Ballot is how to check no-account legislators

Every day the Arizona Legislature is in session, I cringe at the thought of what might be the next piece of proposed legislation to come from these seemingly gun-crazy, anti-woman and bigoted people.

It does no good to tell me I need to call my legislators — not when I am in a district “represented” by some of the worst. They don’t want to hear my views. And they don’t care that many, perhaps most, Arizonans don’t think the way they do.

So what’s the answer? The answer, my fellow citizens, is for more of us to get out and vote. And to do it in the primaries — don’t wait for the general election.

The primary is where you can nominate moderate, responsible, intelligent candidates of both parties. That way there are good choices in the general election and a better future for Arizona.

Karen Schickedanz

Retired, SaddleBrooke

A better AZ if children were paramount

Re: the April 17 column “If only Arizona lawmakers protected kids like guns.”

Hooray for Sarah Garrecht Gassen’s column. What a wonderful state for families and industry if Arizona were a place where “lawmakers protected children with as much ferocity as they protect guns.”

Money would pour into lobbies that fought for children’s access to health and education. Given good nutrition and education for their developing brains, kids would become future contributors to the arts, economy and community development.

Parent education would provide youngsters with the security and love that mold people into happy, healthy citizens. I’m not against gun ownership — the National Rifle Association I knew promoted gun safety, and I still have my junior marksman badge.

But the NRA morphed into a lobby promoting the gun industry as a moneymaker, and “the people” were seen as a market, not families. If only billboards were covered with the message “In Arizona we care about children.” I’d sure want to live, work and play in a state like that, wouldn’t you?

Patti Albaugh

Writer, Tucson

Gun background checks require probable cause

Re: the April 17. article “Tucson group protests in favor of stricter gun background checks.”

The right to due process is a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States and the state of Arizona.

In the absence of probable cause of wrongdoing, a background check as a precondition to the exercise of a right, any right, is and always has been an illegal a priori restraint on the right to due process.

It is also a violation of the First, Second, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments when the feds compel it and a violation of Article IV and Article VI as well when the states compel it.

Neither the federal government nor any state government has the authority to legislate, enforce, or adjudicate any law with regard to any aspect of the right to keep and bear arms other than protecting it from interference.Period. Full stop. End of story. These demonstrators can take their ignorance and go pound sand with it.

Donald Cline

Retired, Star Valley

Tie welfare benefits

to student performance

Much has been said about the relationship of poverty and the lack of parental involvement to poor academic achievement.

In business, pay is directly related to performance evaluations. Perhaps if parents were given performance evaluations by making welfare benefits proportionate to their children’s academic achievements, more attention would be paid on the part of the parents.

Melvin Swingler

Retired engineer, Tucson

Letting ranchers shoot gray wolves is dumb

Re: the April 17 article “Ariz. legislation lets ranchers kill endangered gray wolves.”

I wish I could say this was the dumbest thing to come out of the Arizona Legislature in recent memory. Sadly, it’s just one of many.

Scientists know that healthy ecosystems rely on keystone predators. The wolf is that predator. Ranchers can modify how they handle their livestock and minimize the chances of wolf predation.There is no valid reason why wolves and ranchers can’t co-exist.

JoAnn Hinchliffe

Retired, Vail

Writer within his rights to hold dogs in disfavor

Re: the April 14 guest column “You’re a dog person or not — and I’m not.”

I so applaud Gene Twaronite’s confession that he is not a dog person. It takes a lot of nerve to admit something like that — and in the local newspaper, no less.

I too, am not a dog person. Oh sure, I may walk down my street and say “hi” to Tinker and Snowball and Bruno while merely nodding at their humans (whose names I’ve forgotten), but for the most part I find dogs goofy and dopey and surprisingly gullible.

But I do not think that one should be ostracized or stigmatized or judged as socially deficient just because one happens to not love dogs as much as their doting-to-the-point-of-crazed caregivers.

However, if one is so unenlightened as to not love cats ...

Kathleen Vishner

Green Valley