'Gun control' is a misleading term

A recent Josh Richman article is about Marlene Hoeber, a woman who dislikes "gun control" because she thinks it means preventing her from owning a gun.

The term "gun control" has been hopelessly clouded by National Rifle Association doublespeak and is now meaningless. Organizations favoring reasonable gun regulations don't support banning all firearms. Just look at www.BradyCampaign.org, for example.

For self-serving purposes, people often create a false dichotomy between supporters of "gun control" (her "ban-em-all" folks) versus the NRA. Then they pretend to be the reasonable people in the middle.

It's maddening. The media not only fail to point out the error, they repeat the NRA's false dichotomy of "gun control" (i.e., "gun grabbers") versus "gun rights" endlessly.

Hoeber supports scientific research. It proves the effectiveness of the types of gun laws that California has passed. These laws have helped cut California's gun death rate by 57 percent since the peak rate of 1993. That's almost double the reduction made in the rest of the country.

But law-abiding citizens can still buy firearms.

Griffin Dix

Kensington

Compromise isn't a four-letter word


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"Liberal" Democrats and "conservative" Republicans in Congress are absolutely unwilling to compromise to the imminent detriment of the economic and social future of all Americans.

A definition of liberal is "open-minded," and a definition of conservative is "opposed to change." The conservatives are aptly named, but the liberals are not. The party names should be: Narrow-minded left-wing and narrow-minded right-wing.

This narrow-mindedness is allowing the country's future policies and makeup to be determined by the executive orders of one man with no discussion or consideration of opposing views.

This is not the definition of a democratic government.

Robert Mayne

Walnut Creek

Ugly politics rears its head in Pinole

In his Feb. 26 letter in the Times, Jeff Rubin of Pinole sought to smear the record and reputation of Councilman Phil Green.

It was a calculated slap, one of many, in the election year 2014. Yet Green is the only reliable voice and vote on the Pinole City Council. He is also the only council member who is not allied with Rubin and his group of political gadflies.

Rubin's attack on Green is a fine example of the ugly and now ruinous petty politics that has plagued Pinole since the unnecessary recall election some years ago.

Ironically, the majority of the City Council (Rubin's pals) has taken the city on a wild ride replete with multiple lawsuits and threat of lawsuits (Public Employment Relations Board, Redevelopment Agency, Fire Station 74, Verizon).

Pinole's legal costs have skyrocketed, wasting scarce taxpayer dollars at an unprecedented rate. Expect new taxes.

It is apparent that Rubin's influence on Pinole's council is costing us dearly.

Sal Spataro

Pinole

Police not trained to 'shoot to kill'

I'm referring to a letter by Arlis Verlon Williford, "Police shouldn't be shooting to kill."

As a retired police officer, I can say police don't shoot to kill. They're trained to shoot to stop. Officers aren't Wyatt Earp and can't aim for a two-square-inch area of a person's shoulder.

In every police shooting, the officer has to survey the threat, take note of the area with pedestrians, etc., draw and fire -- all within a fraction of a second. Examining virtually any police shooting, it's evident most shots fired by participants don't hit their target.

In a recent police shooting, there were allegedly about 200 rounds fired, with the suspect being hit two or three times and the officers also hit two or three times. People should be concerned about where the other 194 shots went. I know I am.

Another writer stated that most police officers shoot too soon. Again, officers have to make a decision in an instant, and taking extra time could cost the officers their life.

Don't Monday-morning quarterback police shootings.

Dave Huff

Rio Vista