Why the nation needs a Black History Month

Re: the Feb. 19 letter to the editor "Unneeded celebration."

The letter writer wants to know why we need a Black History Month. We cannot call "those" people "Great Americans" because we don't really know them.

We don't have a "White History Month" because history was written by us, the Manifest Destiny people. We would like to know black history because we need their viewpoint.

Why were they still being hanged in the South as late as the 1960s? And as the great commentator Rush Limbaugh observed, if they had had weapons and machine guns, Martin Luther King might not have been killed and Selma, Ala., would not have had to happen.

Black History Month might answer why the slaves had no stash of weapons and why it took so long for them to get the real right to vote. And why they were not fully armed in the 1960s.

And we could use a Native American History Month, too.

Travis Middleton

Retired, Tucson

Higher health-care premiums no surprise

Re: the Feb. 19 article "Health-care law backers now fear costly surprise."

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to charge members of favored groups less than the cost of covering those people. The favored groups include people who are already ill; people with risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure or cholesterol; people over about age 50; and women - who pay nothing extra for the insured contraceptive and OB/GYN services they receive but men do not.

Here's the problem: No company can stay in business unless its revenue at least equals all its expenses, including taxes and paying a competitive return to investors. Insurance companies must recover the money they lose because the act forces them to undercharge members of the favored groups by overcharging other people: the young, the healthy and men.

Everyone who understood the act and did the math knew the act would make premiums higher for members of those disfavored groups. It was no "surprise."

Peter H. Strong

Retired, Tucson

Affordable Care Act not so affordable

Re: the Feb. 19 article "Health-care law backers now fear costly surprise."

My health-care premiums in 2012 were $525 per month.

My health-care premiums starting January 2013 are $1,159 per month. According to my calculations, that is a 121 percent increase in one year.

Is the Affordable Care Act really affordable?

Thank you, President Obama.

Roger Provost

Retired, Tucson

Those trained to keep peace should do the job

Re: the Feb. 19 article "Ariz. bill allows guns in schools."

Give principals, teachers and janitors 24 hours of training, and then set them up with guns in schools?

Why not give policemen 24 hours of medical training, and then assign them to repair accident- or panic-induced gunshots? Principals' jobs are to lead, teachers' to teach, janitors' to clean.

If the state Legislature is serious about school safety, let it promote those whose job it is to keep the peace - police officers.

Our children would be better served by an experienced school resource officer than by creaky Miss Hopkins or grumpy Mr. Green with a Glock.

Christine Wald-Hopkins

Adjunct lecturer, UA, Tucson

Star declarative, not thoughtful on guns

Re: the Feb. 20 editorial "Arming teachers, principals won't make schools safer."

The Arizona Daily Star editorial regarding "Arming Teachers" was predictable. It would be much more beneficial if our only local paper could find ways to be less declarative and more thoughtful.

School safety should not be partisan and there is no one perfect answer.

School boards having the power to assign the task to volunteers willing to take on the responsibility of school safety by going through some training is only part of the solution. Yes, it is "school safety on the cheap," but it destroys the notion that school campuses are gun-free zones.

What is your answer; a new security agency for schools? Do you really believe children are going to feel safer with guards roaming the halls? Tucson Unified School District is already broke, so who would pay for that?

We can't afford to continue deliberating this subject. This is just one aspect of the safety we need. We need to be reviewing mental health issues, too.

Mike Ebert


Who's the CEO leaving dubious legacy?

I am the CEO of a large religious organization and this is my legacy:

• Women can't have leadership positions in my organization.

• Use of condoms will cause more cases of AIDS in Africa.

• Homosexuals are intrinsically disordered.

• Women shall use no form of artificial contraception.

• The approximately 2 percent of the world's population that are LGBT are destroying marriage for the rest of us.

• In 2001 I wrote my leadership and told them that all sexual-abuse accusations regarding children and adolescents should come through my office.

Maybe I should have written that all accusations should go through the police.

I will ponder that one in retirement.

Can you guess who I am?

Pat Connolly