Letters for July 11, 2019

The debates

After watching the two Democratic debates, I see they don’t have much to say on policy, granted they only had minutes each to answer the questions. On violence and gun control, may I suggest the government, either local, state or federal, start a buy back program to give people another choice as to the disposition of the guns they no longer want or have acquired by other means—gifts or inheritance. Right now the only choices the gun owners have is to keep the guns. They could sell it or gift it but the only ones who will want it are other gun users. In those cases, the guns are still in circulation. In any of those cases the owner wants to be rid of the gun. Give them another choice and take them out of the market. This is not a mandatory program. No one is forced to give up a gun. It is the owner’s choice. The owner wants to get rid of it, and this is just another option.

Dewey Quong


Please fix the existing debate format before we have to endure the next. It is paramount for me that the press play no role in selecting my candidate and what I saw in these first examples is a continuation of the press deciding which candidate deserved the most attention.

It is simple, folks—ask a question, let every candidate take a shot at responding with a followup if needed. For this many candidates, allowing one-on-one discussions might make for fun TV, but not for informative debate. Those interactions can be saved for when the playing field is final rounds. This would not only be more fair to the candidates, it would also force moderators to stop wasting time on gotcha questions and questions designed only to initiate or perpetuate personal attacks. We won’t hear all the possible questions that can be asked, but we can get sufficient information to provide a first-round filter. Prioritize questions based on already-known differences on issues of general importance and immediate relevance such as child detention centers, the crisis in the gulf, general foreign policy (let them make their elevator speech if they want), etc. You can get to the other questions after these highly indicative filtering questions are responded to. At this point, the job of the press is to provide a way for voters to do their own filtering if they haven’t already decided. Putting candidates in the equivalent of a cage match while giving one or more the unfair advantage of unbalanced focus does not promote the discussion or democracy.

Michel Rottmann

Virginia City Highands


(“Hostage-taking in a hot economy,” Left Foot Forward, July 3):

Thank you. From personal experience, many of the apartment owners are crooks, and so many buildings have been paid off for many years. Am typing using free wi-fi living in my car most of the time. Greed has overtaken.

Dan Williams


Land withdrawals

(“Nevada refuge in spotlight,” news, July 3)

Great article. Since there is no actual Secretary of Defense, I guess you could follow up with an interview with the tank driver roaming around Washington D.C. Maybe he knows who is in charge.

Matt Dakin

West Sacramento


Re “East Walker beauty” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, July 3):

Hey, Bruce. What part of “secret ballots” don’t you understand? What this woman hates is men like you thinking you have a right to tell me who I shouldn’t have voted for. For Godsakes, dig yourself, man.

Susan L’Angelle



First they came for the refugee children, but I wasn’t one.

Then they came for the investigative reporters, but there weren’t many real ones left.

Then they came for the unions, but they’d been mostly degutted long ago.

Then they came for the progressives, not realizing anyone left of center is a progressive.

Then they lost, and the world became a good place again.

What a nice fairy tale.

Craig Bergland