Letters for March 12, 2015
Re “No welcome mat” (Feature story, March 5):
The spirit of decency that we saw in Bill Raggio may yet live in Sandoval. I just looked at Bill Raggio’s legislative biography 2009, at his list of awards and acknowledgements: Champion of Education Award, Civic Leader of the Year, Dean’s Award, Educational Leadership Award, Distinguished Contributions to Health Care and Medicine in Nevada, etc. Two pages worth. It wasn’t so long ago that the Republican Party still had a soul.
No playing with fire
I am writing to express my discomfort in the possible passage of A.B. 148 and the idea that with only a few hours of training any person would be able to carry a concealed weapon on a college campus in Nevada. The thought of this is terrifying to me. I was raised around guns, and am very comfortable around and using guns. I have also been a student for the past three years at the University of Nevada, Reno. While there have been times while walking alone on and around campus that I have felt fear, the thought of others around me having weapons on them has not and would not give me any comfort. The fact is that just because you have a concealed carry permit does not mean that you are well trained enough to never be disarmed by a stranger who could then turn that gun on you, or that only good upstanding citizens would use guns to step in to help fellow students in need. People who mean harm are able to obtain guns all the time, and I would rather they not be walking next to me or anyone else on campus.
Re “Spoils has two meanings” (Let Freedom Ring, Feb. 19):
Recently Brendan Trainor replayed his favorite tune, cut taxes because—government. Really, why cut taxes? Referring to the Nevada Republican platform, Trainor says we should cut because “Nevada doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem.” Indeed, we do have a spending problem, and it has been caused by freeloading, anti-government, anti-tax cranks like Trainor, the same cranks who have helped Nevada get to the bottom of many a good list and the top of some embarrassingly bad lists, like these, for example:
• Dead last in public school education
• Worst dropout rate
• Worst graduation rate
• 44th in math
• 48th in reading skills
• No. 7 in teen suicide
• No. 2 for suicide overall
Yet Trainor says Nevada should imitate North Carolina, which recently reduced its state income tax to 5.75 percent. How much higher is that than the Nevada state income tax? Umm, it’s 5.75 percent higher. We don’t have state income tax. When Nevada wants to cut fat, it can’t. It has to cut bone.
One consequence of such cutting is the sort of mental disorder Brendan Trainor has contracted: Ayn-Randychosis. Symptoms include blurred vision, loss of hearing, ahistoricity, factual malformations, data indigestion, obsessive sloganeering, and the general wooden-headedness that sets in when doctrine substitutes for thinking.
The cure is a short rehabilitative stay in a country with virtually no government or taxes—Somalia tops the 2013 Failed States Index. His time there would be a breath of fresh air for us all.
It’s on the internet so it must be true
Re “You will be hacked” (Feature story, Feb. 12):
“They just found different attack vectors,” pretty much sums up all electronics since computerization and network security began. Consider the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on “network security” over the past 50 years, and yet, doink, they find new vectors. That is not going away. Now, about the Help America Vote Act and the entire U.S. electoral system (and much of the industrialized world) being on Windows-based AKA a sieve, secret software 80 percent-plus of which is sold and administered by three companies, Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia. The vote, the count, the tally and the send to final aggregation via the internet all being electronic. Is that a bill of goods or what? Argonne Labs techs hacked two Diebold machines from a mile and a half away with a laptop and a $10 gizmo from RadioShack. Do a search, it happened.
Re “True colors” (Left Foot Forward, Feb. 12):
With all due respect to Sheila Leslie, whom I admire greatly, I will believe Gov. Sandoval truly cares about children, families, and education when he vetoes S.B. 119, the bill that guts fair wage requirements for many public construction projects. The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation recently reported that wages in Nevada did not grow last year in “real” terms due to inflation. In other words, the buying power of working people is less than it was the year before. The only reason the news isn’t worse, according to the department, is because construction jobs tend to pay higher than other types of jobs, and that buoyed the wage rate overall. Well, now working families in Nevada can expect their buying power to fall even more. With much fanfare, state Senate Republicans have approved Senate Bill 119. It’s specifically designed to lower wages paid to construction workers. This state will never again flourish as long as the paychecks of hardworking people can’t even keep up with inflation. If Gov. Sandoval is truly interested in children, families, and affordable education, he will veto S.B. 119. That is, of course, unless he intends his so-called economic recovery to benefit only those who are already wealthy.
Locked and loaded
As a graduate student at UNR, I am extremely concerned about two bills which have recently been introduced into the legislature. A.B. 2 and A.B. 148 will both allow weapons on school properties, including the college that I currently attend. I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but there must be common-sense protections in order to ensure the safety of our nation. This is a frightening prospect for a number of reasons. In 2013, Time reported that New York police officers, with extensive gun training, only hit their targets about 18 percent of the time. Concealed carriers will inevitably have a lower accuracy rate, thus constituting a serious threat to students if they ever feel the need to use their weapons, even when attempting to help. Furthermore, if a shooting does take place, a trained officer or fellow concealed weapon carriers are unlikely to know which individual brandishing a gun is the “bad guy.” These bills must be defeated for the safety of students throughout the state. Take the time to call your legislator and tell them about your opposition. Help keep me my fellow students and me safe on campus.