Right to destroy gun comes with ownership

Re: the Feb. 1 article "Group seeks to ban destruction of guns that owners turn in."

OK, let me get this straight. According to the NRA it's my right to possess any kind of a weapon that my little heart desires. However, if I decide to dispose of my weapon or weapons, it is not my right to turn them in to be destroyed.

So what's happened to my right now?

Does the word hypocrite come to mind?

LaVon Hostetler

Retired, Tucson

Put gun-death stats on front page

In order to keep the issue of gun control from fading off the radar, I suggest the following:

In big bold type on the front page of the paper the number of deaths caused by guns each day should be printed in an accumulative total.

This will keep the issue alive, and as the number grows the fence-sitters will become more active and we will get something done.

Sheldon Silverman

Retired WWII vet, Tucson

Coughing into arm is a dumb idea

I have decided that the idea of coughing into your arm is nothing more than a diabolical experiment designed to prove that we are all nothing more than a bunch of lemmings lock stepping along to anything the "experts" tell us.

You wash your hands quite a few times throughout the day, you do not wash your arm. Why in your right mind would you want to carry the germs along with you all day? As for spittle or snot, why would you want that on your arm, let alone your sleeve?

Wake up folks, the emperor has no clothes!

Rita Schmitz

Retired, Tucson

'Raytheon Eight': 'We told you so'

Feb. 13 will mark the 10th anniversary of the arrest of the "United Neighbors" at Raytheon. Dressed like U.N. inspectors, we entered the complex and insisted upon inspecting for weapons of mass destruction.

We were tried as the Raytheon Eight.

Our pro bono attorney argued brilliantly with an unprepared prosecutor who, like the majority of the American people, simply wasn't ready for the likes of us. We were both delighted with a light sentence and sad that we had not prevented the invasion of Iraq.

Ten years later, more and more of the middle class is agreeing that our country and the world would be better off if, instead of going to war, the American people had followed the Raytheon Eight into a paddy wagon.

I'm going to say it: We told you so.

Gretchen Nielsen


Melvin distorts education statistics

Re: the Feb. 1 guest column "Mickelson story illustrates this point: You can thrive in Arizona, not in California."

State Sen. Al Melvin recently praised Arizona's "outstanding" education system with charter schools like Basis and Sonoran Science Academy. Using two elite schools to draw conclusions is like looking at Scottsdale and concluding that Arizonans are mostly millionaires.

Moreover, Stanford University found that while 17 percent of charter schools provided a better education than traditional schools, 37 percent of charters did worse. So Melvin brags about a system that produces worsening outcomes for Arizona's children.

And he ignores other facts. We are near the bottom in school funding. The state cut all-day kindergarten. Our graduation rate is 74 percent, the national average is 78 percent; top states are over 90 percent.

Melvin voted to gut university funding to the point that tuition is now nearly unaffordable.

Education in Arizona is not outstanding, it is not even average. I hope the residents of his district are happy with their anti-education representative.

Brian Sowle


For all freedoms, 'restrictions apply'

Why do some people think that our Constitution guarantees absolute, unfettered freedom of gun ownership?

Freedom of speech doesn't mean they can yell "Fire" in a crowd. Local noise ordinances dictate how loudly they can broadcast their speech. There are rules about libel and slander, which limit speech as well as freedom of the press.

Freedom of religion doesn't apply to the break-away fundamentalist Mormons.

Alcohol was constitutionally OK until it wasn't. Then it was.

Things change.

For every so-called freedom, as they say, "some restrictions apply."

Grow up. Be reasonable.

David P. Kelly

Retired, Tucson