Letters for September 17, 2015

Give it away

Re “What about when the boom fades?” (Left Foot Forward, Aug. 27):

“Growth is coming!” according to Mike Kazmierski of EDAWN. “Why isn’t everyone getting ready to welcome it?” he asked in an opinion piece in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Sheila Leslie responded that if the economic development bodies give away taxing benefits to bring outside corporations to our area, how will the needed public services be paid for, by increasing sales and property taxes? Residents are not enthusiastic because they have seen growth fall short of benefiting them in the past. These are questions northern Nevadans need to demand answers to. How can we plan for sustainable community growth? A local non-profit called ACTIONN has been researching how large projects in other cities have been structured to produce lasting benefits for their communities in exchange for benefits given to developers. ACTIONN is advocating for standards requiring a percentage of jobs created to be hired locally; requiring jobs to pay living wages, sufficient to support a family without reliance on public assistance; requiring apprenticeship or training set asides; and requiring materials be bought locally for local projects. These standards would help insure that the growth benefits everyone in our community not just the developers.

Ruth Stacy


Take my gun … please

Re “Shooting back” (News Pic, Aug. 20):

Your article on a firearm background check question on the ballot titled “Shooting Back” did not include very much factual information about the issue. Basically, when people buy firearms from licensed gun dealers, they have to pass a federal “instant” background check before they can make the purchase. But if they buy the weapon from a private individual, even on a gun-for-sale website that matches up buyers and sellers, a background check is not required, which pretty much defeats the purpose of having background checks. If you are a criminal looking to buy a gun, which would you choose? “Everytown for Gun Safety” is proposing universal background checks for every gun sale, which your article referred to as “Michael Bloomberg’s measure.” Universal background checks enjoy widespread political support and have been shown to reduce certain gun crimes by almost 50 percent in states that require them.

That being said, anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year is prohibited from purchasing a firearm, which can include things like “failure to disperse” charges in some states, which means if you are swept up and arrested at a peaceful demonstration where a few people start trouble, you could be banned from purchasing a firearm, which is troubling. There are many, many minor offenses that are punishable by more than one year in prison. It doesn’t say you were sentenced to a year in prison, just that you could have been sentenced to a year!

Here is the list of things that will prevent a person from passing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS):

Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

Is a fugitive from justice.

Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.

Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution.

Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or who has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.

Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.

Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship.

Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner.

Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

Criteria numbers 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 10 are a bit strange if the purpose of these background checks is to prevent gun crimes. Instead, it should include things such as having been found guilty of a crime involving a deadly weapon, having been convicted of a crime involving assault or battery, having been convicted of making terroristic threats, being on a list of potentially violent psychiatric patients, having been convicted of crimes involving grand theft, burglary, armed robbery, etc. It seems as if the intention is to prevent anyone who has been in trouble with the law for any reason from owning a gun, which in post-September 11 America is a fair proportion of the population. As many as 68 million Americans have some kind of criminal record!

So yes, I think universal background checks are a good idea, but not if the criteria are so broad that they revoke the Second Amendment rights of large numbers of Americans guilty of minor offenses. Something to think about when you go to the polls.

Edwin Stamm

via email

Get rid of illegal people

Re “If the issue’s predictable, so is the outrage” (Left Foot Forward, Sept. 3):

I firmly believe that this lawsuit [against state grants to parents for private school] is really based on the fact that these funds come out of the school’s budget, and they have raised objections to the cost of home schooling not being the $5,000 that’s given to the students. The fact is that our schools have been overrun with illegals and all of the crying and bitching about a shortfall the school district. Give the undocumented immigrants $850 per illegal and only $350 per American students and even with their crying, the school district was able to come up with another $3 million for undocumented immigrants, these cockroaches are a money ATM for the school district, and it has got to stop. Vote for Trump so we can rid our state of these trespassers.

Joseph Benenati


Damn everyone

Re “If the issue’s predictable, so is the outrage” (Left Foot Forward, Sept. 3):

Why damn the Republicans only? The Republicans that voted for this travesty needed the Democrats to vote for it as well. Both the Democrats and those RINO Republicans voted this in. As far as most conservatives are concerned, they are all Democrats!

Patti Mudd


Let it pee

Re “Altered states” (Feature story, Sept. 3):

There is a lot of scientific research supporting the efficacy of energy healing and flotation R.E.S.T. (sensory deprivation). It appears that your writer did not do very much background research. Also highly unprofessional of the author to attempt to stereotype the staff as “hippies.” Mr. Bynum should get with the times. It should also be noted that the author signed a waiver agreeing to take financial responsibility for urinating in the tank, and he will be expected to honor that.

Micah Bowser