Letters to the Editor: July 2, 2020
Action needed to curb gun deaths
Nearly a million people die a year from gun violence.
The Second Amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This means that anyone has the right to own a gun.
The current gun laws require that citizens and legal residents must be at least 18 years of age to purchase shotguns or rifles and ammunition. All other firearms — handguns, for example — can only be sold to people 21 and older.
The majority of the people doing school shootings are under the age you are allowed to possess a gun.
We should have stricter gun laws in the U.S. because the regulations would prevent unnecessary gun violence and make sure that guns get into the right people's hands.
The first thing that stricter gun laws would help with is to decrease the amount of unnecessary gun violence. About 109 people a day die from gun violence in the U.S. More gun control laws would reduce gun deaths.
There were 572,537 total gun deaths between 1999 and 2016: 336,579 suicides (58.8% of total gun deaths); 213,175 homicides (37.2%); and 11,428 unintentional deaths (2.0%). Guns were the leading cause of death by homicide (67.7% of all homicides).
This evidence shows that we need to strengthen our gun laws in the U.S. With this many people dying, it's not OK.
The AAP said these are some ways to prevent unnecessary gun violence: "Stronger gun laws. Enactment of common-sense firearm legislation, including stronger background checks, banning assault weapons, addressing firearm trafficking, and encouraging safe firearm storage."
Another way to reduce gun violence is to make sure firearms get in the right people's hands. We should be requiring criminal background checks on all firearms sales, including those at gun shows.
When considering the issue of gun control, it is clear that we need stricter gun laws in the U.S. because millions of people are dying from violence that is preventable. If we take this action, fewer people will be dying and more people will feel safe in their community.
You can take action by contacting your city or state leader to change these laws. Educate yourself, and then you can educate others by spreading awareness, whether that is on social media, posters and much more. You can also vote for someone who is trying to change these laws.
Ellie Goff, Cedar Hills
Police and free speech are suffering
I was surprised to read in "letters" June 18, 2020, that a 64-year-old person "has no use for cops."
If you listen to mainstream media and subversive groups, you might get the impression that policing is bad. In reality, the American police force is what separates us from oppressive law enforcement in countries like China, Russia, and Venezuela. Our police protect and serve, and 99% are awesome people and awesome at what they do.
Without active policing, the increasing crime in New York City, Chicago, Portland, the "CHOP" site in Seattle, and all liberal cities is evident.
Recently, my wife and a friend, during a walk, stopped by the Tigard Police Department to pray for our faithful servants, for our country and for peace. A police officer happened to be there for a special call-out solely to serve an "underserved citizen," as our great police force is accustomed to. He was very grateful for the love and prayers expressed, and was disheartened by the vilifying of the peacekeepers instead of disdain for the troublemakers. Our police report to duty every day knowing they could die, be injured, or have a lawsuit filed against them on our behalf.
It's a shame that a few instances of bad policing is being used as a weapon to gut law and order in America by inflammatory groups such as antifa and the Black Lives Matter Foundation. I don't know one person who does not agree that the lives of our Black friends and neighbors matter, but I encourage everyone to look behind the curtain at what the Black Lives Matter Foundation and their leader represents. Their facade hides many things that people might find disturbing.
The suppression of law enforcement, free speech and thought in America through violence and intimidation is scary.
Carl Meininger, Tigard
Beaverton council echoes Trump administration on police reform
In the month that has followed the death of George Floyd, our nation has seen an incredible shift in public and political support for defunding and reforming police departments.
As attention has turned toward funding and policing policies that disproportionately affect black and POC communities, several cities across the country, including Portland, have committed to reallocating funding and implementing policy changes that will reduce police violence.
In Beaverton, 41% of the general fund is allocated to the police department. Our police policies currently allow the use of chokeholds, the ability to shoot at moving vehicles, firing of shots without a warning. Our city does not even require officers to exhaust all other options before using lethal force.
Beaverton City Council member and mayoral candidate Lacey Beaty responded by proposing a move to adopt the "8 Can't Wait" measures outlined by Campaign Zero. The proposal, addressed at the June 16 council meeting, opened with public comment during which members of the community overwhelmingly demanded defunding and the adoption of 8 Can't Wait with many voicing support to abolish the police altogether. The mayor and other city councilors, however, voted to renew the $36.7 million dollar police budget and reacted to the public with the same lukewarm comments being espoused by the Trump administration: officers must have these options available to them if their lives are in danger, more data is needed, etc.
To quote the Rev. Al Sharpton: "We don't need studies, we need police that commit crimes to be punished. All police that use chokeholds claim their lives were threatened, what's new?"
Now is not the time for more failed dialogue and meaningless promises. These measures are called 8 Can't Wait for a reason. We're still waiting.
Maggie Myers, Beaverton
We will get through coronavirus together
2020 has been a struggle. School year disruptions, no graduation celebrations, no outdoor school for sixth-grade littles, births in hospitals with no visitors, funerals with no mourners, in-person weddings turned virtual and more, the list goes on during this sad and scary time.
My 87-year-old mom had a longtime Gales Creek friend pass away with no funeral to celebrate her life.
A longtime friend could not be in the hospital when her only parent was passing. My heart breaks for her. When she tells me to hold my mumsy close and love on her, I feel her pain and appreciate that my mom lives close to me.
I have not been able to hug my mom (or my grown kids) in over three months, and those that know me know I am a hugger and this hurts, but I am grateful to still have the chance to hug them in healthier times.
So in the words of my dear friend, love on each other, appreciate each other, learn from each other, do not take each other for granted. Enjoy new, safe ways of celebrating each other. These times call for us to be uncomfortable with not living in normal times, to be extra cautious.
This will pass, and we will get through this. I even believe we could be stronger for doing so. Stay safe, be well and #WearAMask.
State Rep. Janeen Sollman, Hillsboro
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