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Readers share their thoughts about gun violence, Hillsboro's minor league baseball team and more.

Gun violence is out of control, and politics are to blame

I'm writing in hopes of reaching Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Ron Wyden after a weekend of deadly shootings in the U.S. I'm very saddened about what has happened and angered that people of color were targeted in this way.

None of us are safe with the lack of gun safety laws. My workplace has anti-shooter training and my third-grader has it in her school — why do we need to live in fear like this? Nobody needs an AK gun, or any type of a gun outside sporting/recreation. I don't feel safe in my own country anymore.

I am calling on Sen. Merkley and Sen. Wyden to support common-sense gun laws and to rid our communities of assault weapons who's only purpose is to end life, as much and as quickly as possible. This should not be allowed on any level. How does any of this make any sense? Militias could never face the U.S. government, and why are our politicians, who are elected to serve their constituents, able to legally accept payments (bribes) from corporations like the National Rifle Association to essentially buy their vote? Why is this allowed? [Ed.: Legally, the NRA is classified as a social welfare organization under section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code. Federal law allows social welfare organizations to participate in political activity while operating as nonprofit groups.]

This isn't a democracy, this is a disgrace. This is not happening at this level in any other developed nation. Just this one. This must stop, and I am calling on our elected representatives to take action.

Janna Yore, Hillsboro

Enough blame to go around

We have just experienced two more mass shootings and as usual, there are those who run around trying to put the blame anywhere they can.

Well, there is more than enough blame to go around. We are all to blame. Go into your bathroom, turn on the light and look in the mirror.

When we have too many people that can't get off their cellphones, who won't talk face-to-face, but spend their days locked away in their electronic world instead of interacting, then we have a problem.

When election time comes and many don't vote and they don't stay up on current events or try to understand more than one point of view, then we have a problem.

When children come home from school to an empty house, then we have a problem.

When we are fine with the violence and just plain trash that comes out of Hollywood, then we have a problem.

Being a citizen not only gives us certain rights, it gives us responsibilities. All too often, the average American is uninvolved and uninformed.

People need to be aware of what's going on around them, and if you see a dangerous or very strange situation, report it. A person does not need to be a spy or an out-of-control problem-solver.

Children today are becoming more isolated; surveys prove this and we need to deal with it.

I believe in the Second Amendment and right to bear arms; however, we do need a very intense background check on everyone. This should not be a problem for anyone if they have nothing to hide.

It is far past time for Americans to start demanding a better set of standards from our elected officials and ourselves.

Robert Malone, Forest Grove

Hillsboro Hops don't only entertain on the diamond

Each week, I email a letter to about 150 family and friends, what I call "Monday Morning Meanderings." Last week, I included this paragraph about my first visit to the Hillsboro Hops: "Our granddaughter Lindsey Osburn works for the Hillsboro Hops. She asked if we would come to the Grandparent's Day game against Everett. She had been asked to sing the National Anthem, which she did very well. People told me that they had goosebumps and tears. This was our first time to Ron Tonkin Field and a Hops game. It was a fun time. Great venue and view. Happy and helpful staff. Easy access to seats and concession stands. Good baseball and a win. You couldn't ask for a better day."

In response to my letter, my cousins, Karen and Norman King, emailed me this letter:

"Dear Rich: I was reading your MMM today and am compelled to share a story with you. When our 11 year old granddaughter Hailey was at Doernbecher's Hospital in July 2017, she had her right leg amputated at the knee to help stop the spread of cancer. Sadly it didn't, but the point of this story is, during this time of pain and sorrow, some young men from the Hillsboro Hops were visiting the children there. Our Hailey and one of the young man from the team had a 'dance-off' at her bedside. She give him a 6 out of 10. To see our precious child laughing and smiling two days after her surgery because of these young men who were there to visit them will always remain a blessed memory for us. Your Linsdsey works for an amazing group of people. God bless them all. Have a wonderful day. Karen and Norman King."

Richard Osburn, Gaston

Double standard between legal abortion and infanticide

I'm baffled!

Many years ago, when Diane Downs murdered one of her young children and attempted to murder the other two, she was roundly condemned, both legally and by the general public. Today, if a woman abandons her baby, particularly if she puts the newborn in a dumpster or leaves a young child unattended, people are horrified at this tragedy, and she cn be brought up on charges. And yet a doctor can perform an abortion and put the baby's body — or body parts, depending on the method used — in a trash can, and it's legal. Why is the former a crime, but the latter is OK?

When I was young, I heard that a fetus was simply a lump of tissue. And yet when an ultrasound is done, the developing form of a baby can be seen.

I recently saw on OPB a report about a study of the positive effects of an expectant mother reading to her baby prior to birth. How can that "lump" not be a real human being?

I know there are a lot of issues involved, including economics; health; the ability of the mother to care for a child; the future lives of the parents, particularly the mother; and much more. However, it appears to me that pro-choice and abortion proponents are missing something. How can one justify promoting the dignity of human life, insist that children have rights and should be well cared for, while at the same time advocating for taking the lives of the unborn?

Nancy Willwert, Hillsboro

Not interested in Trump's crocodile tears

Thoughts and prayers will not bring back a loved one. Rarely do we hear anything else from that NRA-controlled narcissist living in the White House and his Republican enablers. If you really believe he gives a rat's bum about El Paso, Dayton or any of the other massacres in this country then you should look up the word "narcissist." There have been 455 mass shootings so far this year. A mass shooting equates to a minimum of four deaths not including the shooter.

He tells us that "hate has no place in America." This from someone who is the epitome of hate rhetoric every time he opens his mouth or sends out some callous, vile, racist or insensitive tweet to those who dare disagree with him.

To those individuals who consider this person God's gift to the world, think again. You know who you are. You're the ones who shout "lock her up" or "send her back." The ones who laugh along with Trump when he asks what should be done about the infestation crossing the southern border and someone yells, "Shoot them." Well, shame on Trump and double shame on you.

Lin Vanderzanden, Forest Grove

Shouldn't have to live in fear of random shootings

I live in Washington County and was on the road today when two police vehicles were driving toward Hagg Lake after an officer-involved shooting.

At the time, I had no idea what their destination was. I was mentally preparing myself for a call telling me my husband and father of our son had been shot in another random mass shooting.

This is more than disheartening. This climate of gun protection needs to end.

I am so lucky to be able to hold my loved ones each night, but what about those in Dayton and El Paso who were less fortunate this week? Who can speak up for them? I can. And I am. I am a wife, a mother, and I demand stricter gun control laws.

Sydney Sprouse, Forest Grove


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