To the Editor

April 9, 2013

By Contributor

Firearms ownership

Background checks are not the solution to violence

All three legislators at the Town Meeting referred to by Lois Brandt (3-27 Press) have children. Does Lois really think that because two don’t agree with her they care for their children any less? I doubt it and believe it was more a reflection of her wanting a solution to the violence we see the media sensationalizing every day. To her, removing what she sees as the cause — firearms — makes sense, but violence is a behavioral issue.

FBI statistics in 2011 reveal a rifle was used in 323 murders, but 1,694 were by knives and 726 from beatings. Numbing numbers. Lois mentions Australia’s 1997 gun ban, but government reports show murder rates consistent from 1990 through 2011. Banning guns does not reduce crime. Look at Chicago.

State Rep. Jay Rodne pointed out that juveniles have to be caught illegally possessing a firearm five times in our state before they are prosecuted. Why?

The three horrible mass murders recently committed were by individuals who were violently mentally ill. Our legal system provides no process to detain these people when they need help until they do some horrendous act. Why?

The federal background check system, NICS, had 6 million applications in 2010 with 34,149 transactions rejected due to felony indictments or convictions, but only 57 people were prosecuted. Why?

The NICS system is suppose to have mental health and drug addiction statistics reported by the states, but it’s not happening. Again, why?

I own firearms and while I disagree with many of the people currently leading our state and country, I do not hate my government. To call people like myself a “wacko” because my understanding of the Second Amendment and our state constitution differs from her does not help find a solution to violence.

Butch Wright

Issaquah

 

Firearm owners are not wackos

In her letter, Lois Brandt claims her state representatives “don’t listen to mothers” like her. “They listen to men with guns and money who hate our government.”

As a mother, professional woman with several degrees and a gun owner, I’m offended. Disparaging any group so broadly used to be called prejudice. But, under the cloak of good intentions — here, “protecting the children” — opponents to the Second Amendment freely malign the other side, including women armed for self-protection, single mothers in dangerous neighborhoods and females like myself who appreciate both the craftsmanship and mechanical ingenuity of firearms, while also respecting deadly force.

Ms. Brandt further labels dissenters to her anti-gun position as “wackos,” and claims Australia’s gun ban stopped mass shootings. But Time magazine (not exactly a “wacko” news outlet) noted that peer-reviewed research proves the gun ban had only a negligible effect on mass shootings.

What Australia’s gun ban did do, however, was send violent crime rates skyrocketing, the same effect seen in Britain. More than a decade after its ban on firearms, the U.K.’s violent crime rate has increased 100 percent.

Banning guns does not ban violence. In fact, just the opposite. If citizens can’t arm themselves, then predators can be assured their prey is weaker than ever.

I’m certain Ms. Brandt doesn’t want increased violent crime. She passionately wants to protect children from harm.

So, why don’t we do what our politicians do for their children?

Hire armed guards for our schools.

If that protection is good enough for Sasha and Malia Obama — and their dad, whose salary we pay — then it’s certainly good enough for the children of Issaquah, and beyond.

Sibella Giorello

Issaquah

 

School boundaries

Changes are in best interest of students, school district

I understand how disappointed some parents are with the current boundary changes. The elementary school my daughter attended went through a similar process. What we learned then, and is the case now, is the district was very thoughtful and careful in determining the best changes possible.

The facts of geography, school capacity and student distribution made the changes obvious to any rational decision maker; facts that those who were upset either agreed with or were unable to refute. All alternatives offered were far worse for the district as a whole; again, facts that those who were upset either agreed with or were unable to refute.

I understand some parents move to neighborhoods they believe have the “best” schools. Issaquah is a growing school district with a long history of thoughtfully adding schools and carefully rearranging boundaries to fit the current and future expected student population. There is no entitlement for a certain home location to a specific school. Parents should not act as if they are “entitled.” Parents should not attack the school district because they (parents) don’t like the facts.

I hope the parents involved with these boundary changes will look closely at the facts. When they do, they surely will understand the boundary changes are in the best interest of all students and of the school district as a whole; any alternatives are worse.

