Letters for March 8, 2018

Preserve our rights

Re: “The tyranny of the NRA” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, March 1):

Jaime O’Neill’s guest comment having to do with the NRA and gun rights is one of the most specious arguments I have read of late on gun violence. First of all, Jaime, if it weren’t for American citizens arming themselves, our country would not exist in the first place. Gun ownership, like freedom of press and our other constitutional rights all serve one main function—to deter tyranny by a centralized government. Yes, Jaime, that very government that you fear and deride in every one of your writings. Trump, Obama, Bushes or Clintons, as much as they would like to have unrestrained power, are being kept in check at all times as long as our rights are preserved.

Leftists, like Hitler’s ilk, preached your same anti-gun rhetoric and we all know how that ended up. If anyone suggested screening violent movies and video games for their propensity to cause violence, you’d scream “free speech!” and claim media has no influence.

Also, admit that teachers, like you, indoctrinate our youth with their liberal agenda as much as teach these days, preaching hate and demanding parents not discipline children. Now look what’s happened!

Garry Cooper


Sticky Second Amendment

In United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”

John Paul Stevens served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010. In his book Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, he writes that five words should be added to the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” He goes on to say, “The amendment certainly would not silence the powerful voice of the gun lobby; it would merely eliminate its ability to advance one mistaken argument.”

Five years after his retirement, during a 1991 appearance on “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” Chief Justice Warren Burger remarked that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.” He was referring to the NRA, of course.

Diane Suzuki


Inequality must end

Re “Profound differences” (Letters, by Corey Finnegan, March 1):

I agree with Corey Finnegan that my use of “dividing” was a poor word choice when I wrote, “Truly uniting would necessitate that Democrats stop emphasizing and dividing people by their specialness, be it sexual, racial or religious, and embracing with compassion our common humanity.”

The idea I was trying to communicate, is that real progressive Democrats need to be inclusive, looking for and emphasizing what the “usual Democratic base” and Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” have in common, their human needs for affordable health care and education, jobs and respect.

The logo of the local Mobilize group, having symbols for the usual special groups, but leaving out symbols for male and Christian, typifies a Democratic approach.

With inequality at levels unseen since the 1920s, it is time for the bottom 90 percent to unite. With such unity, there could be real change.

Greater inequality worldwide is leading to the rise of new leaders: Jeremy Corbyn in Great Britain, Lopez Obrador in Mexico, and two populist parties just won the most votes in Italy. Hopefully Bernie Sanders will win here in 2020!

The establishment worldwide denigrates populism. They are scared of government by the people and for the people. Probably they will blame Russian meddling.

Lucy Cooke

Butte Valley

A few on animal services

There have been countless letters attesting to the abilities of the Chico Animal Shelter in the papers lately. The topic at hand is whether or not the city should continue to run the shelter as is. There have also been letters in support of Butte Humane Society running the shelter … from its own board members. No letters from other animal rescue groups or nonprofits, no letters from members of the community, just its own board members. Even a former board member of BHS wrote a letter that said BHS is not ready to run the shelter.

BHS hasn’t run the animal shelter since 2012. Since then they have had countless staff changes and turnover and are currently staffed with employees that have no shelter experience or knowledge. When BHS ran the shelter before, even with staff with shelter experience, they ran it poorly. At this point, BHS is inexperienced and underqualified to handle the intake of the city’s stray and unwanted animals. How can we expect them to know what to do now? The city should keep things the way they are, with qualified staff and superior animal care.

Sarah Downs


So far, we’ve heard from six of the 11 BHS board members, plus a previous board member, and it’s clear they are completely out of touch.

Although they say BHS is transparent, there are no statistics posted on their website. How many animals do they take in and how many are euthanized? Why don’t they list their five highest paid staff and their salaries on their 990s, as required?

They talk about redundancy, but do not understand city services. Starting with Animal Control, which BHS has never done, and is not prepared to take on. The only thing BHS does that the city does is adoptions. So who is actually redundant?

They claim not to receive government funding. They have in the past, and currently the city is subsidizing their adoption program by providing staff to feed and clean up after their adoptable dogs, and providing food and cleaning supplies, while BHS keeps the (much higher than the city’s) adoption fees! Having the city do all of the adoptions would actually increase revenue for the city (and make it more affordable to adopt).

Just because BHS says something over and over doesn’t make it true.

Karen Holcomb


Importance of the Esplanade House

In the past few months, nearly 700 community members have signed a petition on Change.org requesting that the board of the Community Action Agency of Butte County evaluate issues that have been identified, particularly those relating to the mismanagement of the Esplanade House.

The petition requested that the board conduct independent compliance and financial audits, as well as evaluate personnel and program concerns. With homelessness and opiate abuse on the rise in Chico, the Esplanade House remains one of the few viable local resources for families. Protecting the facility, and perhaps more importantly, the programs, is paramount.

As we prepare to print and deliver the petition to the CAA board, we wanted to take a moment to thank the community for recognizing the value and importance of the Esplanade House programs, and stepping up to help protect their long-term viability. We hope that the board will finally acknowledge the seriousness of these issues and take action.

Angela McLaughlin