Letters to the Editor

LettersProp. 47, guns, Bera-Ose race, etc.

Prop. 47 isn’t good for public safety

Re “Prisons train criminals” (Letters, Oct. 16): There is nothing safe about Proposition 47, also known as “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.”

Proposition 47 is a dangerous package of ill-conceived policies wrapped in a poorly drafted initiative that puts Californians at risk. It will reduce the theft of a gun from a felony to a misdemeanor if the firearm is under $950. Identity thieves will also be given a get-out-of-jail free card in the form of a misdemeanor.

As colleges are struggling to prevent sexual assault, Proposition 47 aims to make the possession of date rape drugs a misdemeanor instead of a felony. If passed, Proposition 47 will release up to 10,000 felons into our neighborhoods.

As a 35-year victims’ rights organization, we will not support this initiative. Please join law enforcement, business owners and victims’ and women’s rights groups in voting “no” on Proposition 47.

Harriet Salerno, co-founder, Crime Victims United of California, Auburn

Criminals don’t follow gun laws

Re “Gun controls reduce homicides” (Letters, Oct. 14): “An assault with a gun is about 12 times more likely to be fatal than an assault with a knife.” OK, but who would be committing that assault? Individuals who are trained, law-abiding and legally carrying concealed weapons, or the criminal and insane?

Unfortunately most of our gun control laws only restrict the rights of honest, law-abiding citizens and do nothing to restrict access by criminals and insane from obtaining guns. Our legislators are missing the mark in passing common-sense gun laws.

Gordon L. Tanner, Wilton

No comparison between guns and bicycles

Re “Stop being anti-gun” (Letters, Oct. 13): Letter writer L. Truett Phillips compares gun deaths to bicycle deaths. One major difference is guns are often bought to kill, and bicycles are bought to ride.

As far as comparisons go, consider these: An average of 86 Americans are killed each day by someone with a gun. That is close to 31,400 deaths per year. What if that many of us were killed by Ebola? What if an organization as effective as the National Rifle Association had a major role in spreading that virus? What if your family were directly affected?

How can the 800 bicycle deaths have any relevance to over 31,000 gun deaths?

Al Vopata, Antelope

Guns are different

Re “More deadly weapons need look” (Letters, Oct. 10): Letter writer John Dodson lists a slew of implements -- knives, golf clubs, hammers, fists, etc. – that he considers as deadly as firearms. He wonders why there are no editorials or movements to restrict the use of things like that, but there are constant efforts to regulate his gun.

The answers to that are simple: None of those items can kill at a distance. They can’t be loaded in a magazine that fires 40 of them in one second, and guns have only one use: to fire a bullet. All the others have multiple uses: Hammers drive nails, golf clubs drive golf balls and fists are important extensions of our arms.

I’ve often wondered why those who worship the Second Amendment ignore the first half of it. Don’t they have any concept of what “well-regulated” means?

Jerry P. Jones, Sacramento

Climate change is a fact

Re “Climate change science lacking” (Letters, Oct. 10): One must be from another planet to not believe in global warming. After all, it’s only a catch-all phrase for the destruction of the universe. Step outside in the smog-filled, insecticide-riddled, smoke-polluted atmosphere. Could you not be aware that we are hurdling to extinction?

However, I guess the naysayers are right. You might just as well drive your car constantly, blow the cigarette smell everywhere, use up the water and enjoy all resources as long as you can.

Don’t forget your hip boots and the cave you may need high on the mountain, if it’s still there.

Celeste Snavely, Sacramento

Ose has a proven record

Re “Rep. Ami Bera has earned a second term” (Endorsements, Oct. 12): The tortured logic of The Bee’s endorsement of Ami Bera is pathetic. In his first two years in the House he voted more than 90 percent with his party and sponsored a bill with a Republican which had no chance of going anywhere. On that slender thread you call him a hope for bipartisanship.

Contrast that with Doug Ose’s proven record. He has received the endorsement of a large group of prominent Democrats in the district and the region because of he knows the proper place for partisanship and policy. If he is elected, he will immediately be granted fourth-term seniority based on his prior service.

Who has the better potential to become a leader for bipartisan change – a minor back-bencher or someone who is likely to be able to influence the direction of his party in the House?

You then go on to criticize Ose for his questions about the appropriate direction of responses to climate change and health care. Even Bera admits that Obamacare is flawed, but he has done nothing to improve it. Ose will work to make it work on a sounder basis. On climate change the real question is not the science, but about the proper direction for public policy. You seem to think that it is impossible not to respond without enacting new mandates that probably will not have the desired effects and will be job killers. At this critical time in our history, we need proven leadership, not hope based on nothing.

Jonathan Brown, Fair Oaks

Ose won the debate

The Bee editorial board justifies its endorsement of Congressman Ami Bera by praising his performance in his debate with Doug Ose. I watched the debate, but didn’t have the same impression. Bera pulled out many of his old talking points but said nothing about the economy. The high unemployment rate in Sacramento County was obviously not a top priority for Bera.

It seems the best thing the editorial board can say about him is that he is “thoughtful and hardworking.” He has been in Congress for two years; shouldn’t there be some accomplishments? The editorial did acknowledge Bera will have little authority if reelected, due in part to his party’ minority in the House, but justified it by citing his active role in India relations. Personally, I would rather my Congressman focus on revitalizing Sacramento County and getting people back to work here in this community.

Nicole Vasconcellos, Sacramento

McCarty is wrong on arena

Re “Assembly hopeful McCarty talks arena, taxes” (Capitol & California, Sept. 18): Let’s clarify what Kevin McCarty calls the subsidy in the downtown arena project. We are not giving millions to billionaires, as we often hear. No, we will own the arena for about half price and eventually for free, since payments far exceed interest costs after just a few years.

The bonus is the hundreds of millions pouring into a downtown renaissance. Witness the new renovation of the decadent 7th and K block, the new high-rises, along with the likely soccer arena. How is this different from the current downtown mall and K Street? Because this round is made by real investors and not mindless bureaucrats, so it must be profitable, for them, and for us.

McCarty provides no figures to back up his opposition. Perhaps his backers are unhappy that all this development goes to out-of-towners at the expense of some hidden local agenda. Too bad.

Joe Chasko, Sacramento

Ryan is right for school board

Re “For schools, think Jessie Ryan and three incumbents” (Endorsements, Oct. 6): The Bee editorial board got it right about Jessie Ryan. Ryan is the real deal and the perfect person for the job.

She has spent her career working to end the cycle of poverty by providing students with opportunities to achieve their college dreams. She’s a mother to two children and is a community leader who fought along with her neighbors to keep the neighborhood whole through the contentious redistricting efforts a few years back.

As a longtime resident of Oak Park and president of our neighborhood association, I have witnessed Ryan’s service to under-served communities and giving families a voice in shaping education policies. She will always put kids before politics. I can’t think of a more qualified person to represent Sacramento City kids.

Michael Boyd, Sacramento

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