Gun advocates cite wrong amendment

Gun advocates cite the Second Amendment as the Constitutional authority for their stance. It seems to me that the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion is the more apt defense.

To them guns are power totems, gun racks and gun cases are altars, shooting ranges are churches.

To rephrase a well-known bumper sticker, their dogma has run over the nation's karma.

Paul Ottley

Educator, Tucson

Science classes are for exploring theories

Re: the Feb. 11 guest column "Bill would encourage critical thinking."

The columnist's Sherlock Holmes reference may be a good scientific starting point, but he conveniently forgot to heed it. There's another possibility; that there never was a "beginning," just infinity.

He might want to go back to science class, where the scientific method must be open to all choices. The big bang theory is a "theory." Should we teach the Bible's definition of beginning as "theory" in science class?

Science class should not devolve into an investigation and debate about all God-centered definitions of beginning.

Science should teach the logical method, recognizing that some choose to answer the "beginning" question with God, and those details are discussed in religious institutions.

Science classes are the place to investigate the other theories, pros and cons. It should become second nature for students to think critically, and practicing that in science class will carry over to other classes and their lives.

Hollace D. Lyon

Retired, SaddleBrooke

Immigration quick fix isn't the solution

Re: the Feb. 9 article "Central American crossers on the rise."

It makes no difference what country they come from, if they migrate across our border illegally they are illegal immigrants.

A decade ago we were told that there were some 12 million illegal immigrants in our country. We are now told there are 11 million, although each day more cross our southern border heading north, than south. Are we not being told the truth?

The bottom line is that before any kind of immigration reform can be seriously considered, our southern border must be sealed.

Further, the adverse impact illegal immigration has had on jobs for our citizens and social-system programs such as food stamps, welfare, health care and education must be properly addressed and resolved before any kind of "path to citizenship" can be considered.

The political quick fix being discussed in Washington today is not the answer, nor does it address the real problems.

Henry J. Selfridge


Ruminations aren't 'critical thinking'

Re: the Feb. 11 guest column "Bill would encourage critical thinking."

The writer mistakes his theological ruminations for "critical thinking" when he proposes that students in public school classrooms be free to voice notions such as "in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth" as a possible answer to the conundrum of our existence. He suggests that "First there was nothing and it exploded to become our universe" is less probable. Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist, addresses this "improbable" situation in his recent book "A Universe From Nothing."

One of the classic foibles of contemporary "thinking" is that when there is not an immediate answer to a question arising about our existence, we can just go directly to the default bag of "answers" offered by religion.

If that is the course one seeks, it needs to be done out of the classroom. Reserve the classroom for the often hard work of critical thinking.

Richard C. Johnson


... and keep the 'N' in Valentine's

Re: the Feb. 11 letter to the editor "Let's return the 'R' to February."

I agree totally with Lee Schnebly's letter regarding mispronunciation of February with the new "silent" R.

I would like to add Happy "Valentime's" Day. The correct word is Valentine's.

I've been hearing the word quite a bit this week and rarely is it pronounced correctly. Poor St. Valentine must be beside himself!

Roslyn "Peg" Singer