Letters to the Editor for June 16

Lock guns

So I sent a letter to the editor with a rather simple-minded, partial solution to the problem of gun violence: Exert a fine from gun owners if their guns are used in a crime. Ho hum ... so what.

Okay, the other part of the story: If even the most NRA-bought congressman would have to agree that this is a reasonable idea, then the devil really is in the details.

If the certain, instantly collectible, unappealable fine is based on loss, just one gun-death could result in millions if the victim is very young. It would make the fine huge and positively ruinous. And I am certain that after just a few well-publicized cases, there would be many people who would lock their guns up better, have fewer of them or just conclude the gain is not worth the risk.

Combine this with widespread publicity of the scientifically unassailable information that gun deaths by suicide or accident are much, much fewer than deaths from a prowler.

(People drink when depressed and guns are the surest way to place a deadly negative impulse beyond any reach of regret. So, do not drink when depressed, people, gun or no gun.)

Bob Williams

Hood River

Friends, suddenly

Our president deliberately went to the G7 Summit with the idea of creating chaos.

He did.

He managed to upset nearly all our allies, from insulting Macron and Trudeau to reneging on the document he agreed to.

But we have new friends now, people in powerful places, (like) Kim the killer. He sent Otto Warmbier back to his parents in a coma to die, the murder of at least 340 people according to the INSS an arm of the national Intelligence Service, one of whom was his brother, Kim Jong-Nam. He’s responsible for the execution of an uncle, Tang Song-Thaek, convicted of treason.

He had a South Korean ship sunk, shelled one of their islands, and has kidnapped Japanese and South Korean citizens. He’s responsible for the starvation of two to three million of his own people and as far as can be determined, not one word about human rights was said by President Trump.

So what was achieved? A photo op for Kim.

Remember how fast the president turned on his allies; how long will it take for him and Kim to have an about face leading to more tension and possible war?

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Two-sided coin

Mr. Mansfield, your June 13 letter, “Feel Good Raffle,” brought up a wide range of emotions, including empathy, humor, and confusion. It was amusing to hear a stranger refer to my wife as a “hag.”

I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but I am repeatedly confused by the fervor with which advocates claim they are losing their gun rights when “thoughts and prayers” are as far as it ever goes.

It is hard for me to imagine NOT caring about a parent whose child is killed by a high-capacity weapon or even the parent whose son performed the murderous act. Some would say we are all bound to care about the communities in which we live. In fact, I believe that is the definition of community. A divide remains whether that occurs through maximum armament or arms reduction.

Just remember that the cancer doctor’s family has a wonderful time on the Christmas break cruise in the Presidential Suite while another family connected by fate sits at home with no vacation and a dying spouse/parent.

I am grateful you have the financial capacity to help so many groups in the area. That is a magnanimous gesture on your part regardless of your reasons. My hope is that you may find peace with your choices so you can appreciate how much good you have done for these people and it is not diminished by the anger in your heart.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

‘Good job, Trump’

It hurts me to have to say this, but good job, Donald Trump.

This is not the place for me to belabor how much I despise Trump and “Trumpism,” and all of his small mindedness, bigotry and irrationality.

But even a broken clock is right twice a day, and it’s time to say DJT deserves credit where credit is due.

He actually spoke the unspeakable but obvious truth that our military exercises on the Korean peninsula are “provocative” to North Korea (just think how we would react if North Korea had joint military exercises with Cuba!).

He actually said that we should officially end the Korean war, a war in which America was unable to prevail against a peasant army even after carpet bombing every city in the country with napalm.

He actually agreed to talk to North Korea’s “dear leader,” the only person with the authority to make a deal to end the war and de-nuclearize the Koreas.

Now he wants a Nobel Prize. I say if he gets a deal, give him the prize. Obama got one. O-bomber, as I like to call him, then proceeded to double down on “kill lists” and drone strikes, even finding legal justification to kill American citizens with drones.

Even Henry Kissinger (everybody’s favorite war criminal) got one.

He’d be in good company.

Rod Krehbiel

Hood River

Jaw jaw

“Better to jaw jaw than war war.” — Winston Churchill

Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un is a potentially positive step in moving away from military conflict with North Korea.

At the same time, we must be realistic about outcomes. Reagan cautioned to “trust but verify.” Given the failure of past agreements, there is no basis for trust with North Korea. Given the closed nature of the country and lacking detailed intelligence on their existing nuclear weapons and fissile material, it will be impossible to verify complete and irreversible denuclearization.

North Korea has endured sanctions for decades in order to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. It is unrealistic to believe they will give up the weapons capabilities that prompted this week’s summit.

A more realistic outcome might be to reduce the number of weapons and missiles, while offering security guarantees and opening the country to the rest of the world.

At the same time, we will need to maintain a strong deterrence on the peninsula. Trump’s comments about removing troops and halting joint exercises are troubling. North Korea is playing a long game with the goal of gaining control of the peninsula. Removing our troops prematurely would create an impossible situation for South Korea and our Asian allies.

It is easy to see our president negotiating an agreement to “denuclearize” that everyone knows will occur in name only. That may well be a better outcome than war war. Let’s hope the desire for a deal doesn’t leave the world worse off.

Rick Davis

The Dalles

'Ambidextrous’

Mr. Cliff Mansfield, in one letter to the editor of the Hood River News (June 13), managed to pat himself on the back for putting AR-15 rifles into the community through his raffles, supposedly generating $50,000 donated to local sports teams, veterans organizations, and of course the GOP (brought to us by the NRA, supported by Russia).

And with the other hand, Good Old Cliff gives the finger to those in the community and the world at large who are worried about increasing gun violence.

What a great guy!

He calls people names who are concerned about the possibility of an AR-15 rifle ending up in the hands of someone who wants to shoot, with intent to kill, lots of people in a very short time ...

Cliff tells us he enjoys seeing the happy expressions on the faces of the recipients of the money earned by raffling off these dangerous weapons. (I would very much like to see some evidence that he actually contributed $50,000.) He feels like a big man when those happy kids get to play sports, veterans thank him, and it makes him “feel good.”

It makes me feel bad to think of kids killed in the halls of their schools, or crowds of people enjoying music and fun. But Cliff, that happens! You cannot deny it is a reality!

So go ahead and pat yourself on the back with one hand, and with the other, deliver the weaponry that has the potential to create sadness, tragedy, loss.

You say you don’t care if I am hating you.

Well, I do care that you are getting these great feelings about yourself, and jeopardizing members of our community all at once. Trying to make yourself look like a good man. It just does not fly!

And by the way, your immature name calling “Hags Who Hate Guns” only serves to show what an immature and self-serving person you are.

Pennie Burns

Hood River



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