Punishment needed for illegal gun owners

Re: the May 16 column "The 'wouldn't have prevented' gambit on gun-safety laws."

Ms. Garrecht Gassen has made some good points about background checks. And there has been lots in the news about the recent mass shootings.

But what is not in the news are the inner-city killings that go on every day, and how innocent children are killed in their homes and bystanders are shot by stray bullets.

The people who are doing the shootings do not have guns legally. They don't register them.

I could not back the bill in Congress because there was nothing in it for harsh punishments if you had a gun illegally. Nothing there to make a gangster think twice about having a gun. There have to be harsh laws for owning a gun illegally before people will take this seriously.

Punish the bad guys, not the good guys.

Phyllis Peto

Homemaker, Tucson

Double negatives mix up the message

Re: the May 19 column "Give El Rio, campus separate analyses."

I enjoyed reading the article about the possible Grand Canyon University campus replacing the golf course. As someone who played El Rio daily during my high school years, I believe it would be no loss. I was, however, confused by the comments attributed to Freddy Ortiz in the article.

First he stated, "All in all, I don't want them here." Then he adds, "We don't want no concrete. We don't want no pavement." Does Mr. Ortiz realize that he first said he doesn't want them, then said he wants the concrete and pavement?

Either he can't make up his mind or perhaps Mr. Ortiz should wish for the college to build there so he can take an elementary English class.

Alan Cross


Climate-change views based on half-truths

Re: the May 21 guest editorial "Overheated climate rhetoric hurts the economy."

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, stated "climate change … needs to be discussed thoughtfully and objectively." Unfortunately, he chose instead to offer half-truths at best. He claimed that data from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit showed no warming over the last 15 years. This "report," which appeared in a British tabloid, has been categorically denied by leading agencies.

Its data show, in fact, that the 10 warmest years ever recorded have all occurred in the last 15 years. Rep. Smith also claims that reducing emissions would have little immediate impact on further warming, but neglects to say why. We have already put so much CO2 into the air and CO2 is such a long-lasting pollutant, that it will take decades for natural processes to scrub our atmosphere clean. To Rep. Smith this is a reason to continue polluting.

Daniel M. Janes

Retired planetary scientist, Tucson

Bipartisan cooperation appeared in a dream

I have a dream where our elected representatives understand mistakes happen, and that once those come to light it is time to move on to the business of the nation and not endlessly "investigate" and leak misquotes or statements taken out of context.

I have a dream that once elected our new leaders realize it is time to buckle down to the business of the state and not waste time manipulating the next political cycle.

I have a dream where our elected representatives do what they were elected to do: take care of the needs of their constituents, not the ones who bought their votes and now expect political payback.

I have a dream that our leaders will return to the days of Sen. Everitt Dirkson and Sen. Mike Mansfield, where bipartisan cooperation resulted in projects for the good of our country and all those living in it.

I have a dream that our current nightmare will end.

Karin Ann Johnson

Retired teacher, Tucson

Border walls hinder wildlife, views

Re: the May 20 letter to the editor "Border 'wall' not cause of ecological damage."

A friend of mine and his wife bought land next to the San Pedro River because they love the views, the wildlife and the proximity to Mexico. Soon after, the feds built a steel and concrete wall 15 feet high across my friend's land without permission. 

My friend says, "I don't know whether to call it a wall or a fence. I call it a 'wince' because that's what I do when I see it."

We have photos of deer, javelina, mountain lion, and yes, smaller animals such as roadrunners and rattlesnakes blocked by the "wince" near his home.

The "wince" at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was toppled by a 2011 flood. The "wince" in Nogales flooded the Sonoran side in 6 feet of water in 2008, drowning two people and causing millions of dollars in damages.

Failed border and immigration policies will not be fixed by more walls, fences or any combination thereof.

Dan Millis

Sierra Club Borderlands, Tucson

Time is critical when a child is lost

Re: the May 24 letter to the editor "Amber Alert could wait for another 5 minutes."

I am absolutely astounded that the letter writer has the audacity to actually complain that an Amber Alert broadcast could wait for five minutes. Obviously she doesn't realize, or doesn't care, how far a kidnapped child could be taken in that period of time.

Perhaps she would change her way of thinking if she were to meet the Celis family.

Debra Fassler

Retired, Green Valley