Letters to the editor — March 7, 2018

  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018 1:30am
  • Opinion

Library expansion is worthwhile

As an enthusiastic Sequim Library branch patron the past 22 years, I am thrilled to hear of the plans to pursue all-new construction of this valuable but undersized community gem.

We are a homeschooling family of nine, and have accessed books, resources, materials, and information through NOLS Sequim countless times over the years.

In fact, our eldest child is now a Librarian working full-time in the field, a career path chosen in large part due to the positive impact made during his formative years by the Sequim Branch Library staff and offerings.

I exuberantly request that every single eligible voter vote YES on the pending proposed ballot measure to (1) create a district in which to support the expansion, and (2) pass the bond with well over the 60 percent supermajority required.

Libraries change lives. Vote YES for Sequim Library new construction!

Ann Marie Henninger


Gun laws are factor in cultural violence

While I agree that cultural changes in our society plays a large part in the violence we see today, to state that guns have no part in the equation is simply wrong.

The letter to the editor on Feb. 28 (“Root of violence problem starts at early age,” Sequim Gazette, page A-8) states “In the 1960s … massacres were unheard of. What’s changed?” What’s changed is in the 1960s you couldn’t buy an AK-47 or AR-15, like the one that one man used to kill or wound 500 plus in Las Vegas.

Every other western democracy has the same basic laws, access to information and rates of mental illness. The only variable that differs widely with the U.S. is the number of guns available to its citizens. To not make that connection is ludicrous.

Robert Pyles


Young citizens have chance to change violent culture

Two letters published on Feb. 28 (“Root of Violence” by B. Panelli and “Byproduct of Cultural Corruption” by Ethan Harris, Sequim Gazette, page A-8) attempt to identify cultural changes since the 1960s contributing to gun violence in our current society. Having grown up and received my education during the 1950s-60s that the letter writers refer to with such respect, I wish to add some observations.

Panelli writes that a lack of teaching integrity and good citizenship at home and in school is a contributing factor. I would argue that the growth of the lobbyist industry since the 1960s, and the flow of corporate money into campaigns is impacting the integrity of our government from the top down. Lobbying was uncommon prior to the 1960s.

Our elected representatives have failed to enact meaningful gun regulation due to the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) threats to withdraw financial support, or sponsor opposition candidates who promise to oppose gun regulation. The NRA is a powerful lobbyist group, seemingly dedicated to preventing any restriction of gun sales in this country.

If we succeed in implementing changes in gun laws following the most recent mass shooting of students in Florida, it will be much to the credit of the young people who are a living civics lesson as they speak with powerful voices to our congress.

Harris writes of George Washington’s portrait hanging on the classroom wall and states that, “American history and civics were taught without political bias.” The history we were taught was not without bias. We were not taught that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, that our country’s economy was founded on the backs of millions of slaves. Lands taken by the slaughter and dislocation of pre-existing people in the Americas do not represent “a culture based upon God respecting decency.” Nor does a culture which accepts the ownership of assault weapons, which have no purpose other than mass murder, by its citizenry.

If we want to inspire our youth to be good citizens, it’s time to stand up with them against the corrupting power of corporate money in politics and the legislative process.

Marcia Limoges


Businesses taking the lead in gun issue

First a sincere thank you for Bertha Cooper’s column, “And Children Will Lead You” (Sequim Gazette, Feb., 28, page A-8). The two letters to the editor — “Root of violence problem starts at an early age” and “Byproduct of cultural corruption” (same edition, page A-8) — not so much, as they are merely recycled talking points and distractions resourced from the National Rifle Association to avoid the majority of Americans demand for sensible restrictions on gun ownership.

The school shooting in Parkland, Fla., with its 17 dead and their grieving families and classmates demand action, not talk, not thoughts and prayers, and not arming teachers.

A Republican Congress and President are sitting on the sidelines of this issue. They are not in the game. They have nothing to offer, mere observers in the carnage in our schools, not support for team America.

Fortunately some businesses and corporations are stepping up to promote what our legislators refuse to support. Severing ties to the NRA are: Alamo Rent a Car, Allied Van Lines, Avis Budget Group, Best Western, Budget, Chubb Insurance, Delta Air Lines, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, First National Bank of Omaha, Hertz, MetLife, National Car Rental, North American Van Lines, Paramount Rx, SimpliSafe, Starkey Hearing Technologies, Symantec and TrueCar.

Note in this list is gun seller, Dick’s Sporting Goods, which today reflects what the public wants.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is committed to the following:

“We will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all DICK’S stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.

“We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age. We will no longer sell high capacity magazines. We never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.

“At the same time, we implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations: Ban assault-style firearms; Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21; Ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks; Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law; Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms; Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.” (From Ed Stack, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. CEO and chairman Ed Stack)

Suggestion: Why not support those businesses that support your values? Safer schools and safe children are certainly two good reasons.

Roger Briggs


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