Make eradicating poverty a priority

April 4 was the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

He is rightly honored with a holiday and widely acclaimed for advocating equal rights for African-Americans. Less well known is his Poor People's Campaign that included all races and was aimed at changing our economic system to eradicate poverty.

Few are familiar with the available evidence about the circumstances of his death. In a 1999 civil trial brought by the King family in Tennessee, the multiracial jury reached a unanimous verdict that local and federal governmental agencies were complicit in the murder of King. The full trial transcript is on the King Center website.

Twelve years after King's death, Archbishop Oscar Romero, another vocal advocate for eradicating poverty, was assassinated in El Salvador by U.S.-trained snipers. I was there in March for the 33rd anniversary.

If eradicating poverty were truly a priority, it could be done, both in the United States and throughout the world. People are smart enough to figure this out. So what's stopping us?

Marilyn Langlois

Richmond

Poor aim and wrong target

Gun safety is a complex question best managed by local controls matched to local conditions.

Populous and contentious New York City likely has different needs and dominant attitudes than gun-competent, easygoing suburban Texas or rural Arizona, Tennessee, Alaska or Nevada.

City dwellers and country folks' insights are necessarily limited by their limited experiences. Restrictions are better focused locally rather than imposed broadly.

And, while proposing action in response to the personal pain of gun violence is natural, it seems misdirected to indiscriminately restrict a nation of experienced law-abiding innocent gun owners, rather than punishing the perpetrator, to assuage hurt feelings.

Poor aim, wrong target. Abridging the Second Amendment right of your peaceful neighbors to make you feel better may be unfair or troubling to your innocent, peaceful neighbors.

Buzz Pedrotti

Discovery Bay

Kim Jong Un's point of view?

From our point of view, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un does seem somewhat crazy. It's wise, however, to try to grasp his point of view.

Undoubtedly, his father told him about the Korean War. It was probably a variation of, "The United States attacked and invaded our country."

Kim has seen the United States attack and invade Iraq and Afghanistan and our drones attack Pakistan. He knows we have more than 30,000 troops across the border in South Korea, bases in the Philippines and aircraft carriers nearby at sea.

Kim hears us fussing about him building two or three nuclear weapons, when we have 8,000 to 10,000 of our own. He sees us flying a bomber from Missouri all the way across the Pacific and dropping fake bombs nearby at a practice target.

He must think it's reasonable to feel threatened.

As your April 2 editorial suggests, we can only hope China, which is getting rich selling us everything from Easter eggs to Bay Bridge steel, will tell Kim to calm down.

It would also help if we were a little less warlike.

Burt Rodgers

Walnut Creek

Media should focus on parents

We should check in the mirror before blaming the ownership of guns for all the mass murders of late.

If I took someone's life, unintentionally, while operating my car, I don't think I could live with myself. But to think of intentionally taking a life from someone and the people who love and depend on them is horrifying!

Which is it, lack of gun control or lack of parental guidance, that is causing the upswing in mass murders by children, of children? The media seem to be focusing on guns and I believe it should be the parents.

Some 40 years ago, guns were more available and people less cautious about locking them up but we were taught the value of human life and the type of murders above mentioned were mostly unheard of.

Wake up, people. It's the overkill by news media of these types of events. Then the parents, then the computer games kids play that involve killing your opposition. After you address these, I think you will find less need for "gun control."

James Nelmes

Lafayette