Our mistake

Perhaps our mistake was making it profitable to destroy the earth.

David Warnock

Hood River

Where the money goes

I would like to respond to Ian Stormquist’s letter to the editor of May 29 (titled “Accept the ‘naked truth’”).

I do agree that the vitriolic political climate is detrimental to everyone. My disagreement with Mr. Stormquist is that measures 65 and 66 were defeated based on ignorance. Granted, timber sales are not providing the revenue stream that it once did, but I wonder where the money in Salem is going. Oregon should be benefiting from the explosive growth that it has seen over the last 20 years. The state receives money from payroll taxes, property taxes, marijuana taxes, one of the highest state income taxes in the country and a plethora of fees that no one even thinks about. There is plenty of revenue.

When we talk about funding, it is important to take into consideration where money is going now. We also need to see concise spending plans instead of a list of things that are going to be covered by any new taxes. Personally, I would start with PERS and evaluate how the state will meet those obligations.

Joe McCulloch

Hood River

‘Prayers can only go so far’

Now a man has killed one child and one adult in a stabbing in Japan. In our country, the killings can be up to 52 deaths and many wounded. There are a lot of factors in gun violence, but military semi-automatic weapons and 100 bullet clips make it possible to kill so many people in a few minutes. When does it become important to protect Americans rather than the gun rights advocates? I hunted with my husband with our 6-month-old daughter on our backs 34 years ago. I am not for taking away gun rights in general, but it does say in the Second Amendment one’s right to bear arms is for a “well-regulated militia.” 

It is not surprising that U.S. shootings are done by males from ages 16-25 years of age. Brain studies have shown that a child’s brain does not fully develop until age 25. During adolescent and young adult years, the impulse control is not fully developed nor mature. Add mental health problems, drug issues, abusive/neglectful childhoods, bullying and easy access to guns, and one can see some reasons the mass shooters do what they do. Their goal is to kill as many people as possible, as if the shooting is playing a violent video game.

The violence youth see normalizes, dehumanizes and makes violence more likely to happen. These violent activities during one’s youth encourages hurting others as an ultimate act of power and control but, sadly, also feelings of anger and despair.

As a retired parenting educator, I am very concerned about the amount of violence children see on television, the internet and in violent video games. I believe the U.S. Congress, NRA and gun manufactures have suppressed the research on violent media and gun shootings to protect their financial concerns and desire to have guns everywhere.

How will we as a country reduce the mass gun shootings in our communities? Prayers can only go so far. You shouldn’t just pray for what you want. You have to act! Please do something to help reduce gun violence in our country.

Nancy Johanson Paul

Hood River

Gun control does not work

Response to Jonathan Jones’ May 22 letter and May 25 reprint: Congratulations on getting published twice. Thank you for your opinion. There are currently a flurry of gun control bills in the Oregon and Washington and national legislature. For brevity, I will relay what they cover: Five round magazines, storage and fines and jail time for non-compliance. Bans of certain guns. Turn-in of guns without compensation, no matter the value. Ammo buy restrictions and possession. These are all illegal, draconian, socialist and unconstitutional.

What part of “shall not be abridged” do gun controllers not understand? Here are some facts: The NRA is not the only gun “lobby.” These attempts are an insult to the military, police and all gun owners. There is no such thing as an “assault weapon” and gun control is the responsibility in handling and use of guns, not restrictions and confiscation. They are a personal affront to me. I have 64 years of shooting and gun handling experience. Twenty-five times I have experienced the having the presence or perceived presence of a firearm having stopped rape, assault and theft. That is gun control.

School shootings occur because the gun control lobby has gotten them made “gun free zones.” This puts a target on students, teachers and nearby residents for crazed idiots.

Gun control does not work, makes crime much more personal with knives, etc. You have the right not to have a firearm but not to tell me what, how and when I can have, or use my guns nor what they may look like.

All our freedoms have been bought with blood and guns. The Second Amendment restrictions being purposed will also erode the first, in effect if not by “law.”

Steve Curtiss 

Hood River

Editor’s note: Jonathan Jones’ letter, “Lives matter, guns don’t,” was published May 22 edition. His HRVHS student artwork was published in the May 25 edition.

There is a historical precedent of the term “assault weapon” being defined as a certain array of guns, most notably from the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban wherein the U.S. Department of Justice stated, “In general, assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that were designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use.” The term is not to be conflated with “assault rifle” which has a much more distinct definition.

‘No’ to the port

I would like to express my displeasure with the Port of Hood River and the outrageous amount of money that the port is charging for parking at the Event Site and West Jensen Beach, which provides access to the city’s Waterfront Park. The port is charging $125 for an annual pass. This needs to be compared to parking fees for other recreational sites: An Oregon State Park pass (good for day use at all state parks in Oregon) costs $50 for a two-year period; a Washington Discover pass (good for day use at all state parks in Washington) costs $35 for a one-year period (including the $5 online transaction fee); and a pass to park at Rock Creek in Mosier costs $16 for the season. Why does the port believe that it has the right to charge such an exorbitant fee?

As residents of Hood River County, we already pay for our city’s parks via our property taxes, or our landlords pay if we rent property. We also pay property taxes to support the port. In my opinion, the port is being predatory in charging the residents of Hood River County such a prohibitive fee to park at recreational sites owned by the port. Maybe the port should consider allowing residents of Hood River County to purchase a parking pass at a reasonable fee, something like $25 per year, and then charge nonresidents the higher price.

In the meantime, I suggest that we express our displeasure with the port’s greed by simply refusing to buy passes to park at port-owned recreational sites and to park elsewhere despite whatever inconvenience that may cause.

Jessica Berty

Hood River

‘Curious American’

Two years ago, former Republican FBI director Robert Mueller was hired to investigate the president and his known associates for their role in the 2016 election. He compiled an extensive report and presented it to the Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr. Barr told the American people there was nothing of concern in the hundreds of pages in the report.

This week, Mueller publicly stated three important facts: First, if President Trump had done nothing wrong, the report would have said he did nothing wrong. It does not say that. Second, U.S. law does not allow a sitting president to be charged with a federal crime while in office (regardless of how many laws he broke). Finally, that Congress alone has the right and authority to process the entire report in order to make recommendations.

Mueller seems to understand U.S. laws, but apparently the top lawyer in the land, Barr, does not. He has refused to release an un-redacted report to the one group legally authorized to have it. At the same time, President Trump has decided that Mueller’s reputation went from respected investigator to witch hunter based on the president’s own expert legal knowledge.

I am curious how Islamophobic, fearful of the “Mexican rapists and murderers” (POTUS’ words), or rich you have to be to still support this president?

Steve Kaplan 

Hood River

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