from schools."

Our state Senate's time was spent in recent days to make recalls of public officials more difficult, adding new exceptions to the "resign to run" rule, and, oh, yes, voting to ease the firing of teachers.

Also on the same page, our state lawyers are asking the state Supreme Court to keep $82 million from schools.

A no-brainer question: Which group is more important to the future of our children and to our state? It would be better if it were easier to "fire" our state senators.

Anne Perrin

Corona de Tucson

Partisan primaries hinder gun reforms

Re: the April 18 article "Senate defeats major gun curbs."

Why would 46 U.S. senators vote against modified gun background checks that close loopholes in the current legislation and are supported by 90 percent of the American public?

Because the other 10 percent of voters are the most ideologically extreme voters who control the outcome of primary elections and because lawmakers were threatened by the National Rifle Association with primary challenges.

It will continue to be very difficult for politicians to compromise on important legislation until our partisan primary election system is reformed and replaced with an open primary system.

Until this occurs, politicians in "safe" districts and states will represent only the views of the party faithful who elect them in a primary election, and the voices of independents and moderates, who constitute the majority of voters, will continue to be unrepresented.

Ted Hinderaker

Attorney, Tucson

Senators thumb noses at 90% of Americans

Re: the April 18 article "Senate defeats major gun curbs."

Shame on those senators who voted against gun curbs in utter disdain of the more than 90 percent of Americans who want wider background checks for gun purchasers.

Their vote demonstrated they do not respect a government of, by and for the people. There was a politician who wrote off 47 percent of the American people and lost an election; good luck in their next election to those politicians who wrote off more than 90 percent of Americans in the gun issue.

Larry Gray

Retired, SaddleBrooke

Flake clearly has fallen into pocket of the NRA

Re: the April 18 article "Senate defeats major gun curbs."

I lost my sister to gun violence five years ago, and I knew Gabe Zimmerman, who was killed in the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting tragedy in Tucson. Both crimes could have been prevented through reasonable gun legislation.

Sen. Jeff Flake's vote was a cowardly travesty and a clear indication that he has fallen into the pocket of the National Rifle Association. Its $322,000 contribution to his 2012 campaign clearly paid off.

Americans overwhelmingly supported stronger gun legislation, and he turned his back on our plea. Perhaps he should learn from the example of Sen. John McCain and other Republicans who did not bend to the NRA.

As a 10-year resident of Arizona, a businessperson and a community leader, I will do everything within my rights as a citizen to stop Flake from representing my state. My children, my family and my fellow Tucson residents deserve better. Gabby Giffords deserves better.

Every dollar you receive from the NRA will be stained with the blood of innocents for years to come.

N. Raymond Hays

Business consultant, Tucson

If people kill people, gun checks make sense

Re: the April 18 article "Senate defeats major gun curbs."

As a state legislator in Maine, I often heard National Rifle Association messengers say that "guns don't kill people; people kill people."

If that's true, then it makes absolute sense for Congress to make it harder for felons and seriously mentally ill people to harm others by purchasing firearms.

Thank you, Sen. McCain, for your vote to attempt to reduce murders, maiming and suicides by guns. And please, Sen. Flake, please vote to make it harder for criminals and seriously deranged folks to buy deadly weapons.

Judy Kany

Retired, SadddleBrooke