Letters to the Editor — June 12, 2019

Repeat problems

Perfect example of how the courts are adding to the crime problem on repeat offenders: Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour set $25,000 for John Ronald Sutton, 25, at his first Superior Court appearance on May 30 (“Port Angeles man charged with vehicular homicide following Sequim wreck, www.sequimgazette.com, June 5, A-1).

Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols had previously asked for $250,000 bail “based largely on the nature of the offense,” Nichols said.

Sutton had a previous failure to appear in 2018.

Bob Lampert


Editor’s note: Sutton was charged with vehicular homicide following a fatal head-on collision in Sequim on May 29.

Going for the guns

Well, ’tis election season and, once again, democrats are ramping up their attacks on guns and gun owners. Kamila Harris threatens to eviscerate our gun rights by executive action, Joe Biden would resurrect the assault weapons ban and institute a federal gun licensing system and Cory Booker pushes an all-encompassing 14-part gun control scheme to take place on “Day One.” Not to overlook fellow “me too-ers” Eric Swalwell, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren who have all voiced their disdain for the second amendment (nationalgunrights.org, multiple stories).

Gun owners are a perennial target for the self-righteous chest-pounding democrat fringe who rail about gun crime in America and contend that, by drastically restricting and/or outlawing gun ownership, gun violence can be virtually eliminated.

But do we have a gun problem? And, if so, who is really responsible? Yes, the United States has more guns per capita than any other country (Congressional Research Service, via wikipedia) – about 120 for every 100 people – but the murder rate is 4.7 deaths per 100,000 people (www.worldatlas.com/articles/murder-rates-by-country.html) which places it at 111 of 216 countries surveyed and nearly infinitesimal when compared to the 90.4 in Honduras.

Moreover, these statistics are heavily skewed by disproportionate murder rates in certain cities. For instance, in 2017, St Louis had 69.6 murders per 100,000 citizens, Baltimore had 55.9 and Birmingham had 45.1. In fact, there were 32 cities in the U.S. that exceeded 13 murders per 100,000 citizens and, oddly enough, all but three are administered by Democrats (worldatlast.com, www.thetrace.org/2018/04/highest-murder-rates-us-cities-list). Who would have guessed?

So maybe the problem isn’t too many guns. Maybe it’s too many Democrats.

Dick Pilling

Port Angeles

Cooper comment off the mark

Bertha Cooper claims that President Trump is telling an absurd, monstrous lie when he accuses health care professionals and mothers of killing full-term healthy babies at birth (“Leading from the darkside of the moon,” Sequim Gazette, June 5, A-12). Actually, she is – wait for it — misinformed!

According to the most recent CDC data, nearly 8,300 abortions occurred on or after 21 weeks gestation in 2015 (www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/abortion.htm). The pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute put the number at more than 12,000 in 2014 (www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states).

The authors of a 2013 study from the peer-reviewed Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health conclude that “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” (onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1363/4521013)

Abby Johnson, who rose to become a clinic director after eight years with Planned Parenthood, states that: “Yes, late term abortions do take place through the entire third trimester, including through the ninth month of pregnancy. According to several former late term abortion clinic workers…approximately 50 percent of 3rd trimester abortions are performed on healthy babies … they wanted the abortion because they had just broken up with the baby’s father, or because they lost their job or something similar.” (www.facebook.com/abbyjohnsonprolife/posts/1330729393603797)

Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in 2013 for performing late-term abortions on three babies who were born alive, but were then killed by sticking scissors into the back of the babies’ necks and cutting their spinal cords (abcnews.go.com/US/abortion-doctor-kermit-gosnell-guilty-degree-murder/story?id=19168967).

If you want to criticize President Trump, Bertha, have at it – just don’t print absurd, monstrous lies about him.

Jerry Ludke

Port Angeles

Bertha Cooper’s response:

Mr. Ludke starts at the right place when he suggests we look at the data.

Here is my statement: “The most startling example to me is the strange acceptance of the president’s accusation that health care professionals and mothers are killing full-term healthy babies at birth! It is absurd! It’s not leading, it’s lying, a monstrous lie.”

For those who missed the president’s rallying statement, I will quote it here:

“The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully. Then the doctor and mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.”

Mr. Ludke goes on to prove the truth of the statement by citing numbers reporting induced abortions at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy. He accurately states the numbers reported by the CDC (2015) and Guttmacher (2014).

The problem I see is these are not the numbers that prove or even suggest that near-or full-term babies are or were executed after an induced live birth; these are the number of induced abortions occurring five or more months into pregnancy.

Unfortunately, the most recent data from the CDC and used by many is from 2015 and does not provide discreet data on the last two months of pregnancy, generally referred to as near-or full-term. We are left without any current data from either extreme of the arguments for and against abortion from which to begin a dialogue.

The Facebook posting asserted, “According to the latest data, about 18,000 3rd trimester abortions are performed every year.” Unless the post is referring to mothers whose delivery is induced due to stalled labor, the number far exceeds the CDC and Guttmacher data provided by Mr. Ludke and is reason to question the accuracy of the posting.

As stated by Mr. Ludke, the monster Kermit Gosnell was convicted of executing healthy babies. It’s a crime; one of which the president is accusing mothers and doctors.

It’s important to understand when a baby is born in a terminal condition, the decision is to not resuscitate a dying baby not to kill the baby. The baby dies with the same comfort measures of another dying person, the baby does not suffer but the parents do over their tragic loss.

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