Regulations prevent hurting others

The gun lobby has rightly argued that the constitutionality of gun restrictions must be considered. The Second Amendment says, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

It doesn't say the government can't prohibit certain types of guns, and nothing in it suggests that registration and background checks can't be required.

But since we're talking about the Bill of Rights, where were these people over the last 200 years? The First Amendment begins with "Congress shall make no law …" How many laws do we have regulating speech, the press, religion or public assembly?

We have some regulation on all of these, not to interfere with their practice, but to decrease the likelihood of folks using them to hurt others.

Gun control should be treated the same way.

Matthew Frey

Journalism student, University of Arizona, Tucson

Kozachik's switch shows lack of respect

Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik's decision to dump the party that got him into office shows a lack of respect for the people who voted for him.

If he had become so unhappy with the Republican Party that he had to cut and run, he should have resigned from his council position and let his former Republican supporters replace him with a Republican. After all, that's what they voted for. They didn't vote for a Democrat.

The political histories of Sens. Arlen Specter and Joe Lieberman show that those politicians who cut and run usually go on to serve ever-diminishing careers. Having shown themselves to be quitters, few people want to follow them. They are really political opportunists, not political leaders.

One wonders what great things Kozachik might have done for the party he rejected. If he knew of its flaws, why didn't he stay around to help correct them? You never change anything from the outside.

Vern Pall

Retired, Tucson

If it looks like, quacks like a duck …

It wasn't a surprise to many of us Republicans that Councilman Steve Kozachik switched to the Democrats.

As the saying goes: If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck. ... Right?

Arthur H. Phillips

Retired, SaddleBrooke

Sabino Creek changes need more reporting

Re: the Jan. 23 article "Snowmelt makes for what may be short-lived spectacle."

Doug Kreutz's recent article about Sabino Creek leaves unanswered the question of whether there has been an increase in the average number of no-flow days per year. Indeed there has been.

Many statistical analyses are possible, but here's a simple one. Records are available since 1932. During the two-decade period 1940-59, there was an average of 49 no-flow days per year. Fifty years later, during the period 1990-2009, the average was 117.

Perhaps more telling than the increased averages are the increased extremes. During the first period the driest year, 1957, had 123 no-flow days. During the second period the driest year, 2006, had 251.

Paradoxically, there has also been a marked increase in the intensity of flooding.

The changes in Sabino Creek have been dramatic, fascinating and troubling, but they have yet to be adequately reported to the Tucson community.

David W. Lazaroff

Naturalist and writer, Tucson

Letter writer should rethink question

Re: the Jan. 24 letter to the editor "Which of these is not like the others?"

I'd like to respond to the writer who asked, "How many children can a mentally ill person kill ... ?"

First of all, I am stunned that she, as a "clinical counselor," singled out the mentally ill when it is fact that the non-mentally ill do the vast amount of killings in this country.

Second, among the various means to "kill" that she provided, a knife, baseball bat and bare hands are intended for non-violent activities. Handguns and assault weapons are only intended to harm (protection included).

"Which ones could we, should we ban?" Please rethink your question.

Karen Wheeler


Did I miss murder trial with gun as defendant?

Excuse me. With all the back and forth about gun control I think I missed something important. When was the last time a gun was on trial for murder?

Marilyn Savage


Thanks for excellent inauguration coverage

Having watched the inauguration coverage on the TV and followed it on the radio, I wanted to let you know that the coverage by your newspaper was excellent. Thank you.

Best part - Page A13, showing the president's family at a very human moment. Parents sharing a kiss, kids goofing with the cellphone.

Richard Govern

Science educator, Tucson

Star is newspaper choice for 14 years

Re: the Jan. 25 edition of the Star.

Now you've done it! Nineteen intensely interesting articles in one edition.

Women in combat, Raytheon, 787 battery problems, business, local, and around-the world briefs to name just a few.

Half the morning reading almost every word - even my wife's usual 15 minutes turned into over a half hour.

Articles on computer automation, Raytheon, smoker's health care costs, drone killings, etc.

I'm retired (84) and need time for my garden, home repairs, serving as local IT for our three computer-networked entry to the outer world, video and graphics hobby and time for my wife.

I would not trade my daily paper edition of the Star for any substitute or any other daily publication for the last 14 years.

Robert Marshall

Retired, Tucson