Letters to the Editor

Drunken driving, Charlie Hebdo, panhandling

Drunken drivers kill

Re “Save the ignition locks for the worst offenders” (Another View, Jan. 9): Another View writer Sarah Longwell has such great sympathy for drunken drivers but ignores the damage they do. My son and his friend were killed by a drunk driver who was underage and had not previously been convicted.

During court hearings it was disclosed he had often driven while drunk. He was sentenced to prison and is now free. My wife and I have received a life sentence of grief.

Longwell’s logic is that we give drunken drivers a pass on their first arrest by not installing an ignition lock. She also wrongly implies that a person who consumes 0.08, the legal limit, is not really drunk.

The drunken driver who killed our son was just over the legal limit. Ignition locks will make people question if they should have that next drink. Many people wrongly think they are driving sober when they are not. Ignition locks will answer that question before they can harm or kill others. Driving is a privilege not a right. Please support and pass Senator Jerry Hill’s Senate Bill 61.

Doug and Sue Haight, Fair Oaks

Drive is a privilege

When we receive a driver’s license, we agree to follow the law and to not endanger others. One of the laws is that you do not drive drunk.

The law defines drunk are.08 blood alcohol concentration. It doesn’t matter if you are a 120 pound woman or a 300 pound man, when you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more you are drunk and should not operate a vehicle. To do so would be to endanger yourself and others.

Being drunk is not the same as talking on a cell phone. Talking on a cell phone is a distraction, driving drunk is an impediment. When talking on a cell phone, you can refocus your attention in an emergency. You cannot become un-drunk in an emergency.

An ignition interlock device may not be a perfect solution to stop drunk driving, and it is expensive and intrusive, as it should be. You can avoid being required to use one by simply not driving drunk. If this device is good for the worst offenders, why is it not good for first time offender? And, if after removing it, they still drive drunk, make them use it for life.

This is not an esoteric argument. It is discussion about drunken drivers killing people. You can do that the first time you drive drunk. It is not something that requires practice.

Robert Rice, Sacramento

Jail drunken drivers

My wife was the target of a drunken driver on Dec. 12, 2014, fortunately with no major physical injury, but our car was totaled.

This drunken driver deliberately tried to get around cars stopped in his lane, invading the opposite lane in which my wife was driving. He could have caused a head-on collision, which my wife avoided by veering right but got hit on the driver’s side.

Anybody who drives under the influence and hits another vehicle or a pedestrian who survives, should be charged with attempted murder the first time. Do not wait for a second time; it could be too late.

As adults, we are very aware of how much damage a vehicle can cause. If a drunken person puts everybody at risk, then that person should pay by spending a long time in jail.

Francisco Castanos, Sacramento

Questioning Muslim leaders

Re “Muslims stand up for peace” (Our Region, Jan. 12): I truly appreciate that local Muslims came out in significant numbers to protest the behavior of the Paris Islamist terrorists.

But I have a few questions to which I would seriously like to hear their answers: Is it legitimate for apostasy to be a capital crime in any country in the world? Is it legitimate for apostasy to be a crime at all in any country in the world? Ditto for blasphemy. Ditto for adultery?

Stoning? For anything at all? How do you feel about Saudi Arabia giving 100 lashes weekly to a young blogger for 20 weeks, merely for expressing his opinion? Should women have the same rights as men in every country in the world?

I believe in tolerance but I don't think I could tolerate what I regard as the wrong answers to these questions.

Gabriel Lewin, Davis

Send aid to terrorist victims

After another brutal killing of innocents by Muslim terrorists brings a strong denunciation by our area Muslims headed by Iman Mumtaz Qasmi, as well as Ras H. Siddiqui, of the American Muslim Voice Foundation we are left to wonder: Have they united to send relief and generous financial aid to the victims? Is that aid now on the way?

Jack Peiffer, Sacramento

Radical Islam akin to Nazis

The date and place of WWIII began on Sept. 11, 2001. The war is Islam against all other religions. Individual Muslims can say they’re not terrorists, but they’re irrelevant.

ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Taliban, Hamas, these are the armies of Islam. Like all wars, there will be civilian collateral damage. In this case, collateral damage will be the individual Muslims claiming innocence.

If the world leaders do not band together soon as they did in the 1940s against Nazi Germany, then the threat will only grow until every non-Muslim in the streets of every country lay dead in the blood-flowing gutters.

Stephane Charbonnier, Perris

We all are one

All are welcome, or all should be welcome, in our Sacramento region, in America and in all communities of our world. It is with extreme sadness that I read in Sunday's front page: "In France, many Muslims fear they'll be next target."

We people of all faiths, or non-faiths, races and backgrounds can come together to find ways to narrow the gap between the privileged and unprivileged, help the poor in our midst, and to lift the burden from the vulnerable.

Working on this together will foster mutual understanding, tolerance and the realization that all of us have been made by the same Creator as sisters and brothers under the skin.

Don M. Branner, Roseville

Get to know homeless

Re “Ban on begging revived as suit is settled” (Our Region, Jan. 9): Sacramento County's plan to start enforcing a ban on begging is not only cruel and ignorant but foolish and naive.

No unjust law will stop humane people from showing compassion toward those who make their living by "signing," as they call it.

I have found that once you get to know some of these least among us, your heart will melt. You might pull up next to one in the cold pouring rain and ask him if he needs anything. He'll say he needs a pair of shoes. He'll tell you his name.

The problem is not a group of unsavory people. The problem is a single unique human being who just wants to be known, someone with a story. We can't solve a person's intractable life-long problems, but we can learn a name or two. We can be kind. And we can listen.

Brent Carlton Nall, Sacramento

Panhandling is no right

Panhandling is a constitutional right? Really? Does this include using public spaces as a toilet as well? Is the county going to issue shopping carts?

It is bad enough that the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors paid $20,000 for essentially nothing. Laws regarding public vacancy are on the books. Enforcement is the solution, not this feel good nonsense at the taxpayers’ expense.

Andrew G.Mattson, Sacramento

Brown is correct on UC

As a 76 year old native Californian, I remember that the University of California was established to provide a quality education to the upper 12 percent of California graduates.

Increasingly, that is forgotten.

College presidents, who play wannabe chief executive officers, need to get out of the system. And why do we have a former Arizona governor and head of Homeland Security running the system?

What possible motivation does she have to make it work for California families? Cap the tuition, require full disclosure on finances and endowments. Why should we supply tax money to a pseudo-private system?

Arlene Corsello, Sacramento

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