Obama sidestepping leadership duty

As I watch and listen to President Obama's speeches blaming everyone but himself for the pending fiscal crises, a quote from Dwight Eisenhower comes to mind: "You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership."

James R. Snedden

Former newspaper columnist, Tucson

Don't put teachers in role of armed guard

The notion of arming teachers brings a chill to this retired professor. I prepared to teach and advise students, not to become an armed guard or to engage in gunfights in the classroom.

Knowing how to fire a weapon at a stationary target does not prepare one to engage in a firefight. Surprise, noise and gunshots radically change even the best shooter's orientation. For example, a study done in New York City found that police officers in gunbattles hit their targets only 18 percent of the time.

Please, leave teachers in a safe environment to engage in their profession, not to become potential killers, or to be killed.

Reducing the availability of rapid-fire weapons and mountains of ammunition, as well as stringent background checks, is a step toward protecting our children and other innocent Americans.

Paul S. Sypherd

Professor emeritus, Tucson

Contraception should be individual responsibility

Re: the Feb. 28 editorial "Contraceptive use should be favored by the left and right."

Of course (most) of the right favors contraceptive use - when appropriate. Our concern is who should pay for it. It should be left to the parties participating to act responsibly and pay for whatever contraceptive they choose rather than the state dispensing contraceptives in an indiscriminate fashion.

Education is paramount, but don't assume that to mean "education by the state." The editorial takes responsibility from parents and those participating in premarital sex and places it with the state. The parties involved learn nothing but "I'm entitled," thus you promote a statist country, not one where we have freedom to choose.

As a friend recently wrote me: "Taking away man's ability to self-discipline himself by 'forced' discipline is an insult and an attack against the mind."

Patricia Cowan

Retired, Tucson

Obama bears blame for sequester cuts

Re: the Feb. 28 Sarah Garrecht Gassen column "The sequester is going to hurt, no matter what the seed-eaters say."

I find it interesting that in her looking to blame mainly the Republicans for the sequestration that will happen (no matter what the seed-eaters say), she never once mentions the name of the author of the actual sequestration details, President Obama.

Gassen conveniently ignores this fact and to address the utter and complete lack of leadership by this president.

I understand supporting one position or another, but to ignore the facts completely undermines her arguments.

Helge Carson

Pilot, Oro Valley

McCain no different from others who lie

Re: the Feb. 28 letters to the editor.

This morning there were a couple of laughable letters that were hard to understand the reasoning, but one stood far above the rest. It was the one who said he didn't like being lied to, as John McCain would do.

The president of these United States of America lies to us every time he speaks to us, and looks down his nose at us. Many of our citizenry swallow it like a puppy at a dish of warm milk.

There is no truth in Washington, and we had better wake up and smell the coffee before we cannot afford any.

McCain is no different from any of the others who come out of that town to try to convince us we have many great people serving our causes.

Well, if buying votes is what we want, that is exactly what we are getting. If that is not on your menu, you had better get informed and work to change this broken system or starve to death.

Lee Richardson

Retired food industry supervisor, Tucson

Broad checks needed for gun owners

I am a gun owner and veteran of Vietnam. As such, I am encouraging our Arizona legislators, at the very least, to vote in favor of comprehensive background checks. Thank you.

Ronald Canady


Forest Service needs to change Sabino trams

Re: the March 1 column "Send in quieter, less-polluting trams."

Thanks to Tim Steller for the overdue news about the Sabino Canyon trams. These smelly, pollution spewing and loudspeaker-blaring relics need to go.

Hopefully, the U.S. Forest Service will come up with something to replace the current trams, which will restore some of the peace and quiet to the canyon as well as return them to their original purpose - basic transportation, not a Disneyland-like attraction that only detracts from the natural beauty of the canyon.

Some ideas to make Sabino Canyon more user friendly:

1. At least one "tram free" day each week. No, not trams that are free-of-charge but a day that Sabino Canyon is totally free of the noisy, stinky trams.

2. At least one day a week when there are no hourly restrictions on the use of bicycles. In "bicycle friendly" Tucson this would certainly be appropriate.

Mike Breiding

Retired, Green Valley