Lawmakers have it backward on guns, pot

Re: the March 8 articles "House blocks destruction of buyback guns" and "Panel OKs police's destruction of legal pot."

Perhaps the yahoos in Phoenix haven't noticed that guns kill while pot helps.

No wonder Arizona is now known as "The Stupid State."

Bob Rheingold

Export sales, Green Valley

Fix background checks, don't expand them

I regret that Gabby Giffords or anyone else has to suffer the trauma of being shot. I rejoice that she survived.

She and her husband, Mark Kelly, are campaigning for universal background checks for all gun sales. Let's debate facts, not ideology.

The argument is that we must have universal background checks because Jared Lee Loughner should not have been able to buy a gun; his mental illness and drug use were known.

He had not been adjudicated as being mentally ill and had no criminal record of drug use. The law that prohibits mentally ill people who are a danger to themselves or others from buying or possessing a firearm can be changed but we must protect health record privacy and be very careful not to stigmatize those who need mental-health care.

Requiring universal background checks severely interferes with a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms. Citizens have constitutional rights to privacy and self-defense; the choice of means belongs to the citizen, not the federal government.

Let's repair the background-check system before we expand a broken system.

Benny White

Retired, Tucson

Shopper won't be online or standing around

C'mon Tucson merchants.

All I ever seem to see or hear from our local merchants is "buy from your local merchants or our online site."

Don't most if not all of us "retired" folks remember the days when all our department stores had a bench or chair in every department for the elderly and disabled who needed to take those extra moments to catch a breath of air? Where have they gone?

Now the only chairs in our stores are in the shoe department (and I've been told these chairs are for footwear customers only), or electric carts that typically don't fit down all the isles of merchandise.

Penney's, Macy's, Sears, Dillard's and others, I choose to do my shopping from what store catalogs I can get my hands on.

Remember, not all retired or disabled are Internet-savvy. The next move is on you.

Linda Chapman

Retired, Tucson

Editorial reflects anti-Castro sentiment

Re: March 7 editorial "Hugo Chavez left Venezuela a legacy of plunder."

Shame on the Star for running the Miami Herald's editorial.

It is full of untruths and innuendos, including the title, too numerous to fully answer.

One example is "bully tactics and economic intimidation?" He did reduce foreign oil companies' take from 84 percent to 70 percent and increase the royalty from 1 percent to 16.1 percent on the "heavy" crude from the Orinoco Basin. Shortly after, the U.S. assisted a short-lived coup against Chavez. Fortunately, unlike the U.S.-backed coups against Aristide in Haiti and Zelaya in Honduras, it didn't succeed.

This is an editorial by the 1 percent who resent the fact Chavez used his country's oil wealth to provide education and health care for the 99 percent.

Remember, anti-Castro Cubans occupy Miami and, apparently, the editorial board of the Miami Herald as well.

Right, Chavez was Castro's friend.

Mansur Johnson

Company president, Tucson

Rothschild misleads on impact of sequester

Re: the March 8 guest column "Congress needs to end the sequester before it causes serious pain."

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild's article is utter nonsense. So far President Obama has been caught in lies regarding a sequester of his own creation.

Rothschild says cities, towns, schools, roads, law enforcement, Border Patrol will all be affected? Really?

The amazing fact is that we're not talking about an actual reduction in government spending, but a decrease of less than 1 percent of increased spending.

Tucson needs a leader, Mayor Rothschild, not a mouthpiece for the Democrat Party. If only the Obama administration was this transparent.

Kevin Jordan

Retired military, Rio Rico