It is unfortunate that sometimes one does not get what he or she wants. Those parents affected can and should work hard to help make their new school the best it can be for their children and the other children that attend that school.

Steve Rolfe

Bellevue

 

Hatchery fish

What was the point of cartoon?

On March 26, you printed an editorial cartoon entitled “Wild Guess” depicting two salmon conversing. No other column or discussion was attached. My question was, and is, what is the point you’re making? Was it an attempt at humor, poking fun at the “effete” upbringing of the hatchery fish? Or, an opening conversational starter concerning the “wild” vs. hatchery-produced fish controversy?

The board of directors of Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery are mystified by the motive or point you were attempting to convey. Our position is that hatchery effort to raise salmon is a very critical component of a larger salmon recovery strategy, and that hatchery salmon do not comprise but enhance that recovery effort. We’re extremely proud to be members of the community and serve on the F.I.S.H. board, and to educate the public on the miracle surrounding the other residents of the area, the iconic salmon themselves.

N.B. Nash, vice president

F.I.S.H. board of directors

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Comments

3 Responses to “To the Editor”

  1. Paul Veilleux on April 15th, 2013 10:30 pm

    When It Rains — Don’t Knock on Swedish Medical Center’s Door

    Swedish Medical Center has no interest in your welfare unless you’re a billable client – something I learned the hard way.

    At approximately 4:15 pm, April 15th, I went out for a run in the Issaquah Highlands area after watching the terrible news about the bombings at the Boston Marathon. I felt the need to honor those impacted by this atrocity – a show of personal support for those who lost their lives and/or were gravely injured as a result of this senseless act.

    About 25 minutes into my run, an unexpected thunderstorm with flash lightening and hail descended upon me. Much to my dismay, the running trail is in a fairly isolated area with little to no option for escaping a sudden storm/downpour. Afraid for my safety, I quietly sought temporary shelter inside the Swedish Medical Center emergency room. Upon my arrival, the Swedish security agent on duty hastily informed me that I was not allowed to wait – even for a few minutes – because it was considered “loitering.” I respectively informed him that I feared being struck by lightning and that is why I took refuge at Swedish. I only wanted to let the storm pass and then I would be on my way — heck, I had no interest in hanging out at a hospital ER waiting room. The Security detail would have no part of it and repeatedly told me that my presence was not welcome, that I was loitering, and once again, demanded that I leave.

    I then asked if someone could kindly call me a taxi as I did not have my cell phone on me. I was told that it was not their policy to call for taxi service and stated for a third time that waiting (loitering) is not permitted. Go figure.

    The ironic part is that this institution is supposedly in the business of caring for those in need, yet none of that was evident to me today. I presume the Swedish staff would has been much more interested in providing service if I had been struck by lightning, or hit by a large hailstone. As it stands, they showed zero compassion and civic responsibility in prohibiting a local community member to wait quietly for a violent thunderstorm to pass to ensure safety.

    Following the grand hoopla of Swedish Hospital’s opening day reception for residents of the Issaquah Highlands community, it is very clear that the party is over and the welcome mat has been rolled up. Should I have the unfortunate need for medical service in the future, I think I’ll take my business elsewhere. By the way, I heard that UW Medicine just opened a clinic down the street, I think I’ll give them a try.

  2. Smoley on April 16th, 2013 6:14 pm

    @Paul,

    Wow. That’s really a shame that a local hospital wouldn’t allow you to come in from the thunderstorm for 10 or 15 minutes. I guess they were within their rights to ask you to leave, but that doesn’t send a very good message to the local community. Heck, you should have asked them to call the Issaquah PD. They would have probably given you a ride home at no charge (along with a friendly lecture to bring your cell phone with you next time).

    I’d like to think we live in a friendly town where if someone needed to borrow a phone to get a cab they could knock on any door and ask without getting pushed back into the rain, much less get that attitude from a local business. Apparently I’m wrong.

    Thanks for your post. I’ve been shopping around for a new family doctor in the area and your experience will have an impact on my choice.

  3. Apollo_Creed on April 17th, 2013 12:01 pm

    Maybe they were on heightened alert because of the bombings and a bit suspicious of all “loiterers”.

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