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Our readers also think it's time to get rid of assault rifles and don't like diesel engines.

Oregon has always had its share of maverick politicians in public office, whether on the local scene or nationally, whether Democrat or Republican. While reading "Wheeler blasts Trump, boycotts White House talk" (Jan. 30), I found a statement in the article that drew my attention.

When it comes to the issue of sanctuary states or cities, the mayor was quoted as stating, "It demonstrates a lack of a moral compass in the leadership of the United States of America."

The same could be said for the mayor of this city, as well as some state governors who feel compelled to ignore federal law by going about doing their own thing in defiance, thus illustrating a lack of a moral compass in the leadership of their city or state government.

I don't recall the citizens of this city or state voting on implementing "sanctuary cities" or "sanctuary state" in Oregon. Before we get too indignant about forming such an entity, shouldn't voters have a say in this issue?

Louis H. Bowerman

Southeast Portland

Time to get rid of assault weapons

Once again there has been a mass shooting at a public school, and again the far left is screaming for gun control that encourages the far right to go out and buy more guns at their local gun show. It's like a vicious cycle and Americans just can't seem to find the exit door.

Psychology 101 — people kill people no matter what tool they use — guns, knives, poison, chemicals and even a No. 2 pencil. Inner anger, desperation, hostility and mental health drives people to do evil acts.

Young people at school are learning and developing the techniques needed to interact within their age groups and society as a whole and cannot cope when put into a position that requires higher social skills.

Preschool and kindergarten ages interact well together, while fifth- and sixth-graders interact extremely poorly with seventh- and eighth-graders.

I lived in a town that built a middle school with grades 5-8, and every year there were assaults and rapes on younger students while at school. While charges were filed and students expelled, the school board never considered reorganizing their school, yet now these people are screaming for gun control.

All through school, my teachers compared me to my older sister, who became the valedictorian of her class. Why should I bust my butt when I'm already getting As and Bs? I finally complained to my mom, who eventually went to the school board to stop the continual comparison.

With consolidation of smaller schools, classes are getting bigger and students have less direct contact with their teachers, becoming isolated. Social media isolates people more and then there are extremely violent video games that numb the senses.

To complicate things further, after 9/11 the government passed the Patriot Act and established the Homeland Security Department and forced police departments nationwide to carry assault rifles and high-capacity pistols and wear ballistic vests and other tactical gear. Basically, law enforcement is looking more like Hitler's SS Stormtroopers, which only increases anger, desperation, fear and hostility.

Assault weapons are designed for the battlefield; they are not designed for sport or law enforcement. I served in the military and worked law enforcement, yet I do not own an assault rifle — but I will not support a ban on assault rifles until every last police department in America disposes of theirs. A Heckler & Koch UMP submachine gun is a better choice for police work.

Joe Turner

Columbia City

Diesel engine makers had role in VW debacle

I read with interest the Feb. 22 Insight column. I appreciate Seth Prickett's thoughtful submission. Reducing diesel emissions is truly a weighty and little-recognized subject.

However, you may have missed this EPA/DOJ announcement dated Oct. 22, 1998, reached after three years of litigation. For some reason it was not widely reported. I found only two references in the U.S. press.

As you can see, Volkswagen actually learned about emission defeating technology from U.S. diesel engine manufacturers. Baffling as well, how quickly those same manufacturers, with the help of the press, jumped on the bandwagon to vilify VW.

Mark Burgess

Southeast Portland

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