Troubling increase in gun ownership

Typical of many topics causing disagreement in America today, the Second Amendment has become a subject where there seems to be no possible agreement between conservatives and liberals on what's intended by the language.

My concern (as a moderate/progressive leaning person) is that we're seeing an escalation of weapons in the hands of private citizens which increases with each new sensationalized incident.

When will we reach the tipping point that causes us to reduce weapons rather than continuing this trend of too many guns?

While I'm confident guns aren't the main cause of people becoming more violent, having easy access to weapons certainly helps facilitate the daily killings across America.

We must address the psychology of why we need fewer, not more, guns. The rash of gun purchases after any talk of restricting our ability to keep and own guns is undoubtedly partly caused by security fears.

Our leaders must speak out on why we don't need to arm ourselves. Failing that, we can expect the demagogues to continue inciting fear, followed by more gun purchases, and ultimately more guns in the hands of those who would do violence.

Fredrick R. Ford

Walnut Creek

Evolution is not a 'viewpoint'


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Thanks for printing the hilarious letter from Bob Humphrey, "Schools teach kids what to think." Evolution is not a "viewpoint" -- it is a proven theory demonstrated today (see genetic changes in fruit flies). Credible science professors would certainly be impatient being challenged by students with minds mired in the Bronze Age.

Those fortunate enough to attend a university should embrace the adventure of expanding their mind, not closing it. If they have religious interests, they should study comparative religions, archaeology, anthropology, mythology and, above all, logic.

You cannot call yourself a Christian and also claim to be a critical thinker. Anyone who explores the above disciplines recognizes that many religious beliefs are just contemporary versions of numerous ancient myths.

Which reminds me, now is the perfect season to revisit Monty Python's brilliant film, "The Life of Brian."

Jayne Thomas

Richmond

Immigration must be debated

I'm troubled that my country, which prides itself as a melting pot of ethnic diversity, is greatly divided.

President Barack Obama has made this worse with class warfare. If you're an American citizen, that's how you should describe yourself and your loyalty should be to America. I'm not opposed to immigration. My grandparents legally immigrated through Ellis Island in the early 1900s. But I'm not Scandinavian-American, I'm American.

Race is constantly brought into every sector of our lives. Employers and government fear doing what's right because it might be construed as racist. Politicians won't resolve immigration reform as long as they fear losing votes. "Big business," which bankrolls politicians, gets cheap labor.

Obama's blowing smoke trying to destroy the Republican Party. We need strong debate, and one party alone won't bring that about.

We have serious border-control problems, many countries don't like us, and no one knows how many are crossing our borders with bad intentions.

Many Hispanics blindly support making all illegal Hispanic immigrants citizens. A blanket legalization of all isn't the way to handle this; some of them are very bad people.

Make politicians accountable to us -- their bosses. Refusing to resolve this isn't acceptable.

Roger Stromgren

Brentwood

Accusations by Sowell unfounded

Thomas Sowell always writes about how horrible liberals harm this country. However, after reading his column, "Liberals still making false assumptions about race," I could no longer bite my tongue.

Sowell, using vague, pseudoscientific reasons, said (indirectly, of course) that liberals put forth the idea of weeding out "inferior" races. Then he somehow connects that notion with how liberals now use race to their advantage.

While it would take too long to repudiate what Sowell said, I wish to point out the following: Look at incarceration rates, high-school passing rates and unemployment rates for African Americans. Are those just different goals than those of their white counterparts, or maybe America needs to take a good look into the proverbial mirror?

Sean Cleveland

Danville