Letters to the Editor

Roseburg shooting, gun laws, East Coast flooding

Roseburg shooting explained

Re “10 killed in ‘horrific’ shooting at college” (Page 1A, Oct. 2): Law enforcement personnel are descending on Roseburg, Ore., to determine what happened and why. As a concerned citizen who wants to help his government avoid unnecessary expense, I can save the authorities a lot of time and money. Our society allowed, even encouraged, an apparently unhinged misanthrope to accumulate a closet full of guns and ammunition. The predictable ensued. There you go. You’re welcome.

Harlan Edmonds, Sacramento

U.S. chooses guns over lives

Once again innocent people lose their lives in a mass shooting. Had teachers and students been armed with guns to “defend” themselves, there would have been bullets all over the place and many more dead or injured. In defense of “freedom,” Americans have made a choice to value guns over children. A performance like this may be coming to your child’s school soon.

Corrinne Merrick, Pilot Hill

Law-abiding with guns aren’t the problem

President Obama never lets a tragedy go to waste. Right on cue he calls for greater gun control after the Roseburg shooting. I, like the shooter, own a Smith Wesson .40 caliber pistol. However, unlike the shooter I have never shot anyone. Maybe that is because I am not a Christian-hating, mentally ill nut case. Taking my gun will not fix the problem. Disarming law-abiding citizens only further emboldens the criminals.

Dennis Johnson, Woodland

The more things change

Re “An achingly familiar tragedy in Oregon” (Editorials, Oct. 2): Another school shooting. And just think, next year will mark the 50th anniversary of America’s first mass shooting, also at a university, the University of Texas, when Charles Whitman shot 47 people, killing 16. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Michael Hamiel, Manteca

East Coast flooding

Re “East Coast girds for severe rain” (Page 13A, Oct. 2): Welcome to the future. It looks like Hurricane Joaquin will stay out to sea. However, 46 million people on the East Coast were under coastal flood alert and 21 million people were under flash flood alert.

Climate change scientific reports have predicted the West Coast’s recurring droughts and more frequent and intense wildfires. These same reports have predicted more frequent and extreme flooding up and down the East Coast. In 2012, we had Hurricane Sandy. In 2014 we had major flooding in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Mobile and Pensacola.

Climate change will cause these events to progressively worsen if we do nothing. What can we do? One significant tool that even conservative economists agree on is to put a price or fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels. The proceeds can be distributed to U.S. households which will promote economic growth, or reduce taxes.

Harold Ferber, Elk Grove

Casinos face diminishing returns

Re “Ruling clears tribe’s Amador casino” (Page 3A, Oct. 2): A judge ruled it’s within the law for the Ione band of Miwok Indians to open a new casino at Plymouth. But they need to be concerned about another law, the law of diminishing returns. When casinos first started opening, they were a rapidly expanding source of easy money, but when a new casino opens, the pie does not get much bigger, the slices just get thinner. As it is, some casinos are struggling to remain in business, not to mention the internal strife and even violence that the casinos have spawned within the ranks of Native American people. There has to be a better way.

Gabriel Lewin, Davis

Common Core achievement gaps

Re “Tests reveal bigger gap in achievement” (Data Tracker, Oct. 3): Common Core raises the bar on what our students are expected to learn and be able to do with that knowledge. In time, that will mean a stronger workforce of more analytical, flexible, and collaborative thinkers. In the short term, tests based on these higher standards will show us what we already knew: Students overall are further below the higher standards, and low-income students in particular are struggling.

Low-income students have less access to resources like preschool, so they start further behind, and they often experience more stressors, including frequent moves and hunger. We should not be surprised to see evidence of these disturbing realities in our test scores on the new standards, but let’s give those standards a chance to do what they were designed by teachers and education leaders to do – give all kids the education they need to succeed.

Peter Manzo, Sacramento

The pope and Kim Davis

Re “Kim Davis had secret chat with pontiff” (Insight, Oct. 1): As an Episcopalian, I worship a God who celebrates marriage equality. However, I could not practice my religious liberties if I lived in Mrs. Davis’ county. This is why the Founding Fathers had separation of church and state. One person’s religious liberties can be another’s religious tyranny.

Patrick Mentzer, Sacramento

Did the pope know?

How thrilling that Kim Davis met the pope. I wonder if he told her to go ahead and break the law, and if she told him she is on her fourth marriage?

Stephen Farr, Folsom

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