Letters to the editor: April 24 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: April 24

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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2008 8:22 pm | Updated: 8:38 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

SMOKING

Provide smoke-free apartments

Banning smoking has improved the air quality of public places but our homes also ought to be protected. Nonsmokers living in apartments are having their homes polluted with secondhand smoke from neighboring apartments. Smoke is no respecter of such flimsy boundaries as apartment walls and it’s futile to try to prevent it from entering. The only choice is to move, usually to another apartment where the same situation may occur. There is no recourse to protect the nonsmoker.

I recognize the impasse here. As my eighth-grade civics teacher said, “One’s personal rights end where another’s begins.” My smoking neighbors take away my right to have a smoke-free home but if I enforce my right, my neighbors lose theirs. So here’s a simple solution — designate non-smoking building(s) within a complex. Both sets of people can live according to their desires, and all have the opportunity to live in any complex they choose.

Many people are moving into apartments because they can’t afford a house. A smoke-free home should not be restricted to those with the means to own a house. We can do something about this that will allow all sides the freedom to live in the atmosphere they choose.

TRICIA BALLUFF

MESA

SCHOOL GUNS

Sorting out vs.stopping carnage

In a column of April 10, Ted Maish opined that school security was best left to the professionals of law enforcement, especially school resource officers. That seems reasonable, assuming one is present at the time a mass casualty event begins. The only problem with his theory is history: it has never happened that way.

If one looks at each mass casualty event from Columbine to the most recent at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, the most common thread among them is that there were no law enforcement personnel present when the attack began. The only possible response that would have stopped the attack in its tracks was the presence of an armed defender.

Every single time one of these horrific events has been stopped, armed honest civilians have solved the problem. Maish asserts that it would be “easier for the police to do their job” if they were the only legitimately armed people at the scene of a mass casualty shooting. He says it would be best if we allow the police to “sort it out.” If the assumption is to stop the shooter, who better than the person or persons being shot at to do that?

I listened to the police chief of ASU, John L. Pickens, as he stood before our judiciary committee, and tell us publicly “we cannot stop these events. We can train hard and respond in 3 to 5 minutes, but we can do nothing to stop them.”

What the chief did not say, and could not say, is that those people are in a government-created disarmed victim zone. Since the government created that disarmed victim zone, it has the authority to remove it, if only we could summon the courage to do so.

SEN. KAREN S. JOHNSON

DISTRICT 18

MESA

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Where does Mitchell stand?

HR4088, the SAVE Act, was introduced by Rep. Heath Shuler, R-N.C., in November. Among its provisions are an increase in numbers of Border Patrol agents and a requirement for employers to verify the legal status of prospective employees.

This bill remains stuck in committee, and many attribute this to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s opposition to stronger measures against illegal immigration. To bring this bill out of committee and to a vote in the House (where it appears to have adequate support for passage), a discharge petition has been introduced. This petition would require a vote to be held and almost 200 members of the House have already signed it.

I called Rep. Harry Mitchell’s D.C. office before the Easter recess to ask his opinion and intention. Staffer: “I don’t know his position.” Me: “Can someone find out and tell me?” Staffer: “Yes, I’ll have someone contact you.” A few weeks later (after Easter recess), having received no answer, I call again. Same questions, and same promise.

Forward to April 9, call No. 3. Same question: “Does he support having this vote?” Staffer: “Absolutely not!” I ask to speak to someone to explain why. “We don’t have anyone who has the time to talk to you, they’re all busy.”

Later that day, I receive an e-mail from Mitchell stating, “I agree with you that we need to do more to secure our borders … enact tough immigration reform, … and should … (HR.4088) … come to the House floor for a vote, I will keep your support in mind.”

He says he wants “to do more.” But, given the chance to do so, what’s his answer? “Absolutely not!”

RICHARD H. RUTKOWSKI

FOUNTAIN HILLS

DAY OF PRAYER

A call to God on Saturday

National days of prayer are a rich tradition in the United States. The first call to prayer came in 1775 when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming the nation. In 1952, President Truman signed a joint resolution by Congress declaring an annual national day of prayer.

Then, in 1988, the Truman law was amended, permanently establishing the first Thursday of May as the National Day of Prayer. So each citizen has the freedom to gather, the freedom to worship, and the freedom to pray, whether in public or private here in the U.S.A.

On Saturday, after the recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI, ReignDownUSA, a call of God to put him back into the center of our lives and our nation will take place over a two-hour satellite broadcast from the Washington, D.C., mall. Believers there will worship and offer prayers of repentance based on 2 Chronicles 7:14 asking God’s presence and forgiveness so that he will reign and restore our relationships with him and with one another, so that “healing of the land” will come forth following all-important self-examination.

ReignDown USA in Arizona will be held 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday on the Capitol lawn, 1700 W. Washington St. in central Phoenix.

BOB RICHARDS

GLENDALE

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