FILE — A customer looks at a pistol at a vendor’s display at a gun show held by Florida Gun Shows in Miami on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. When it comes to gun violence, political realities make bridging the chasm between European and U.S. laws unlikely. However, some American firearm deaths could be avoided by encouraging safer gun storage.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

All foreign aid

is de facto bribery

Democrats in Congress have changed their impeachment mantra from “quid pro quo” to “bribery.” President Trump wanted the Ukrainian government to investigate meddling into the 2016 election, corruption and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, allegedly in exchange for foreign aid.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls that bribery. Where has she been all her long political life? She is being disingenuous, knowing full well that most foreign aid is a form of bribery, attaching strings to the aid, having the receiving country promise to take certain actions like cracking down on drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, sex trafficking, et cetera.

As Republican Rep. Devin Nunes stated, Joe Biden’s threats of withholding foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for a top prosecutor being fired was textbook bribery. The impeachment hearings are purely partisan politics being done by Democrats in Congress hoping to further erode Trump’s poll numbers for the 2020 election with the aid of their allies in the news media.

Juan Santiago

Southwest side

Digging deeper

and deeper for water

Re: the Nov. 17 article “Groundwater levels falling amid strong suburb growth.”

My parents’ 20-acre property just east of the Tucson National golf course had a private well. It ran dry shortly before we moved there in 1981, so we had it drilled 150 deeper. In 1996, it ran dry again. The math is simple: 150 feet in 15 years averages 10 feet per year.

John Stickler

Rio Rico

Tough guns laws do save lives

Re: the Nov. 10 column “Calling it a ‘gun show loophole’ doesn’t make it so.”

The extent of Steven Barker’s background check is asking for proof of residency and age. It’s a vast difference from Form 4473, which asks for many details, including felony convictions and use of medical marijuana.

Barker illogically describes the felonious theft of guns by the Sandy Hook shooter, an argument for safe storage of firearms.

Facts: Per research from the American Journal of Public Health, Connecticut passed a law requiring all handgun buyers to pass a background check, it was associated with a 40% reduction in the gun homicide rate.

And according to a study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, when Missouri decided to repeal its purchase permit law requiring background checks, the state experienced a 27% increase in its firearm homicide rate.

Waste of taxpayer money? More facts: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence published a report that Arizona loses as much as $1.9 billion every year to costs directly associated with gun violence.

With 100 people killed and 200 injured daily in this country, it is time to have valid and informed discussions regarding reducing gun violence.

Kathryn Jensen

East side

Seniors can’t afford tax on health care

There are few things more important than access to affordable health care. I think about that often as a Tucson senior on a fixed income.

That’s why I’m concerned about the health insurance tax. Unless Congress takes action, this tax may add hundreds of dollars in expenses for the 500,000 Arizonans who, like me, are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Nearly half of all Medicare Advantage members live on less than $24,000 per year, so any cost increase could be devastating.

I thank U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally for co-sponsoring the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act. This would suspend the tax for two years, but it’s important Congress vote before the end of 2019.

Elected officials talk about supporting seniors. Voting yes on the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act is one way they can prove it.

Jon Stetson

Northeast side

Is single-payer

health care possible?

There is much discussion lately in the media about converting medical care to a single-payer system. Most of the discussion has centered around how to pay the enormous cost of such a change.

However, one aspect is more bothersome. Those enormous sums are necessary to pay for additional services. Where are the additional tens of thousands of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel going to come from?

These are highly trained people, who take years to train. It also will take years to build more hospitals. What about additional medical schools to provide that training, and drug companies and equipment manufactures? Presuming this is something the community wants, funding can be had by deciding how to raise taxes and passing a law — massive infrastructure not so easily.

Gene Smith

Oro Valley