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Letters on letters

Guns, schools and care

Times letter writers weigh in on gun control, state school funding and a CalPERS long-term care program.

March 02, 2013
  • Are Americans being safety conscious when it comes to firearms? Times letter writers disagree.
Are Americans being safety conscious when it comes to firearms? Times letter… (Tom Pennington / Getty Images )

Guns and gun control were ever-present topics this week, from a Times article about a small town in Utah "considering guns for all" to the fatal shootings of two police officers in Santa Cruz.

And, of course, attentive Times readers also responded to their fellow readers on other subjects.

Earlier this week, letter writer Elizabeth Barnert wrote that "encouraging gun ownership without promoting basic safety measures, such as proper storage of guns — unloaded and locked — is irresponsible."

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In reply, Michael Houchen of Rancho Santa Margarita said:

"I grew up in a small town in Utah. Virtually every family in town had a gun. I do not recall any intentional killing by a firearm.

"The cat is out of the bag regarding gun ownership. There is no way at this point that guns can be eliminated from our society. If I am deprived of owning a firearm, then I am at the mercy of the criminal who will have one despite any laws.

"Of course we do not want children harmed by firearms. We do not want children in harm's way for any reason. But the primary responsibility for this protection is with parents, and laws exist to punish a parent who endangers a child. Protecting a child from a loaded gun is no different than protecting the child from any endangerment, such as not allowing a child to run into the street.

"It comes down to individual responsibility, a tenet of our society."

Added Benjamin Nguyen of Fountain Valley:

"I'm very much familiar with America's pride in its rugged individualism. It's understandable and actually a relief that American are putting up a fight against government seizure of their arms. But please, for the sake of countless lives, compromise. Allow regulation; allow peace."

On the subject of school funding, there was disagreement with letter writer Arthur C. Schaper, who wrote that perhaps Gov. Jerry Brown should look up the word "fair" because Schaper "cannot think of a more disturbing trend" than the proposal to "give schools that score high marks less money, while the schools that do a poor job of educating their students get more money."

Marie-Louise Mulligan, a special education teacher in Downey, wrote that Schaper could not be more wrong:

"Fair does not mean equal, fair means that those who have greater needs because of poverty or special needs get a 'fair chance' at succeeding in the schools and later; and yes, that means more funding for after-school programs, academic support programs and sports activities."

And then there was praise for letter writer Robert Huber, who described his unpleasant experience with a CalPERS long-term care plan.

Duke Russell of Hollywood wrote:

"Huber deserves praise and thanks for writing his letter [on the long-term rates rise]. I hope The Times writes an editorial: It could protect seniors from winding up on skid row."

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