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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: June 8

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Texas School Shooting Age Limit

FILE -Three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, Calif., on Aug. 15, 2012. The gunmen in two of the nation's most recent mass shootings, including last week's massacre at a Texas elementary school, legally bought the assault weapons they used after they turned 18. That's prompting Congress and policymakers in even the reddest of states to revisit whether to raise the age limit to purchase such weapons.

This practice must end

With the latest debacle in Uvalde, Texas, I feel the need to speak out on what has, for years now, become standard practice. That is standing back while crime is being committed instead of charging toward the problem. They are not free to exercise their initiative, but must wait for orders from on high. Because of this many lives have been lost, including recently in Texas.

The first time I observed this was Columbine. A large force of officers were seen outside. Some were hiding behind their cars and even a military vehicle standing there. All the while, students and faculty were dying. The one in Florida an officer stood outside while shots were being fired.

After the George Floyd incident, police in city after city stayed back while burning and looting were being committed without a response to stop it.

The police must be allowed to respond.

Jack Walters

Northeast side

Economy great under Trump

Re: the May 28 letter “Little man behind the curtain.”

The vitriol by the letter writer is stunning and yet he dares to call the Republican Party “rodents.” To begin, I only worship God and his Son. I admire former President Donald Trump since he had the best economy in 50 years just before the pandemic hit. America was energy independent and there was no shortage of baby formula. Our southern border wasn’t out of control with thousands pouring across it every day.

We’re two years into Joe Biden’s presidency and he owns this so-called “crazy.” It’s Biden who’s instilling fear — fear of high inflation, unaffordable fuel and empty grocery stores. There’s a mass shooting in Chicago every weekend and that city is run by Biden supporters. Don’t blame the NRA. They encourage responsible, safe gun ownership and use. I have yet to read where they found a NRA card on any of these knuckleheads who perpetrated these awful killings.

Marvin Montez

Oro Valley

Harden our hearts?

Let’s “harden” our schools and make them more fortress/prison like. Let’s “harden” our places of worship: mosques, (New Haven, Connecticut), synagogues, (Tree of Life, Pittsburgh) churches, (First Baptist, Sutherland Springs, Texas) our movie theaters, (Aurora, Colorado) grocery stores (Buffalo, New York) and Walmart (El Paso), nightclubs, (Las Vegas) places of employment, (too many to name), “harden” wherever we live our lives, like I think 50 Republicans have hardened their hearts.

When 80%-90% of Americans want to close loopholes and mandate universal background checks while 50 individuals stand in their way, something is very wrong with our democratic process. Rule by 50, is rule by those who put preservation of personal power over the clearly expressed will of the people. Consider, Deuteronomy 30:19 “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live.”

Rita Pollak

Oro Valley

It’s an epidemic

An epidemic is defined as: affecting a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population and characterized by very widespread growth.

In 2020, more than 45,000 Americans died by gun. That’s a 25% increase from the five years prior, and a 43% increase from 2010. Studies indicate that the rate at which public mass shootings occur has tripled since 2011. Firearms are now the leading cause of death for American children.

Our Arizona state Republican legislators are pushing increased gun rights. One bill would expand the places concealed weapons permit holders can carry firearms, while the other would allow anyone driving on school grounds to have a loaded weapon in their car. At the federal level, all four Arizona Republican representatives voted no to universal background checks.

Gun violence is an epidemic in the United States. Republicans have politicized this issue by their failure to address it.

Jean Meconi

Oro Valley

Second Amendment

I am reading a book, “Franklin D. Roosevelt” by Roger Daniels. It is about FDR’s life until 1939. It details the New Deal legislation enacted. I came across the following; Limited Gun Control Legislation Affecting Machine Guns and Sawed off Shotguns was enacted in 1937. You would find this on page 188.

What this does is confirm to me that the Second Amendment can include restrictions on what is allowed to be purchased by citizens. If they could restrict machine guns, why is that different from the current assault weapons that have been so freely purchased by thousands or millions? There has to be a way to eliminate these dangerous weapons whose only purpose can be to kill many people. I realize that even if this is done there will always be an effort to skirt around the restriction but at least a first step should be undertaken.

