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Letters for May 26, 2022

Responsible gun owners

I am so tired of law-abiding gun owners telling me how those of us who favor gun controls want to “take away all guns.”

You may boast about the wonders of your AR-15 rifle and how it can provide great protection. Me, I will put my trust in law enforcement and the U.S. military rather than a law-abiding gun owner and his or her AR-15.

Tanks beat automatic rifles/weapons most days of the week. We who support gun controls want only reasonable measures like adequate background checks and limited magazines. We see no need for a weapon with a multi-capacity magazine. Those types of weapons only serve one purpose – to fire off as many rounds as possible in as short a period as possible. Any hunter who needs such a weapon to go deer (or elephant) hunting is sorely in need of remedial gun-handling training.

As for the “soft-on-crime Democrats” cracking down on crime, I think we all know which political party has been majorly in power for several years, with no noticeable reduction in violent crime and absolute refusal to consider gun controls. Instead we see brilliant actions like the one recently taken in a Southern state where it is now legal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Are these people responsible gun owners?

Norman Coffman


Age discrimination

According to a recent Spokesman review article, age discrimination is alive and well. This article describes how a formal federal employee was awarded $1.7 million as proof positive. I’m here to tell you that it happens more often than you can imagine. Since retiring in June 2016 from the state of Washington Department of Corrections, after 25 years as a mental health provider, I have been actively discriminated against by multiple employers, in both the public and private sector. For some reason, many law firms wont touch this kind of case with a 10-foot pole.

How do employers get away with discriminating against potential employees with a wealth of training, experience and professional expertise? The answer is very simple. Ever human resource department worth its salt has incorporated the following generic, boiler-plate disclaimer into its company policy. “We do not discriminate against anyone based on race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, national origin or ancestry, disability, mental status, sexual orientation, or military service.” That strongly worded statement seems to give employers a blank check to do exactly that. They believe that their bases are covered, and they act accordingly. When companies ultimately make their hiring decisions, often behind closed doors, count on the fact that age is not the only things held against otherwise well qualified job candidates.

George F. Quiggle


DeSantis: Just another ‘loud-mouthed schnook’

As Marc Thiessen sadly reminds us, “Every week … Florida’s Republican governor takes some new action that enrages the left” (“DeSantis shows the way forward for Trumpism without Trump,” April 30). He thinks a growing number of Republicans admire DeSantis because he is an unhinged “counterpuncher” taking revenge on those who do not share his views. He even punched back at Mickey Mouse!

Mayor of Chicago Richard J. Daley was also a great counterpuncher. He brutally suppressed dissent at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and issued a “shoot-to-kill” order in response to the rioting following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The last thing Republicans need is another “counterpuncher.” A recent survey commissioned by the Bipartisan Policy Center found that 62 percent of registered voters are more interested in candidates who find compromise and common ground between Democrats and Republicans than in those who toe their party line.

DeSantis’ childish counterpunching is reminiscent of a school yard bully. As the famous Foghorn Leghorn once said, “Clunk enough people and we’ll have a nation of lump heads.”

Jim Baumker

Liberty Lake

What is ‘balanced’?

Jon Hall (“Elon gives us hope,” May 15) charges The Spokesman-Review with “very far alt-left bias.” His Exhibit A? A broad-brush generalization: “hate speech regularly spewed by Shawn Vestal, Leonard Pitts and others.”

Vestal provides superb straight reporting and analysis. He also pens politically tinged opinion pieces that are often tart, satiric or angry. Injustice and inhumanity provoke him. So do the ludicrous conspiracy theories (the Big Lie, the “replacement theory,” the claim that Democratic lawmakers are child sex traffickers, etc.) that too many Americans embrace, and that threaten to destroy our constitutional democracy. Anger seems fitting in such cases.

Leonard Pitts, too, is angered by what looks like the imminent implosion of America thanks to mass delusion; and as a black man in a country that often fails to honor its ideals, he has another set of legitimate grievances. Sometimes his wrath gets the better of him, but most of what he writes is cogent.

Not only do the examples of Vestal and Pitts make a weak case for the paper’s “very far alt-left bias,” but Mr. Hall fails to acknowledge the presence on its pages of Sue Lani Madsen, Marc Thiessen, Hugh Hewitt, Chris Cargill, three or four right-wing cartoonists, and a letter writer who snidely suggests that the paper’s staff are “mostly self-hating, woke, white journalism majors.”

The Spokesman-Review has endorsed a liberal for president exactly one time in the past century (Hillary Clinton in 2016).

Just what would Mr. Hall consider “balanced”?

Brian Keeling


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