Retribution should not be shocking
Re “Bloody backlash” (Page 1A, July 8): Retribution has come. I am shocked that the American public is shocked. Did you not hear or feel our pain every time one of our sons was murdered by the authorities? With each incident we imagined the faces of our own relatives with police officers pouncing on them and pulling out their guns. You scream “stop” and you hear the shot, and the tears start flowing.
Unfortunately, Micah Johnson heard and felt a whole community’s pain, and his behavior was a projection of that pain. I weep for him as well the innocent police officers who were killed. I am sure these police officers were “the good guys,” but police do not police themselves very well.
K. Ruth Foote, Sacramento
Gun laws work in other countries
Who thinks it is a good idea to arm citizens and allow open and concealed carry in public?
The victims in the police killings in Louisiana and Minnesota had concealed handguns, which likely contributed to the police readiness to fire. The Dallas sniper was equipped with a rifle and handgun. Some confusion there followed the initial shooting because some participants in the peaceful demonstration openly carried long guns legally.
The contention that allowing a proliferation of guns and that their ready availability will ensure greater public safety is not so. In countries where firearms are more carefully controlled, the incidence of gun violence is greatly diminished.
Shouldn’t we monitor the ownership and use of a gun at least as carefully as we do the operation of a motor vehicle?
Patrick Hunt, Davis
Ammunition law offers false promise
Re “New law will help keep bullets out of wrong hands” (Viewpoints, July 9): Griffin Dix’s conclusions regarding ammunition controls are far too optimistic. Although I am not an opponent of gun regulation in general, I believe this law does more harm than good.
Offenders need only limited amounts of ammunition to commit offenses. Even a highly incompetent person can easily bypass this records check by dealers. It is already a federal felony for a felon or other prohibited person to possess ammunition. This statute will simply add costs for legitimate shooters, further alienating them from all gun regulation.
Symbolically, it will be used by opponents to support their contentions that all gun control contributes to a slippery slope. Gun regulation should be evaluated by the same standard as any other: Does it serve the public interest without imposing an unjustified burden?
Getting rid of guns will solve violence
All the new gun laws are not going to stop gun violence. If someone wants a gun badly enough, they’ll get one. It’s all a matter of choice: keep the guns and live every waking moment in fear of the next mass shooting, or get rid of the guns so we can live our lives in relative peace and security.
Jack Schwab, Fair Oaks
A different way to collect debt
Re “County’s debt collection is badly broken” (Editorials, July 11): The Bee’s editorial fails to recognize that the central problem with debt collection is our system of fines which imposes standard amounts regardless of means to pay. This system falls most heavily upon the poor, and as fines and inequality rise, so collection rates will fall. This problem was augmented by the Great Recession, which is the obvious explanation for why uncollected fines have almost doubled since 2008.
Changing personnel, new software applications and the like will not solve this problem. We should follow the example of many European countries with fine amounts determined by the offender’s ability to pay. Only then will collection rates rise significantly with no overall loss of revenue.
This was well documented by a National Institute of Justice sponsored experiment in Staten Island in the 1980s which tested this system. Call it socialism if you will, but it works.
Missing the goal of the Pledge
Re “Pledge of Allegiance outdated” (Letters, July 9): I read with great concern the letter from a teacher stating he no longer allowed his students to give the Pledge of Allegiance. By reciting the pledge you are not stating that is the way things are, but you are pledging your allegiance to the goals stated in the pledge.
To have a teacher who molds young minds to be this far off is very scary.
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