Facts’ on guns are often complete falsehoods

The last issue of this newspaper contained both an opinion (“Gun violence now just part of the landscape,” Hillsboro Tribune, June 20 issue) and a citizen’s view on the subject of gun ownership. Both contained claims and "facts" picked up from older media sources that have since been Pinocchio-awarded for being complete falsehoods.

For instance, the claim that 80 percent of Oregonians, including many gun owners, support background checks on all gun sales -- a complete fabrication that is easily verified, yet the media left it unchallenged. Or another: The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population. Twenty-two countries that are our peers in wealth and population? They don't exist, clearly.

So if the gun control advocates really want to make a difference, quit lying, quit fabricating "facts" out of thin air. Quit the BS and tell the truth for a change. The rate of violence is down 49 percent in America in the last eight years. That is reality and verifiable. Do the same.

Roy Browning

West Linn

Starr should distance himself from deliberate lie in poll question

National politics have become a revolting spectacle in the last few years, with civility, common courtesy and even truth being replaced by the vilification and demonizing of political opponents. And dirty campaign tricks are becoming more common.

One of these tricks is the “push-poll.” An outfit calling itself “The Nelson Survey,” based in Salem, has been phoning people in this area, claiming to be a simple poll tabulating Oregon voters’ preferences in the upcoming elections for governor -- John Kitzhaber (D) or Dennis Richardson (R) — and for state Senator — Chuck Riley (D) or Bruce Starr (R).

If the respondent says he or she intends to vote for the Democratic candidates, Kitzhaber and Riley, the “surveyor” then asks smoothly: “Would you vote for Bruce Starr if you knew that Chuck Riley helped sex abusers get early release from prison?”

This “survey” question is intended, and guaranteed, to frighten or infuriate anyone who reads or listens to the news.

It is also a complete lie.

I myself attended the trial on which this fantastic claim is based, and the person who was wrongfully imprisoned was, after appeal, found innocent, the conviction reversed and the charges dismissed. Riley had remained in contact with several church groups and the ACLU investigating the case, knowing that an innocent constituent had been railroaded for a “crime” he did not commit, and for that public concern, Riley is now being slandered by this bogus “survey.”

In fact, the “Nelson Survey” is simply a classic “push-poll,” a dirty political gimmick to slander the candidate of the opposing party, but in such a way as to remain “deniable” by their own candidate.

I know it is customary for candidates to piously deny any responsibility for dirty tricks by their political proxies, but if Mr. Starr truly wished to prove that he did not approve of this slanderous, fake “survey,” he should make a public apology for this poisonous lie told on his behalf, disassociate himself completely from this “Nelson Survey” and run an ethical, above-board campaign based upon his own legislative record.

Walt Wentz

Forest Grove

New CPR technique could be taught to all high schoolers

A few weeks ago, I listened to an Oregon resident’s heartwarming story of survival when he presented during a staff meeting at a fitness club in Gresham. Emotions aside, he delivered a clear and impactful message that the timely execution of CPR by two staff members of the club saved his life before emergency medical personnel arrived. Nearly 383,000 people have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only 11 percent survive, most likely because of a lack of receiving CPR in a timely matter.

The American Heart Association has recognized an easily learned and very efficient method of CPR called “hands-only CPR” that requires nothing but your hands to perform and the courage to step up. By ensuring high school students in the state of Oregon learn hands-only CPR before graduating, we could put 45,000 additional lifesavers every year in our communities.

I applaud Portland Mayor Charlie Hales for declaring the first week in June as "CPR Awareness Week" — and I urge Oregon state legislators to take a step in the right direction as Washington, Idaho and 14 other states have done, and require hands-only CPR to be taught in all high schools by 2015.

Cameron Croonquist


Editor’s note: As part of CPR Awareness Week, the Hillsboro Fire Department recently partnered with students from Liberty High School to teach hands-only CPR to more than 500 eighth-grade students at South Meadows Middle School and Poynter Middle School in Hillsboro. According to spokesman Bruce Montgomery, the fire department hopes to bring hands-only CPR training to all the middle schools in the Hillsboro School District.

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