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Readers' Letters: We need sensible changes on gun laws

Steve Brown, thank you for this article (Ammunition for change? Gun owners should stand up for reasonable rules to protect our families, our children, column, June 17). I share your youth and adult experiences with the outdoors and firearms. Your thoughts on what can and should be done are spot on.

The National Rifle Association is no longer a group that stands for sensible laws like you advocate. I hope that our legislators will stand up and be heard, that there are things that can be done without taking anyone’s guns.

And yes, this is just part of a multifaceted problem. Mental health and the meds used, exposure to violent video games for extended periods, the need for kids to gain attention from social media, families not staying connected with one another, fewer jobs and opportunities for kids — the list goes on, and each of these needs to be addressed.

It’s just sad to see the fortress that has been erected around guns, with little room for discussion about smart, sensible changes we should make to protect our community and our kids.

Darren Riordan

Fairview

Driving record isn’t way to find answers

My son is a freshman at Reynolds High School and was there (during the shooting incident). I think about it a lot, probably too much because of that (Mystery shrouds Padgett’s turn to violence, June 19).

I think it’s important for all of us to remember that none of us are perfect and life is very short. If we’re going to get to the root of these issues, I’m not sure analyzing a 21-year driving history of someone (Michael Padgett, the father of the shooter, Jared Padgett) is the most effective way to do so.

Jodi Jennings

Troutdale

Gun problem leads to climate of fear

America can eventually destroy itself with the growing gun problem. The country has become numbed toward senseless shootings that occur so frequently. The need for powerful lobbyists and gun dealers to make money supersedes the need to bring sanity to a country drowning in greed.

As a result of greed over common sense, a form of denial in my country is setting in. We as a nation are dangerously heading down a dark road where being safe will become a thing of the past.

For those of us who can see that too many guns are leading us down a path of premature destruction, the coming 2014 ballot box should show a great unified effort to reverse the downward path; this would be in a real true sense a democracy rectifying itself.

Alfred Waddell

West Barnstable, Mass.

Curb pesticides? Let’s eliminate them

Better yet, let’s ban the use of chemical pesticides, along with the use of such wholesome goodness as sludge as fertilizer (Protect pollinators like our lives depend on it, guest column, June 19). Our obsession with profit-driven monoculture in this country is a huge cause of global warming, environmental devastation and diminished nutritional quality of produce.

Corwin McAllister

Northwest Portland

Disabled parking plan counters state law

Disabled parking discrimination: Parking in downtown Portland is free if you have a wheelchair parking placard, but if you are just disabled, you pay (Council decision means disabled must pay to park downtown, web story, Dec. 21, 2013). Oregon State law requires free parking for those holding a disabled parking placard. When was the law changed?

I understand from your article a while back the mayor (Charlie Hales) didn’t like disabled people parking in Portland more than three hours. So he changed state law? How?

Your paper is a champion of the people. Can you help the disabled park in Portland?

Bill Blackburn

Salem

(Editor’s note: The Portland City Council unanimously approved Dec. 19, 2013, a plan by Commissioner Steve Novick to require most possessors of disabled parking placards to pay for metered curbside parking spaces in downtown and the Central Eastside, Lloyd and Marquam Hill districts. The plan takes effect July 1. For more information, contact the Portland Bureau of Transportation, 503-823-5185, or visit www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/64922.)

Cover Oregon mess should embarrass governor

It is no surprise that Gov. John Kitzhaber would attempt to pass the buck on the state’s liability handling of the embarrassing circumstances surrounding Cover Oregon.

The governor’s penchant for Obamacare gave rise to this imbroglio that has cost Oregon taxpayers $246 million without any benefit to our citizens.

Under the legal doctrine of “respondent superior,” the state of Oregon is liable for the acts of its agent, the Oracle Corp., for action performed in the normal course of its employment.

Gubernatorial candidate and state Rep. Dennis Richardson acted responsibly in his legislative capacity to confront Kitzhaber on this momentous issue.

It is so damaging to Oregon taxpayers for the governor to try to escape responsibility for his negligence.

John Dezell

Tigard