Killing of rock throwers isn’t in the manual

Re: the March 17 letter to the editor “Avoidance mandate demoralizes agents.”

The letter writer, who identifies himself as a retired law enforcement officer, complains that new regulations requiring Border Patrol agents to get out of harm’s way when rocks are being thrown at them instead of killing the person throwing the rocks, puts the lives of agents in jeopardy.

I spent several years in law enforcement as a police officer and deputy constable (where constables do real police work), and I was taught in the police academy that I should not shoot anyone except to save my life or the life of another person.

I was taught to take cover to protect myself otherwise. What’s wrong with me stepping back another 10 yards when a teenaged boy, with a fence between us, is throwing rocks?

Anyone should know better than to kill someone in such a situation.

Richard Manuel

Former police officer, Green Valley

Advice on hitting

free throws, threes

Some friendly notes for the University of Arizona coaches.

UCLA won making 21 of 25 free throws. Arizona lost missing 10 of 16 free throws. Aaron Gordon should shoot just over the front rim when he has a free throw. Any harder and he goes clank.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson should slow down, and if he can control the ball then take his shot. Don’t drive into three players and run them over. Stop his drive and pass it to Kaleb Tarczewski or Gordon.

Give a screen to Nick Johnson more often. When an opponent drives, have another player besides the offender step up to slow his way to the basket. Make him pass it off.

Work the ball in at the beginning of the game. Shoot threes when the other team sags back and ties up the middle.

Tom Christian

Armchair coach, Tucson

Writer underestimates role of legislative branch

Re: the March 16 letter to the editor “McSally doesn’t know how Congress works.”

The letter writer thinks we live under a military dictatorship in which legislators are prohibited from “meddling” in military affairs and “the future of the A-10 belongs to the Department of Defense,” but he has it backwards, as a glance at the United States Constitution would reveal.

We live in a democracy where elected legislators tell the (unelected) executive branch, in this case the Department of Defense, what to do — not vice versa.

Also, Congress does its job by placing “language” in bills, not just by “persuading others.”

Fritz Brace


Actual defense needs don’t align with A-10

It’s disheartening to see the pronouncements from Ron Barber and Martha McSally, along with several letters here, purporting to rescue the A-10 program, with little comment on the cuts to defense programs located elsewhere.

This provincial attempt, reminding me of efforts by Ohio politicians to buy/build more unwanted Abrams tanks made in their districts, only ends up hurting our economy and defense.

We would be better off positioning ourselves to participate in the actual defense needs of the future, such as electronic and cyber warfare, than desperately clinging onto the tools of the past.

If there is any clear and present danger to our country, it comes from wasteful spending that could instead be directed towards demonstrated needs in infrastructure and education. To really support our military, spend wisely and give them the tools they actually need.

Tim Helentjaris

Scientist, Tucson

Miller working

to keep our roads safe

Re: the March 12 article “Pima road-fund shift legal, supervisors told.”

Ally Miller is the lone Pima County supervisor asking tough questions about our road conditions and budget priorities.

Since the majority of the county’s roads are in poor to failing condition, it certainly is reasonable to examine our budget and transfer more money into county road maintenance.

My neighborhood’s crumbling roads have not been repaved in 28 years. Since February 2013, our residents worked many hours with Miller to finally get prioritized to be repaved this year.

On Feb. 18, the other four supervisors voted to transfer these funds to help repair Colossal Cave Road instead. No doubt that road is bad, but how long must small neighborhoods wait until they receive the road repair services for which they paid with their tax dollars?

Miller is challenging the status quo. She continues to work with my neighborhood and for all of Pima County to make our roads safe. We all should support this effort. Thank you, Ally Miller!

Martha Michaels

Retired teacher, Tucson