Wild West is back

To the Editor:

Welcome to the Ole Wild West. Seems like that is where this country is headed. Protect students by stationing deputies in the schools or train teachers to use weapons to defend their pupils?

Oh yes, they can also evaluate students to determine who might get angry and decide to kill a bunch of students and teachers. With 200 million or 300 million people in this country, good luck in isolating every potential assassin. If the sales of fully automatic assault weapons are banned, then there won’t be any more mass shootings. Hah.

One kid procured a fully automatic rifle (with a bump-stock) and killed 17 people. If he had an ordinary AK-45, he probably would have only killed eight or 10. Trump and many others think it is fine for hundreds of thousands of people to have semi-automatic weapons that will fire as rapidly as one can pull the trigger.

Is this just so some people can have any dangerous, deadly toy they choose, or do they need that kind of firepower to kill a deer or other animal? A skilled marksman can do it with a bolt action rifle, as people did when I was a kid.

Politicians, why not use some common sense rather than just playing politics?

Jerry Fueslein


No to marijuana

To the Editor:

The citizens of Sonora should be aware that, with the exception of their mayor, Connie Williams, the City Council is selling out their citizens to accommodate the marijuana industry without regard to their safety or moral concerns. They seem obsessed with making a few bucks off the industry rather than living up to the goals and vision stated by the city to provide a safe and family oriented environment for Sonora’s residents.

Aside from a few brave members on the City Council and Board of Supervisors, both bodies seem to be ignoring the unanimous pleas of all branches of area law enforcement, fire and safety personnel, the District Attorney, County Superintendent of Education, the county Board of Education, every school administrator who spoke and many others charged with the safety and education of our community.

The City Council has decided to allow the processing of marijuana within the city limits using volatile and dangerous chemicals (Level 2 manufacturing) when the same result can be accomplished using pressure, ice water and screening. Council member Hawkins says he does not want his children exposed to marijuana but he apparently doesn’t mind exposing yours.

I would beg the responsible citizens of Sonora to attend council meetings and object to this sellout, or even run for City Council themselves this June as it appears new leadership is needed.

David Peters


Thoughts for Douglas High

To the Editor:

Stoneman Douglas High School teacher Diane Wolk-Rogers asked for letters from people around the country to help heal her students. I’d like to share what I wrote to them.

My heart is heavy as I write. Last night my own small community in rural California hosted a vigil in honor of your friends. One hundred people gathered to offer solidarity to all of you. We also marked our commitment to join your national journey to make Stoneman’s tragedy the last.

I know that your sorrows, fears and nightmares are not done. As you step into the role of “survivors” there are times that will be painful. Be prepared for more tears, depression, and outrageous moral anger at a world where this could ever happen. Please know that millions of people around the country and beyond are standing by you. We are “shoulder-to-shoulder” as we walk with you and offer to hold you. We will carry some of this immense burden.

My family lives in the shadow of Yosemite National Park where the dogwood flowers will soon bloom and waterfalls roar. That natural wonder lets us experience the timeless beauty of Earth’s changes and the shifts of nature’s immense power. It is a place for quiet reflection. I go there in times of abject grief to try and wash away the fear, to stop the “monsters of my mind,” to remember the vast awe of nature. I invite you to find a spot of natural beauty where your thoughts, your breath, your heart can find restful peace each day. Find ways to quiet your mind, and allow yourselves to focus on the gift of your future—individually and together.

My family and my friends will be with you in the days to come, marching, advocating, speaking out.

Never again.

BZ Smith


Here we go again, again

To the Editor:

This is in response to the couple in Cedar Ridge who have regularly submitted rants critical of Democrats and liberals. Most recently in “Let’s think about American’s” the writer questioned if Democrats could be realistic. In one of their letters the wife cited, “There is no justification for liberalism,” and the liberalism concept is untruthful.

When the GOP and mouthpieces such as Rush Limbaugh speak of the evils of liberalism or socialism, it’s really government services and entitlements they have in mind. So unless you are not using the U.S. Postal Service, the interstate highway system, visiting national parks, purchasing inspected meats, receiving Medicare coverage or receiving Social Security now or in the future, you are knee deep in the services.

You have the freedom to chose to: gratefully accept these services, indignantly reject them, or take the lead from the Freedom Caucus and/or Tea Party and hypocritically accept them while complaining that they are all unwanted socialism. The Progressive Movement set out to protect public health, worker’s rights, child welfare and women’s rights. These programs not only helped working people but promoted many into the middle class.

On the other hand, now we have “Make a America Great Again.” Greatness, however lies in the eyes of the beholder. America was viewed as a great nation led by competent people. Now we are seen as a country led by a president who is petty, unethical and unfit for the job. We were a country committed to the welfare of its citizens. God help America.

Robert Winters

Twain Harte