Letters for January 10, 2013

‘This was clearly excessive!’

Re “Too much force?” (Newslines, by Vic Cantu, Jan. 3):

Not only does Butte County law enforcement use excessive force regularly, but it also disregards the need for any type of search or arrest warrants when it suits their moods.

As with most organizational problems it comes down to a matter of leadership. Rather than blame the rank-and-file officer, we should look long and hard at the law enforcement leadership that fosters a climate of brutality, poor training and no respect for citizens’ rights.

Joseph Cole

Once again, the Chico Police Department is blaming their actions on the state prisons for the early-release program that they endorsed in order to bring money into the county and their lack of resources (budget).

This was a clear case of police use of excessive force. I was trained how to recognize, report and use alternate non-lethal force when confronted with a mentally ill or under-the-influence person. This was clearly excessive!

Tula Bennett

The danger of Rx drugs

Re “Tragedy and the Greeks” (Top 10 Stories, Dec. 27):

Alcohol in the case of Mason Sumnicht was the primary cause of death, and it now seems that alcohol has become the primary focus. While alcohol abuse is an important issue, it is only one symptom of a much bigger problem, chronic drug abuse.

The facts are that, while alcohol is involved in most student overdose deaths, it is not the primary cause of death in the majority of cases in Chico. Nationwide in 2008, there were 14,800 prescription painkiller deaths. In 2010, 2 million people reported using prescription painkillers non-medically for the first time within the last year—nearly 5,500 a day.

The fact is that over the last seven years prescription painkillers have consumed more Chico State University students than alcohol. Prioritizing one lethal drug as more dangerous or important than another sends a shallow message and guarantees a failed outcome. If the desire is to prevent future student overdose deaths, do not simply address one symptom; address all chronic drug-abuse problems.

James Bettencourt

What kind of ‘surgery’?

Re “‘It’s just a rifle’” (Letters, by Donny Pauling, Dec. 27):

In his letter, Donny Pauling comments, “Passing new gun laws would be like placing a Band-Aid over a wound that needs surgery.” Please continue, Mr. Pauling: What might be the “surgery” that is needed?

Ira Heinrich
Ocean Park

Where’s Wally?

Tonight (Dec. 31), I wanted to contact our U.S. representative, Wally Herger, for a last-minute push for more cooperation with regard to solving our current fiscal crisis.

Twice, I tried pulling up his email page from the House website for a brief communication and found it was not available.

He is still our representative for a few more days, and I feel his lines of communication should remain open until his term of service is completed. I feel shut out by this move to shut down communication with his constituency before he is finished with the work he owes us.

Carlos Valencia
Forest Ranch

More about guns

Re “Who’s a true sportsman?” (Guest comment, by Dean Carrier, Jan. 3) and “We’ve got a militia” (Letters, by Richard Mazzuchi, Jan. 3):

Two things from your guest comment and a reader’s comment having to do with gun control and “assault” weapons beg for a response for the sake of our nation. Both of these writers clearly do not understand what the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is fundamentally for.

First, the one reader states that we have a national guard as a militia force, which could not be further from the truth. This force is a government-controlled military force and is used by the government at their beckoning.

Second, the guest comment clearly implies that the Second Amendment only allows for the populace to be armed at what level is necessary in order to take game when hunting, and beyond that the hunter is being unreasonable to want more firepower.

Everyone needs to understand that the Second Amendment to the Constitution does not allow the possession of guns by citizens in order to shoot at deer; it allows such possession to shoot at the government if it becomes tyrannical. Having firepower as equal to the government, including its National Guard, as possible is what the Second Amendment is all about! Disrespect this amendment, and you will be sorry!

Garry Cooper

The ban on semi-automatic rifles and pistols is only Stage 1 of the plan. If Stage 1 succeeds, then stage 2 will go after bolt-action rifles, shotguns and revolvers. If you want to prevent Stage 2, you also have to prevent Stage 1.

Tim DuPertuis

Dean Carrier appears to be a disciple of the Church of Jim Zumbo. He, too, figured that there is no place for an “assault weapon” in a sportsman’s hands and managed to alienate enough readers to lose his position as hunting editor for Outdoor Life and his television program, Jim Zumbo Outdoors.

While Mr. Carrier has no column or a TV show, I believe he has lost his mind when he states that bona-fide sportsmen should be restricted to only certain kinds of sporting rifles. This narrow-minded view on what should or should not be used by sportsmen affects not only game hunters, but also those who enjoy target sports, defensive gun owners, and other enthusiasts. His view also does not respect the intent of the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

What is conspicuously missing from his commentary is that the protection of sporting arms is not explicit in the right to keep and bear arms—but what is spelled out is the necessity of a well-regulated (read; equipped and trained) militia for the security of a free state. So through the lens of history and the founders’ intent, Mr. Carrier is promoting the abolition of defensive arms while attempting to neatly carve out a niche that serves his narrow and extremely selfish interests.

I think that Mr. Carrier should consider carefully that if semi-automatic firearms should be banned, that sporting arms would soon follow using the same justification that he uses to dispose of other people’s preferred equipment.

Craig Lonquist

Dear President Zingg:

Although I have long since graduated from Chico State, I have been reading about the problems currently facing the Greek system and want to express to you the positive impact of my time as a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.

Through socials and meetings I learned about friendship, organization and leadership. I held two executive offices during my time at Chico, vice president of alumni relations and later chapter president. After graduating I moved to Ohio to work for the national headquarters of Phi Kappa Tau and spent the next year traveling to college campuses throughout the Northeast. These experiences helped shape me into the man I am today.

The leadership skills I learned through Phi Kappa Tau have helped me throughout my career as a business professional. The lifelong friendships I have made have helped me through life.

For the past 10 years about 40 Phi Kappa Tau and Delta Sigma Phi alumni have gathered in December for dinner. We catch up on the past year and of course reminisce about our time together at Chico. Even more important than the conversations and memories is the money we raise that day. In past years we have donated to the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts Fund, since some of our fraternity brothers are Oakland firefighters.

This year, however, we are raising money to help a fraternity brother who is battling cancer and can’t afford to pay for chemotherapy. The group has raised almost $25,000 to help our brother’s fight.

Without the Greek system at Chico State, we would not be gathering, would not be donating, and would not be helping this person who is in need. Please keep in mind all the positive effects of the Greek system when you make a decision about its future at Chico State.

Jack Batchelor ’93