GOP's position on social issues
In one of his recent columns, Leonard Pitts acknowledged the Republican Party is taking steps to re-examine policies and discourage cranks as candidates in response to the November drubbing by President Barack Obama. However, Pitts believes the GOP is just putting "lipstick on a pig" unless it changes its position on abortion and "marriage equality" (gay marriage). I think Pitts is wrong.
The GOP is losing ground among the faster-growing ethnic groups in our society; most notably among Latinos. Recent polls show most Latinos share the Republican position on abortion and gay marriage.
However, Latinos don't view these issues as being even in the top five concerns in choosing for whom to vote. The economy is the biggest concern and immigration policies are the wedge issue between Latinos and Republicans.
If Republicans can adopt a more humane policy regarding illegal immigrants already in this country and agree to a path to citizenship (or at least legal residency), Republicans will find that their positions on social issues will actually assist them in gaining Latino support.
Ronald P. Rives
Excessive taxes and school bonds
I wish to thank Daniel Borenstein for his March 3 column regarding the West Contra Costa school district construction problem.
I appreciate Borenstein pointing out that the school district has issued more bonds for school construction than all but two larger districts in California. The cost to the homeowners is excessive, and the bond debt is frightening.
I hope Borenstein's column wakes up our voting public to the mismanaged property taxes and bond commitments. Please read his column if you missed it.
Fisk is a retired teacher with the West Contra Costa school district.
Freedom and responsibility
In a recent letter in the Times, Gene Berry wrote, "Cars and medical malpractice kill far more people than guns. Do we outlaw cars and doctors?" A good question.
The answer is that we don't outlaw them, but in order to reduce the risks to society to an acceptable level, we license drivers and doctors to ensure they meet minimum levels of competence.
Do Berry and I actually agree that licensing gun owners is a perfectly sensible and acceptable measure? I hope so.
However, the National Rifle Association, according to its website, still "opposes ... registration schemes." They seem to love freedom and hate responsibility, yet no decent society can exist without both.
Weapons, then and now
I don't believe the authors of the Second Amendment intended the right to bear arms to apply to the weapons of mass murder available today. How could they? The weapons we have today were unimaginable then.When we acknowledge the Second Amendment can apply only to the weapons available at the time it was written, then we can begin to solve the problems created by the weapons we have today.
I don't see a constitutional right to bear any arms other than flintlock or a musket. You couldn't get away with murdering 20 little kids and six adults with either one of those weapons.
Marion A. McIntire
Slain soldiers remembered
This is not meant to take away from the touching March 7 services for the two Santa Cruz law enforcement officers that were killed in the line of duty. After watching the services on TV, I wondered what the families of the soldiers that come back to them in coffins were thinking.
What type of funeral service did their loved one receive? What kind of support will that slain soldier's family receive?
How will they be remembered, other than by memories, Memorial Day, a headstone on their grave or their name engraved on an urn? What were the last words they heard that morning before they went on duty?
Affordable housing fears
I have been following the fear of Danville residents in welcoming affordable housing to their community.
Imagine, having to live next to folks who earn only $60,000 a year. My goodness! They could be the teachers from the local school who might be able to finally afford to live in the community where they teach.