Strong gun laws have saved lives
Re “1.3 million guns sold in California last year” (Page 1A, Jan. 20): The dramatic spike in gun sales is unfortunate but not surprising. Every time we pass significant gun safety laws in California, gun sales temporarily increase.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence takes the long-term view. Over time, the assault-weapons legislation enacted in 2016 will decrease the proliferation of military-style weapons that can be rapidly reloaded to maintain fire and kill many people very quickly. Lives will be saved.
In fact, California, which has the strongest firearm laws in the nation, is benefiting from policies enacted 25 years ago, including a background check and waiting period for all future gun sales. Almost immediately, gun deaths began to decline and continue to do so. Since 1993, our gun death rate has decreased 58 percent, more than double the drop in the rest of the nation. Gun laws work.
Amanda Wilcox, Penn Valley
Public pensions are out of control
Re “Local governments grapple with pensions as higher expense looms” (The Public Eye, Jan. 22): Local government pension costs are devouring jobs from a generation of government workers, snuffing out basic services and drowning the hopes of retirees.
Like a canary in the mine of mismanagement; the city of Loyalton retirees are the first to experience these suffocating effects with a 60 percent pension cut. More municipal bankruptcies will occur and labor contracts renegotiated, particularly when the economy slows.
Then the pressure will rise to raise taxes to “fix our roads” and keep fire stations from shutting down. Well, this is one taxpayer who is going to say “no” to any new taxes until labor cost and retirement funding is brought in balance.
Jonathan Schrader, Elk Grove
Storm illustrates climate change
Re “Storm slams state, triggering flooding” (Page 5A, Jan. 23): The dramatic photo of the storm waves breaking apart a historic World War I ship near Santa Cruz can represent the danger of extreme weather events on our military and our security.
Two years ago, the Pentagon warned that danger to the climate is a national security threat. It could result in destabilization of governments, more refugees, increased conflict over access to water and electricity and rising sea levels that would overtake naval bases.
Now we have a president committed to increasing the use of outdated fuels and undermining the worldwide move toward building a secure world for our families and future generations.
This is a time to tell our congressional representatives how important it is to us to protect our families and find positive, bipartisan solutions.
Eileen Heinrich, Sacramento
GOP disinvited Dems from table
Re “A choice for California: Come to the table or be on the menu” (Viewpoints, Jan. 23): I agree the best happens for our country when both sides of the aisle work together for the good of all. However, since the 1990s, Republicans have made a habit of refusing to do that and then scolding Democrats for pushing back. It can’t just be the Democrats who give.
If the Republicans were serious about working across the aisle, they would have given Judge Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote. The concept of “work with us or else” is just a bullying threat.
Mary Alexander, Sacramento
Dangers of Trump’s isolationist policy
President Donald Trump’s isolationist rhetoric should be of major concern for Americans. Across the globe, worries over the future of U.S. international relations are evident. Without much policy laid out to execute his promises, it is unclear if the new head of our executive branch will be able to follow through.
Trump’s words are enticing for the many Americans who have lost their jobs to factories overseas and for many others concerned about the import-export ratio we hold. But we cannot ignore the many benefits of international trade. It allows for greater market competition, better resource allocation and keeps prices low so more Americans can purchase the goods they need and want.
Goods produced on American soil tend to be more expensive than those imported from abroad. A shift away from the international market could be quite painful on our wallets. Putting “America First” is a great catchphrase, but with little real merit. Isolationist policies will get us nowhere in world so internationally entangled.
Maeve Diepenbrock, Sacramento
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