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Letters for Nov. 9, 2023

Common sense gun control would work best

The post-shooting revelations around the recent tragedy in Lewiston, Maine, should give pause to anyone who cares about reducing gun violence in America.

The competing arguments today on gun violence seem to distill down to two alternative paths to curbing these senseless killings: gun control or people control. And the circumstances surrounding the advance warnings about Robert Card’s mental state and the difficulties encountered in acting upon them should serve as a stark warning about how difficult people control can be to implement effectively. Absent some Orwellian, “Minority Report”-ish invasions of individual freedoms, it may not be possible to keep guns out of the hands of those are ill-suited to have them before they can begin shooting.

Governing and living in a civilized society require choices. So, we must decide which we treasure more. The right to bear arms, as currently interpreted under the Second Amendment? The right to be free from ongoing examination of our character and mental state tantamount to prejudgment for possible future acts? Or the right to simply be safe in our homes, schools and places of worship – or even at the cornhole tournament at our local watering hole.

Looking at this array of choices, some common sense gun control looks like the easy option.

Wade Griffith


Camping laws will not solve homelessness

Decades ago, the national standard for percentage of income to pay for rent was given as 30%. At that rate, and with the current minimum hourly wage, we would need an abundance of housing available for $600 per month. That simply does not reflect the current market.

Resolving homelessness requires permanent housing, priced at what people can afford. It requires social services to help persons transition from homelessness to “housed-ness.” It requires a commitment from our Spokane community to treat persons with dignity and respect, and not stigmatize persons who need, and cannot afford, housing.

The solution is not to criminalize homelessness by making camping illegal throughout most of Spokane. If someone is homeless, criminalizing the choices they must make to simply sleep safely (camping) adds unnecessarily to the burden of homelessness.

This is not an “us” versus “them” situation. Our solutions need to build relationships with and respect the dignity of persons experiencing homelessness. All stakeholders need to be represented at the table where the conversation is about how we can build a community in which all who want stable housing have access to that housing.

Marian Beaumier


Income inequality leads to homelessness

Homelessness in Spokane has been addressed in The Spokesman-Review almost daily for years – crime, drugs, deaths, negative business impacts, etc. But why, and what’s to be done?

She denies it now, but when a few homeless set up tents by city hall, Mayor Nadine Woodward’s simplistic, narrow-minded position was to get them out of town. So, the homeless resettled in Camp Hope, a temporary solution that Woodward and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich immediately wanted to bust up. She still blames the state for that temporary humanitarian fix.

The unsheltered, starving and filthy living conditions with associated drugs, crime and deaths are not choices any of us reading this newspaper would make. So why is this happening? Our American way of life is supposedly the envy of the world. And yet, the U.S. is not so slowly being overrun by homeless Americans and turning into a Third World country. How long until many more of us join them because we missed too many mortgage or rent payments or couldn’t pay for that emergency surgery because we are not insured?

Is the solution “little houses?” Or aging hotel housing? Or more Trent warehouses without bathrooms?

Income inequality in America is at its worst point in nearly 75 years, and overall economic inequality is drastically worsening. It is mainly higher-income, well-insured households that experience increasingly larger income gains. The rich get richer and the poor … well, you get the picture.

We need universal health care for all and more equitable income. Go unions!

Phillip R. Moyle


Children die from retribution

OK, so the Israeli army has killed about 4,000 children in Gaza. The attack by Hamas was horrific, but how many innocent children need to be killed in retribution? Will 5,000 be enough?

Second, the housing of at least a half million people in Gaza has been destroyed. Where are they to live?

Bob Curry

Deer Park

A simple question

Why are we sending money to Israel to help them kill children?

Linda Greene


Maple Street repair missed opportunity

Hooray! The Maple Street Bridge is open again. The new bridge deck is so smooooooth. Like riding on air. It’s too bad someone didn’t fix all the potholes and lousy pavement on the two ends of the bridge. A real waste of a good opportunity while the bridge was closed for repairs.

Eric Green


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