Re “Tehama, Texas shootings illustrate a common theme: Untreated mental illness” (Viewpoints, Nov. 17): El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson doesn’t address why those blessedly few dangerously unstable people commit horrific mass shootings. It should be no mystery that they take their cues from the perhaps less mentally unhinged people who in recent times too often hold up guns as answers to many problems, real and imagined. In appropriating that logic, the severely mentally ill choose guns as their solutions, their madness driving them to murderous, grotesque statements of their own inner despair. The phrase “sensible gun control” which appears to confound Pierson is as most agree a reasonable and justifiable effort, with proven results, to confront the contagion of gun violence in a nation where more children are killed by guns than policemen.
Spencer P. Le Gate, Sacramento
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Re “Grad students are right to protest GOP tax cut bill” (Viewpoints, Nov. 28): Among other losers from the Republican tax bill will be graduate students, who pursue advances in science and technology. Typical grad students in science or engineering work on research projects in some new arena. These grad students work long hours that include evenings and weekends. In compensation, the university or college give them a waiver on the institution’s tuition plus stipends for living expenses. The tax bill now before the Congress wages war on research institutions and underpaid graduate students. By requiring grad students to pay taxes on the full amount of the tuition waiver plus the stipend, the bill would increase their tax bracket. As the average student stipend is $16,000 annually, this will make graduate research work untenable for many.
Nancy Hughett, Sacramento
GOP tax bill
Congress is hashing out the new tax bill. All taxpayers should contact senators and representatives to insist that we get a chance to study and comment on the tax bill before it is rushed through Congress. The rush to pass it is so President Trump can chalk up a win.
Valerie Gates, Fair Oaks