Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: On Saturday’s Shootings in Tucson, Ariz.

Media agenda

The criminal act of the shooting in Arizona is beyond sadness and disgust. However, it is interesting how fast the main-stream media jumped at the chance to point the guilty finger to the right. Notice columnist Paul Krugman’s diatribe printed by The Tribune.

The act in Arizona was done by a nutcase with no real political agenda, and yet the media, with their lips firmly glued to the rear end of Obama, lost no time trying to use it for their agenda.

How strange in comparison to the muted response to the massacre at Fort Hood by a Muslim.

Paul H. Pobor

Shell Beach

Which clause?

Having just concluded their reading of the U.S. Constitution and seen one of their own members shot by an assailant with 18 other collateral victims killed or wounded, the House of Representatives may be able to tell us which clause guarantees the right of someone to purchase and carry a concealed semiautomatic gun into a public place with the intent to kill.

Marvin Sosna

Morro Bay


Sarah Palin with her, “don’t retreat, reload,” Sharron Angle and her “second amendment remedies,” Joe “you lie” Wilson and their hatred and beliefs in myths and lies spewed by Glenn Beck, et al, have finally borne fruit.

A Democratic congresswoman, a federal judge and innocent men, women and children have been shot. Six people are dead and 13 wounded as I write this.

Palin had a political ad that placed the crosshairs of a gunsight over the 8th District, which is Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district. Palin and friends incited violence in someone to become a homegrown terrorist. They should be implicated and indicted in this heinous crime as co-conspirators.

Palin, Angle and Michele Bachmann hardly ever make sense and their arguments are never based on anything factual except their delusions. And this goes for Speaker John Boehner and all the “lock-step” new Republican members of Congress as well.

Their veiled threats to overthrow the president and government have infected the “fearful fifth,” the intentionally low-information citizens. Can we reinstate “truth in advertising” and also apply it to news and Congress for ethics’ sake?

Scott Jenkins

San Luis Obispo

All pay the price

Shootings are a dime a dozen in our gun-soaked culture. Most of the time, they draw a collective shrug. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” says the gun lobby. That is narrowly correct. But when a citizen shoots a political representative, we all should respond. We all ought to take responsibility.

Wearing seat belts was once thought to be a prudent idea, but now it is a national requirement. Why the change? Most of us drive safely and don’t need our seat belts. Seat belts are inconvenient and they restrict our individual rights.

But when a driver is not wearing a seat belt and is killed in an accident, we don’t say, “Cars don’t kill people, people do.” Instead, we suck it up and we buckle up. We restrict the freedom of many in the interest of sparing a few.

Why won’t we do that with handguns? Nations with tough gun laws look at Americans in amazement. They see our selfishness, our willingness to tolerate killings, just so we can enjoy a particular “right.” Ninety-nine percent of us could handle guns responsibly, but because 1 percent of us can’t (and never will because we are human), all of us must pay the price.

Jeff Wheelwright

Morro Bay


Congratulations to the National Rifle Association and all the other gun perverts for creating a society where any depraved lunatic can legally buy a gun, attempt to assassinate a U.S. congresswoman and murder six other people. You must be very proud. 

Myra Tompkins

San Luis Obispo

In love with stupid

Whether sick or angry, the Arizona shooter did evil, violating life and the sanctity of social discourse.

Others would slay ideologies and beliefs counter to theirs. They’ve filled the air and public space with enough poison that it produces anger, fear and hatred and spawns evil intent.

This is a time of unreason, with so little study or deliberation. People propound and condemn. Minds are closed, weakening our precious human capacity to reason.

It’s hard to tell where news and journalism begin and end and where opinion, attitude and political favoritism commence. That we consider networks to be either conservative or liberal is stupid. But we seem in love with stupid.

When manipulative windbags use their radio or TV time or print or blog space to spread untruths, innuendo, feed fear, or distort, they tease themselves and their followers into a frenzy who need to act out and seek a vestment of revenge. Such a mood is rampant.

Failure to confront the ugly shrill that has become a political mantra could pose grave risks to this nation. The last century evokes specter warnings. Hate, propaganda and might, in alliance, conjured modernity’s greatest evil. Let’s cool the vitriol and expunge political hate.

Tom Cochrun


Fear and hate

The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is beyond comprehension. We must ask ourselves this question: What fake 24/7 news channel and what political party teaches us to fear and hate our government?

Joe Hugh


Not ‘sponsored’

I’m a conservative, have been a gun owner and I abhor violence against another person, except for self-defense. I especially find it despicable that those whom we elect to office must assume the risk of violence against them. However, I’m also appalled by those who would leap to equating the tragic shootings in Arizona to be Republican-, conservative- or tea party-inspired.

In Paul Krugman’s recent commentary (“A political climate of hate,” Jan. 11), he states, “It’s really up to GOP leaders.” Krugman is, very sadly, a political opportunist. He argues that the Republican Party/tea party is responsible, by their rhetoric, and asserts the Democrats have no culpability.

I would argue the shootings were the product of a deranged person who was not “sponsored,” encouraged or formally associated with either political party.

I would, further, resist any future assertion that would result in consistent, or inconsistent, media censorship of MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC or the Internet in the context of “fairness” that may come from Krugman or his political peers.

In the context of “opportunistic” rhetoric or violence, “We’re better than this,” as per Gabrielle Giffords’ brother-in-law, Scott Kelly.

Richard Carroll


Exploiting actions

Tough firearms laws didn’t prevent Jared Loughner from illegally obtaining a weapon to gun down Arizona Congresswoman Giffords. Nor did conservatives ask Loughner to pull the trigger, yet his deranged actions are being exploited to push an agenda aimed at silencing conservatives and depriving Americans of their right to bear arms. Nothing is as disrespectful to Giffords or as divisive to America. Yet that is what The Tribune has done in multiple commentaries and letters since Saturday’s terrible events. It has used violence perpetrated by a single unstable individual to help create a climate of fear that may help a radical minority silence opponents and abridge constitutional freedom.

It has been said that dissent is the highest form of patriotism, so it is time for The Tribune to stand behind the right to express dissent. Moreover, The Tribune has an obligation to distance itself from those who cold-heartedly hijacked the Giffords’ tragedy for their own political agenda.

Bruce Curtis

Los Osos

Guns vs. guns

If Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, her staff and the 9-year-old had just had their arms at the ready, the alleged young man could never have carried out his awful act (National Rifle Association argument).

F. Stewart Thomson