People must speak out in favor of gun control

The concerted efforts to reduce gun violence are encouraging.

While it is likely that nothing can prevent all mass killings in schools and public places, background checks, restricting the size of bullet magazines and banning assault weapons would sharply decrease the chances of repeating these horrible events.

But other deadly scenes are playing out daily in many American cities. Statistics over the past six or seven years reveal that 67 percent of gun deaths are based mainly in the impoverished inner-city neighborhoods such as New Orleans, Detroit and Chicago.

Many would argue there is a relative lack of nationwide concern and response because this slaughter often centers in impoverished minority neighborhoods.

It may be more effective if we could involve all the families, friends and residents in the cities and throughout the nation who have suffered the agony of the murders of their children and neighbors to speak out in one organized, united voice to further strengthen the arguments for sensible gun control.

Together, could they give Congress and state legislatures the needed backbone to enact laws that could make a difference in the streets, schools and public gathering places in our country?

George Miller

Former Tucson mayor

Obama had little respect for his umbrella holder

Re: the May 17 article "Of 3 controversies, White House sees IRS matter as most lasting."

Just saw the great photo of the president in the rain, not much respect for the Marine holding the umbrella. Why not hold the news conference inside?

A chicken only has a head about the size of a quarter, but you don't see them walking in the rain very often.

James D. Bogard

Retired, Tucson

Tucson should protect its Old West heritage

Re: the May 17 letter to the editor "Tucson should play up its cowboy heritage."

I could not agree more with Jim Crumpacker's letter. The Old West, Hollywood West and American West - here in Tucson and all of Southern Arizona - needs to be celebrated, not swept under the rug and forgotten. The powers that are unfortunately in charge simply do not get it. This is what made our beautiful region what it is and known the world over for it. This is our heritage. Protect it!

John A. Schaffer


Arts education vital, in addition to science

Re: the May 17 guest column "Science, tech, engineering and math need to form education's bedrock."

I agree with Kathleen Perkins and Ron Carsten that we need to place greater emphasis on math and science in our schools. But many schools do this at the expense of art and music. The creative arts are also vital.

A Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs did not achieve by knowing only the technical stuff. They achieved by being creative. In fact, the study of music will usually improve the study of math.

Einstein flunked math when he was in school. However, he was creative and also a Mozart scholar. To be competitive, our children need a balance of a technical and a creative education.

Alberta Gunther

Retired, Tucson

With cameras removed, speeding will return

Re: the May 18 article "County's speed cameras might go."

So Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wants to pull the plug on 11 speed cameras on county roads, as drivers have "learned to slow down in busy traffic corridors."

Has anyone but me noticed they have learned to slow down only where enforcement is in place? Mr. Huckelberry, common sense tells us after the cameras are gone, drivers will quickly forget what they've "learned."

Zero deadly accidents due to excessive speed last year means we are doing something right. Suggesting we remove cameras because we don't make a lot of money from them completely misses the point.

Debbie Mclaren

Retired, Tucson

Will drivers slow down out of gratitude?

Re: the May 18 article "County's speed cameras might go."

Is Arizona the most backward state in the union? Chuck Huckelberry, Pima County administrator, says he will recommend the removal of 11 speed cameras installed on county roads. Why? Because average speeds are down, and "fatal crashes have declined by 48 percent." 

On top of that, the county is making money on every citation. Are you kidding me? Once the cameras are gone, I'm sure all of the commuters will continue to slow down out of gratitude to administrator Huckelberry.

John Neuberger

Retired science teacher, Green Valley

Amber Alert could wait for another 5 minutes

I was just watching the final show of the season of "Hawaii Five-O" on CBS, Channel 13. I cannot believe the ridiculousness of our local channel interrupting what I am watching - only five minutes before the news comes on - to break in with lettering and a voice-over announcement regarding an Amber Alert.

There is nothing that is going to improve the already tense situation of the disappearance of a child. But we have lived with this happening for as long I have lived, and to interrupt a show in its last few minutes of the season with something that could have waited could only have been made to make the channel feel important and/or maybe beat out a competitor. It's totally insane!

Tiffany Stone Miller

Retired accountant, Tucson

Book's roundabout trip is typical of USPS

Ever wonder why the U.S. Postal Service is having financial problems? Here's one example: On May 15, I mailed a book to a lady in Tucson and I tracked it.

They sent the book to Bell Gardens, Calif. On May 17, Bell Gardens sent the book to Phoenix. On May 18, Phoenix returned the book to Tucson and it was delivered to the lady at 9:57 a.m. on May 18. This is not an isolated case.

Nunzio Addabbo

Retired, Tucson