Use trigger locks,

at the very least

Re: the Dec. 22 article “Sahuarita boy, 3, accidentally shoots, kills himself.”

Would someone please tell me why a parent who has a couple of drinks and has a 3-year-old in the car is charged with “child endangerment” yet it’s a “tragic accident” when parents leave a loaded gun in the house and a 3-year-old shoots and kills himself?

I know that the NRA gives lots and lots of money to make sure that we can have all the guns we want. I remember when they appeared to be more concerned with gun safety and training. Let us bring reason and common sense back into play.

If you have to have a firearm in the house, at least put a trigger lock on it.

Kurt Ohlrich

Retired, Oro Valley

Voucher program

is right on the money

Re: the Dec. 8 article “Voucherlike law is legal, schools chief tells justices.”

I commend John Huppenthal’s support of the voucher program. As principal of St. John the Evangelist Catholic School I see firsthand students who benefit from the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.

Our most recent testing shows our kindergarten students scoring in the top 90th percentile in reading and math. We have some of the brightest kindergarten readers and mathematicians in the nation. Some of our surrounding schools are D or F schools. Many new students who are entering our school are testing at the bottom of the class.

It is unjust that students from families who do not have financial means have no option but to accept a failing neighborhood school. I support the efforts by the state in keeping ESA accounts to failing schools and ensuring that economic status is not a barrier to giving children a quality education. It is education that will get a family out of poverty. Parents should have the right to choose and not let economic status or their ZIP code be barriers to education.

Keiran Roche

Principal, Tucson

Banning puppy mills

is a wonderful idea

Re: the Dec. 21 article “City curb on puppy sales urged.”

Dog and cat treats all around! The proposal by Steve Kozachik to ban “puppy mills,” and thus encourage the adoption of dogs and cats through the shelters that exist in Tucson, is a thoughtful and sensible approach to the ever-growing pet homeless problem. A wonderful concept, yet I am positive someone, somewhere, will think their rights are being diminished by such a rational approach.

We lost our dog earlier this year and when we are ready to bring another dog into our family to coexist with our rescued cat, we will only consider one of the fine adoption venues open in this community. Steve’s proposal will result in a merry Christmas next year for many pets looking for a loving home.

George Chrenka

Consultant, Tucson

Charitable tax credit

indeed has a cost

Re: the Dec. 22 letter to the editor “Get tax credit for helping children.”

The writer refers to the Arizona charitable tax credit costing “individual taxpayers zero.” I do not believe this is true. All in all, this tax credit cost the state’s general fund $51.7 million in 2012. This is money that was not there to pay for public education, Child Protective Services and other public services.

Recent reports point out that an enormous amount of this money is directed toward public and charter schools and nearly all goes to schools in very affluent areas because lower-income taxpayers are unable to use the $400-per amily credit. The article also pointed out that in 2012 Catalina Foothills High School raised nearly $1 million that was spent mostly on its sports and band program.

It is obvious this tax loophole benefits the higher income individuals in Arizona. It makes me wonder if this is what the Legislature intended.

James Merwin

Retired, Green Valley

Where are the armed

good Samaritans?

I love “good Samaritan” stories about people who help out strangers. They return our keys and wallets and fix our flats on dark highways. They save us from muggers and burning buildings and sometimes get fired for being heroes on company time.

These people remind us that, in spite of all the negative news, people want to do the right thing. Especially Americans. It’s in our national DNA. But there’s one headline I’ve been promised for years and yet never seen. I’m guessing it really hasn’t happened because it’s too juicy a story to pass up.

The headline? “Armed civilian saves the day!” We’ve been promised a safer world once everyone was armed but that surely hasn’t happened. Why not?

David P. Kelly

Retired, Tucson

Star dropped the ball

on Arpaio lawsuit story

I expected the Daily Star to expand on a recent New York Times story on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The article says the county had to settle lawsuits in favor of Don Stapley and executives of the Phoenix New Times who sued Arpaio for abuse of power for bringing unsuccessful criminal cases against them. I’m sure your readers want to know the whole story.

Joan Weimer

Retired university professor, Tucson