Let me explain gun initiative
Within the week, we have seen letters from Curtis E. Stone and Paul G. Murray Jr. attacking Initiative 676. The former declares it a fascist plot; the latter calls it unconstitutional under Washington law. What both make clear is that neither has ever read the proposition.
I-676 requires handgun owners to have taken a gun safety course and mandates safety locks on triggers of handguns that are for sale.
Certainly, the right to own and operate a motor vehicle is not compromised by the requirement that one pass a driving test and license himself and his car.
Stone asked for no proof that his claim was absurd, so I won’t offer any.
Murray asks for proof of I-676’s constitutionality. The Washington state Constitution, as Murray quoted it, is not affected by I-676. Safety measures, which he terms “bogus,” are clearly legitimate. Gun owners will still own guns.
Perhaps Murray’s greatest problem is that he doesn’t understand the idiom “to bear arms.” The National Rifle Association has tried to make this mean “to carry a gun around,” and that is truly bogus. A check of any dictionary of idioms will show that it only means “to serve in the Armed Forces (esp. the old state militia).” Edward B. Keeley Spokane
Underhill Park is not safe
Robin Rivers’ article of July 3 brought mixed emotions. I applaud the efforts of Leone Johnson and the Siegel family to provide a safe place for the children of the East Central neighborhood to play. We could all learn from their example. But the real problem is being overlooked, and that is that the neighborhood park is not safe for children.
I lived in the East Central neighborhood for five years. I moved away from there because my children were chased, threatened to be burned with cigarettes, knocked off bicycles, etc., at Underhill Park and elsewhere in the area.
A friend and I brought my children and his to the park and had to leave after only a few minutes because of the threats and taunts the children were receiving, even with two adults supervising.
I am glad that officer Bill Shaber is concerned about the kids not getting run over while playing basketball in the street, but maybe officers should spend more time getting rid of the criminals in the park, whether juvenile or adult, so it is a safe place for the children to play.
I had good neighbors and good friends in the East Central neighborhood but will never again let my children play there because of fears for their safety. Tia L. Tauscher Newman Lake
My thanks to fireworks scofflaws
Thank you, my South Hill neighbors - specifically, those living in the area of 37th and Havana - for ruining my Fourth of July holiday.
Fireworks are illegal in Spokane. Apparently, many citizens do not realize this because for two days straight, I have had the pleasure of listening to careless individuals set them off. I also thank those lawbreaking individuals for upsetting my pups for those two days.
I am a law-abiding citizen and it infuriates me when I have to endure the negligent and rude behavior of those around me. Perhaps there should be stiffer penalties for shooting off fireworks. Maybe a night in jail would deter those who believe they are above the law.
Fireworks are illegal because of the negligent and irresponsible behavior of individuals who end up destroying other people’s property and are never held accountable. It is this sort of person who has no respect for the community or the people who live in it.
Therefore, this letter goes out to all of those people who disturbed their neighbors and broke the law. Thank you so much for ruining a peaceful holiday weekend. Cheryl L. Lee Spokane
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Health officer’s action justified
Dr. Kim Thorburn, our new Spokane County health officer, has come under fire for insisting that the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department guard a tuberculosis patient while he is undergoing hospital treatment.
This is certainty within Thorburn’s authority. She is correct in her insistence that hospital security personnel not be given this task, since they are not trained in this type of law enforcement. They do not have the authority to detain such patients against their will.
This patient is infected with a strain of the tubercle bacillus that is resistant to medications. If allowed to roam in the community, he will spread the deadly germ to others who then would not have any drugs available for their treatment.
Having practiced in a tuberculosis sanitarium years ago and prior to the availability of modern TB drugs, I can testify as to the seriousness of the disease when drug therapy is not available. I remember the prison ward where patients were confined if they would not abide by community quarantine laws.
By insisting on proper procedures in this matter, Thorburn is doing a service to the community. The spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis from this patient would be an inexcusable tragedy, and it must not happen.
I urge everyone to support Dr. Thorburn in this matter. Dennis W. Biggs Jr., M.D. Spokane
Firefighters, others slighted
A tragedy occurred on June 24 when a young bicyclist was struck by a car south of Cheney. At this accident, other cyclists who were doctors and nurses stopped to assist the injured young man.
As an emergency medical technician and fire officer in the Cheney area for 17 years, I was saddened by newspaper articles and radio interviews that quoted an official of the bicycling club who said, “These people basically saved his life,” without even mentioning the firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement people who also responded with the equipment and expertise needed to save lives in the field.
One of the first people on the scene was a Cheney fire lieutenant, who orchestrated lifting the car from the youngster. Fire District No. 3 arrived with oxygen equipment. The local ambulance arrived with the drugs needed to resuscitate the victim.
Yes, the doctors were directly involved with the procedures used to sustain the patient, but they did not provide any treatment that the patient wouldn’t have received anyway. No, the doctor did not “cut a slit in the boy’s throat” for a breathing tube. No, treatment did not go faster or better because the doctors were there.
Do I mean doctors shouldn’t help at an outdoor emergency? Of course I hope they will help. Just as I hope any citizen with CPR or first aid training would help. But we are fortunate to have a system which provides emergency responders who can deliver quick and effective emergency care throughout the county - every day. Gary L Hartford Cheney
‘Burning question’: life or death?
Re: “Burning question” (“Our Generation,” July 7):
It was encouraging to read “Stand by your tan” by Shelly Grabicki. I am reassured that we dermatologists will have plenty of work for years to come.
I am all for the freedom to take risks as we so choose, but my last melanoma patient to die was only 52 years old, and others have been much younger - lives shortened by much more than “a couple of years.”
So keep tanning, and when the problems develop, we will do the best we can for you. Thomas M. Ryan, M.D. Spokane
Big rigs: Let market decide
Opinion editor John Webster’s June 27 editorial attacking Detroit’s larger vehicles is typical of the fuzzy thinking being promoted by our social engineers and government.
I seriously doubt that the people who pay a hefty price for these big vehicles buy them for an ego trip. It’s more likely that the size and power are needed to haul a boat, travel trailer or other toys, plus children. The majority of people who own these vehicles have a smaller second vehicle that is used for commuting. Minivans just don’t do the job.
Detroit is providing a wide range of choices in vehicles to fit just about every budget. However, choices are limited when it comes to the size of vehicle needed to safely pull some of the large boats and travel trailers.
“Profit” is a dirty word to our bureaucrats. The automobile industry must make a profit to maintain its work force and continue the research that has resulted in today’s efficient engines.
Forced conservation through government price fixing, i.e. slapping an additional tax on gasoline, robs the citizen of their hard-earned cash and no they receive no benefit as a result.
If Americans choose not to buy the new vehicles, Detroit will discontinue them. Let’s let the market decide their fate, rather than let a bunch of fuzzy social planners do it.
Webster sounds like a spoiled little kid who cannot stand to see the neighbor kid get a better bicycle than his. I doubt if his lifestyle is as austere as his editorial would lead us to believe. Doug P. Wendler Spokane
2000 no problem for Macintosh
If I’m not mistaken, a picture of a Macintosh computer was used in your article of the problems computers will have with the year 2000. But yet you failed to mention that this problem will not afflict the Macintosh.
Since its introduction, the Macintosh has had the ability to correctly handle the year 2000 and beyond. The Macintosh operating system uses a 32-bit value to store seconds, meaning that the Macintosh clock will work correctly when the year 2000 is upon us.
I am glad that I am one of the 60 million Mac users worldwide who will sleep just fine when the clock strikes midnight. This is just one of many reasons why the Macintosh is superior.
Sorry, Microsoft. Paul D. Brown Spokane
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