Union Democrat staff

Study shows guns a problem for U.S.

To the Editor:

A recent national study found that compared to 14 other rich countries, including Canada and Australia, the U.S. had a 20 times higher rate of firearm homicides. One would think that this statistic would call for rational solutions to an obvious public health problem. But then none of the other countries have a Second Amendment. Previous movements for various sorts of national gun regulation have met with only limited success. We are now engaged in yet another gun regulation movement which may or may not meet the same fate of previous ones.

The main objection has always been a fervent cry of "don't try to take my guns away" and claims that gun regulation equals tyranny and thus loss of freedom. We only have to recall the spike in gun sales after President Obama's election in 2008 and the charges that his re-election in 2012 would result in loss of our freedom.

I have always been puzzled over the hysteria associated with guns and the charges of government tyranny. Just how is this so-called tyranny to come about? We are a nation of laws under a written Constitution with its system of checks and balances. Only Congress can make laws; only the President can sign them; and the Supreme Court determines if these laws are allowed under our Constitution. Where is the threat of tyranny? Has the average citizen ever lost his right to purchase a weapon? Have we ever stopped being a nation of laws? I don't think so.

Daniel Connell


Focus on present, leave Nixon in past

To the Editor:

Regarding Roger Simon's "opinion" of Richard Nixon's legacy.

I would suggest he and his "journalism" buddies stop worrying about 40 years ago and instead, focus on the current administration.

Where are this generation's Woodward and Bernstein?

Ron Fuentes


Elected officials need integrity

To the Editor:

Thank you Mr. McVicker in your Letter to the Editor for pointing out how dearly our elected officials and managers have failed us with regards to unfunded liabilities. Your point about the greatest failure of all, not telling what the public relies on to be informed - not acting with integrity. This problem, we see all too often, goes beyond unfunded liabilities as a pending fine from the California Water Quality Control Board shows.

Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of the day when all men (people) would be judged by their character, and not the color of their skin. He struck at the heart and soul of what allows a free society to succeed - as you have - the elements of character that we all rely on.

I think that I can safely say, that a very large portion of our society is feeling this divide between the elements of success and character. Coach John Wooden, one of the finest and most winning basketball coaches ever, highlighted the elements of success - simply stated, "Thou didst thy best, that is success." His philosophy and pyramid of success elements lead many an athlete (and their team) to the winner's circle. Success is more of a career thing - what we accomplish, while character addresses who we are, and that's what people in a free society rely on most of all.

When an organization like the Groveland Community Services District has a sewer spill - that's a failure to succeed; to cover it up, as has been alleged, is a character issue... Today, it seems to me that we place too much importance on success (careers), and not enough on character. Without integrity, without a moral compass, without honesty our organizations (both public and private) are doomed. They may declare themselves successful, but we cannot rely upon them to do the right thing; to protect us.


Craig Maxwell