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GUNS IN SCHOOLS
Going the wrong direction
At a time when our state’s legislative leaders are threatening to drastically cut funding to higher education and stick Arizona families and students with the bill, they’re also trying to force one more thing onto college campuses — guns.
The safety of Arizona’s students should always be our top concern. With gun violence in schools rising across the nation this is even more true today. Yet, this week, SB1214 — the bill that would allow concealed handguns on college campuses — was passed by a Senate committee and will go on to a full vote any day. This bill is in danger of becoming law despite the fact that a recent poll shows 73 percent of Arizonans oppose it.
Our state legislators are faced with the difficult task of tackling our state budget shortfall. Yet, almost eight weeks into the legislative session and nearly eight months into the fiscal year, bills like this continue to receive too much attention.
Arizona is a growing, vibrant state and our future will be impacted by the decisions our elected leaders make now. Continuing long-term investments in our schools and roads, expanding access to affordable health care and managing our growth should remain top priorities.
Arizona families support this, Arizona businesses support this, and the Arizona Legislature has the opportunity to continue making these critical investments that move our state forward.
It’s time for them to get back to work.
Unfairly hammering Harry
A recent television ad had black background, scary music, and an ominous image of Osama bin Laden; a deep voice warned that we were in immediate danger because the government’s ability to wiretap suspected terrorists had ended. The ad implied Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., was somehow to blame.
I had been monitoring legislation regarding FISA, the Patriot Act, and wiretapping; I knew that Mitchell had done nothing to put our country at risk. I re-checked the facts, including www.factcheck.org. The ad made numerous misleading statements, such as, “new surveillance against terrorists is crippled.”
The nation is not unprotected as the ad suggests. FISA is in effect; FISA allows the government to conduct surveillance:
• “Wiretap can proceed before an (court) order is sought; authorities have up to 72 hours to get their application to the FISA court” (www.factcheck.org)
• The FISA court is available 24/7.
• Since 1980, of 22,000-plus requests to the FISA court, only five have been denied.
• There is no backlog of requests for surveillance.
The ad sponsor, Defense of Democracies, has strong GOP connections, with a few Democrats as members. When the ad appeared, a number of Democrats immediately resigned. One former member, Donna Brazile, issued a statement calling the ad campaign “misleading and reckless” and saying it would “have the effect of emboldening terrorists.”
I don’t like scare tactics, and it is wrong when an honorable representative like Harry Mitchell is targeted by misleading ads.
New sources, new fuels
Apparently Karen Williams (Letters, Feb. 27) is unaware of the fact that Exxon-Mobil has made billions of dollars on oil in other countries. The fact that the other countries don’t have environmental laws is lost to her. If we don’t start paying attention to our environment we will lose it for future generations. The point is not whether or not to drill for oil in America, but to find alternative sources, one of which should not be ethanol. From everything I have read ethanol uses far too much energy and water. After all, what do we need more — water or oil?
Lots of us love you guys
I’m writing this letter to let the snowbirds know there are people here that appreciate them. I’ve found that most of those that complain about you being here are people that have moved here recently and think that anyone over 50 should check themselves into a nursing home.
They’re the same people that build expensive homes next to an airport or a farm and complain about the noise and the smell. They’re always in a hurry and drive like their hair is on fire with no consideration for anyone else. Do you ever see a snowbird racing other cars and going 30 miles over the speed limit?
I work three jobs a day, seven days a week and I admit that many snowbirds drive way too slow and some should not be driving at all, but the majority are very good drivers. If you have ever tried to find an address or building number on Main Street while you’re driving in three lanes of traffic, you would understand why older people drive slower. At least they aren’t trying to kill everyone around them with their vehicle.
Snowbirds have worked hard all of their lives and most of them have served this country and made it great. They deserve to be in a warm climate where they can soak up some sun for their poor, aching bones.
Also, they spend and donate a lot of money that helps us keep our jobs.
Reflection in Favre’s tears
Tears for the orphans in Iraq? Tears for the fall of morality in America? Tears for the abandoned, diseased, forlorn and pathological misfits of society? Tears for the souls who have forsaken church in favor of the god of football?
Then there are Brett Favre’s retirement tears poured out for none but himself and his unmatched self-love. Only a fool who happens to be a millionaire many times over could go on national TV and sob like a B-movie trailer over how important he was to the world.
So what did Brett Favre do that made him a legend in his own mind? He showed up for work every day and broke some sports records while his team became rich breaking limbs and others’ careers. Big deal.
Favre will cry all the way to the bank cashing that lifetime pension while he’s still in his 40s. Jerk a tear for the icon of ego.
PETER J. O'MALLEY