It's not 'leverage'; it's extortion

Re: the Feb. 8 column "With sequester looming, GOP finally has leverage."

Whenever one checks into Charles Krauthammer's world, one is subjected to a dose of alternate reality. In his latest piece, Krauthammer gloats about the "automaticity" of impending sequestration budget cuts, saying that the Republicans should do nothing about this.

Interestingly, at the same time, Krauthammer acknowledges that "the sequester is terrible policy" because "the domestic cuts will be crude and the Pentagon cuts damaging."

Isn't this so-called "leverage" that the Republicans hold over President Obama really, in fact, more a matter of extortion of the American people?

Tom House

Retired, Tucson

Vets should record their stories

Re: the Feb. 10 article "A Tuskegee Airman appeared - and WWII bomb crew was saved."

Thanks so much for your story about the Tuskegee Airmen and the lives they saved during WWII.

I urge all military veterans, from WWII onward, to record your stories. Generations of your families yet to come will be grateful that you did. I also hope you'll submit your remembrances to the Veterans History Project run by the Library of Congress:

Whether you served in combat or in supporting roles, your stories of service deserve to be preserved, celebrated and shared.

Steve Pender

Video biographer, Tucson

Letter writer over top in anti-gun comments

Re: The Feb. 8 letter to the editor "Stop letting NRA dictate public policy."

The letter writer's comments are extreme, over the line and in need of a response. The writer states there is no good reason to allow people to own semiautomatic weapons with high-capacity clips.

What about the Second Amendment. Doesn't that count? I'm not in law enforcement or the military, nor do I kill people or blow up animals, and am not a bad guy, as she calls me. She doesn't stop here, either, as she thinks First Amendment rights need to be restricted as well, claiming I should not be able to avoid taxes or fear government.

I'm all for a discussion about violence, but irrational hysteria such as this letter writer's is not part of it.

Edward A. Maue

Management consultant, Tucson

Pedophilia is distinct from homosexuality

Re: the Feb. 10 letter to the editor "Gay Scoutmasters shouldn't be an option."

The letter writer says that "to protect these boys," gays shouldn't be allowed to be Scoutmasters.

Protect from what? Is he afraid the gay Scoutmasters will try to turn the boys gay? It doesn't work that way.

Or, more disturbing to me, is he confusing homosexuality with pedophilia? They are two very different things - as shown in many studies and even acknowledged by Pope Benedict XVI in a statement made in 2008.

The letter writer needs to do his homework. If he wants parental involvement in Scouts, he should make sure that no parents are barred from Scouting.

Kathryn Davidson

Retired, Oro Valley

Remember: Dogs don't think as people do

Re: the Feb. 10 article "Dog bites man - a lot."

As a child, I watched and learned much from my mother, who bred German shepherd dogs and was a consummate dog trainer. She won awards in Tucson, when as a snowbird she trained dogs to work with disabled persons.

One of the greatest obstacles to interacting safely and effectively with dogs is to guard against "anthropomorphization" of the dog by well-meaning people. Had most of the people in this article not treated the dogs as if they were people, and had instead taken into consideration what the dog was thinking, these problems could have been avoided.

I think this mind-set is at the bottom of the rise in dog bites. It leads pet owners to a chaotic co-existence with their beloved pets, and causes many problems, both great and small.

If you own a pet, train the pet, take responsibility for its behavior and always remember that the animal is an animal and it does not think or feel like a human being.

Laura Hastings-Brownstein

Owner, American Translators Group, Tucson

Gun-control advocates are driving up sales

Re: the Feb. 9 letter to the editor "Put gun-death stats on front page."

So you want to put the stats of gun deaths on the front page until something gets done. All right, as long as we list the stats on the other ways people are being killed as well. Let's cover drunken driving, hit-and-runs, stabbings, muggings, et cetera.

And why is it that the "something that has to be done" is always about removing certain firearms from the people?

It changed nothing in 1994 when the assault weapon ban went into effect, and it would change nothing again. So far all that has been done is create a panic resulting in the sales of millions of firearms that normally would not have been sold, as well as a surge in NRA membership. Congratulations, gun grabbers!

Glenn Singer