Jack Walters

Northeast side

Mental illness, shootings and politics

Columbine, 1999, 13 dead; Uvalde, 2022, 21 dead. Asking if the killer was mentally ill is the wrong question. Mental illness exists worldwide, but Uvaldes and Columbines happen almost exclusively here. Scientific studies by the National Institutes of Health show no direct correlation between mental illness and mass murder.

After Columbine and all the others, we did nothing. It’s time for us all, including political adversaries, to find common ground to prevent an 18-year-old from turning a place of learning into a killing field with an assault rifle.

This means recognizing that gun crime, mental illness, social network and gun access issues are complex and interrelated. The way our society frames these connections reveals as much about cultural politics, biases and blind spots as it does about the acts of lone, obviously troubled, individuals.

Perhaps the young man who pulled the trigger was mentally ill. But let’s stop the cycle of violence and trauma, regardless of the killer’s mental state.

Matthew Lehrer


Another responsibility for teachersOver the years, American society has asked more of teachers besides “reading, writing and arithmetic.” And now the GOP is renewing its call to arm teachers so that schools have a “credible” defense against shooters. If this is their answer to protect schools, then teachers and their unions must insist on the following, at a minimum, in all future contracts as well as state and local law.

Like police officers:

Teachers must have the same liability protections when involved in shootings at schools, including liability protections when they leave their classrooms and students to hunt down school shooters and students in those classrooms are harmed because teachers were not present in those classrooms.

Teachers are eligible for full retirement benefits after 20 years of service in the state.

And of course, the salary of teachers must significantly increase on a yearly basis for assuming another societal responsibility; therefore, teaching contracts must be adjusted accordingly.

Craig Whaley

Oro Valley

Help me out here

Please tell me. Eighty million people voted for Joe Biden.

Question, are you better off now, do you love his policies? Why are his numbers tanking, staff bailing and his White House in chaos?

Black staffers bailing, bringing in Koreans to talk about Asian discrimination.

This is undoubtedly the biggest chaos to descend on our country since President Jimmy Carter. But who is keeping track.

I could use some answers from some of the 80 million people who put this administration in office!

Help me out here! Fuel, inflation, food costs? Help me out here!

Rich Barnes

East side

Confused by conservative positions

I am confused by the stands of many conservatives. I want to be respectful of diverse opinions, but I don’t understand how they can take a strong position on protecting the unborn but then allow them to be gunned down at age 6. Conservatives, please help me understand this dichotomy. Thank you.

Frank Hagel


Death row

I think abortion is a form of capital punishment. A baby on death row in the prison of the womb. There is no trial, no judge, no appeal, just the whim of an unwilling mother. There is the doctor, a butcher in violation of his oath to preserve life. At the moment of conception, all DNA on hair, color ethnicity and gender is determined for the lifespan.

Who is not shocked by the thought that I might have been aborted? I bless my mother every day for her love and sacrifice. It think it is safer in the U.S. to be a chicken’s egg, a puppy or a turtle.

I think abortion is based on the theoretical lies of poverty, overpopulation and a shortage of resources. Fraudulent reasons to kill an unplanned baby.

Daily, thousands of children are slaughtered in the name of convenience, privacy and choice. We must suspend the death sentences of these voiceless, nameless innocents who cannot speak for themselves.

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Thomas McGorray

Northwest side

Military assault rifles

I am a U.S. Army veteran who qualified “expert” with the M-16 rifle. The civilian version of this rifle is known as the AR-15. The AR-15/M-16 is an excellent military weapon. But I know how this rifle pulverizes flesh and bone when it hits a human being or an animal.

Did you see in the news reports on the recent mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that some of the parents who were called in to identify the bodies of their children had to submit DNA samples, because the AR-15 had so completely disintegrated children’s bodies that they could not be identified?

If you think this is an acceptable risk for children and families in the U.S., something is wrong with you. I strongly believe that all military assault rifles and the 30-round pistol magazines used by Tucson’s mass shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, should be outlawed for civilian use.

Brooks Keenan

Oro Valley

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