As a 30-year U.S. Air Force veteran, I’ve fired military weapons many times. I’ve been a gun owner since I was 16. I never thought about gun control until the Columbine shooting. Once I did the research, my eyes were opened. Safe gun laws make a safer society. For example, Australia implemented strict gun laws in 1996 after a mass shooting left 35 people dead. They haven’t had a single mass shooting in the 23 years since. And Australians can still get guns for hunting and self-protection.
I’m sure there are many root causes as to why we’re seeing an increase in mass shootings. However, all the statistics show safe gun laws are one of the most effective ways to stem gun violence. Lax gun laws put our families at risk, especially school children.
Passing common-sense legislation that will help keep us all safe from gun violence supports American values.
Top Republicans choose Putin over America
As a lifelong Republican, the number of lying politicians in the party of Lincoln — William Barr, Rudy Giuliani, Devin Nunes, Lindsey Graham and Kelleyanne Conway, to name a few — is totally incomprehensible to me. How can they claim that the hearings about the Ukrainian blackmail have not included firsthand sources, when President Donald Trump himself has barred firsthand sources from testifying?
Why are they trying to confuse the matter by blaming Ukraine for election meddling when the culprit is clearly Trump’s puppet master, Russian President Vladimir Putin?
There are only two possible reasons: They are terminally stupid, or they are lying to put the Republican Party ahead of the well-being of America. I go with the latter explanation. If there is any justice in this world, all these miscreants, as well as Trump, will eventually be tried for treason.
It would do the local GOP well to take the side of justice and condemn these traitors.
Let qualified seniors review adult care homes
There is a need for more licensed adult care homes (“Health officials cracking down on unlicensed senior care homes,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 30).
If the state Department of Health (DOH) would make an appeal for seniors in various communities to volunteer to be trained to evaluate and recommend those meeting the criteria to the DOH, more facilities could become licensed. They could be monitored by the trained people and do a great service to those in need. This would be an excellent project for AARP retirees.
Fossil fuel companies want to blame consumers
Tom Freitas echoed the line of the huge oil and coal companies, saying the public is to blame since these companies were doing business legally and only meeting the public’s demands for fuel that make our lifestyles possible (“Fossil fuel companies met public demand,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 1).
He added, “In meeting the need, they made the fortunes that free enterprise enables.” (He omitted the fact that these companies have received multi-billions of our tax dollars in subsidies.)
This kind of logic is harmful because it is exactly what these companies want us to think so that we blame ourselves rather than hold them responsible for their lies and injurious business practices that are destroying the planet through pollution and climate change.
It is highly probable that we would not be in this climate crisis had they told us the truth decades ago. It’s time they stop ravishing the Earth and ante up to the public for the massive damage they have caused and are causing.
Medicare for All makes better financial sense
Like Ralph Conway, I’ve been very happy with Kaiser’s care for decades (“Allow folks to stay with preferred health system,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 4).
Misinformation about Medicare for All: you can’t choose your health care provider. Canadian Medicare for All (which some candidates prefer) gives comprehensive, excellent health care, patients see any doctor they choose, receive services and never see a bill, co-pay, or deductible.
Misinformation: Medicare for All is unaffordable. Americans pay $10,000 per year for private health care; Canadians pay $5,000 per year for Medicare for All.
Medicare for All’s single-payer pool of money makes excellent health care for all citizens possible; 80% of the population is healthy, using $1,500 per year of medical services — leaving the remaining $8,500 per year in the single-payer pool of money available for others to use.
The 20% who are chronically ill, or elderly with end-of-life issues needing over $5,000 of health care don’t pay more. Unused premiums left in the single-payer pool by the healthy 80% pay for health care for the 20% chronically ill. When we’re sick or old, others cover us.
SHARE YOUR RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
“Pay it forward”: a situation in which the recipient of an unexpected good deed pays forward a kindness to someone else.
In this season of goodwill, think about it: Have you ever benefited from a “pay it forward” gesture, which in turn inspired you to bestow a random act of kindness?
If so, let us know in a 150-word letter to the editor, or in a well-written essay (500-600 words) — and submit it by Dec. 16 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via snail mail to 500 Ala Moana Blvd., #7-210, Honolulu, HI, 96813, c/o Letters. A collection of these will run on Dec. 22.