Letters for February 28, 2013

Proximity to guns is not the problem

Re “Big shot” by Christopher Arns (SN&R Feature Story, February 21):

As a Sacramento gun owner, I was pleased to learn in your article that Sacramento's ammunition ordinance has resulted in the seizure of 230 guns from people who shouldn't have them, like convicted felons. Personally, I find giving my fingerprint to be only a very slight inconvenience when I buy ammunition for practice, and I am happy to hear that the law has produced some positive results.

Meanwhile, Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty is quoted as saying, “You could literally open a gun shop next door to a school, church or day-care facility, and there's nothing in the city's books to prohibit it.” McCarty seems to assume that this would be a very bad thing, but I fail to see why. It's not as if children are allowed to wander in and purchase guns with their lunch money. Guns do not project supernatural auras that harm children merely by their proximity. Campus resource police officers, who wear their guns on school grounds, know this, and Councilman McCarty would do well to take notice of it.

Chase Buchanan


Are gussied-up foster homes the answer?

Re “Pure intentions, muddy policy” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Frontlines, February 21):

What I take from this article is that Courage House is the answer to a political soapbox/cocktail-party issue du jour that is based on “extrapolated” sex-trafficking statistics that, in Sacramento, appear to be fed by children from within the foster-care system (90 percent of victims of trafficking are from the foster system, per the article). The Courage House answer appears to be a newer, more expensive foster group home. But is all this investment producing better results than a traditional foster home? If so, bravo! But how is success being measured, and what is Courage House doing differently that accounts for the improved outcomes? Surely, it isn’t only the rural setting and the white-picket fences. If services and outcomes aren’t measured beyond vague statements about girls getting a GED certificate, then this “model” cannot be disseminated across the foster-care system.

Benjamin Bannister


Money needs oversight

Re “Pure intentions, muddy policy” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Frontlines, February 21):

Raheem, I owe you an apology. After reading the sentence “Ever since ’human trafficking’ caught fire as a tear-jerking buzz term about five years ago, it’s swept up people’s imaginations with images of Third World inhabitants crammed in cargo containers and non-English speakers chained up in garment factories,” I thought you were being a bit flippant regarding the issue. But I don’t believe that was your intent. I do believe we should be vigilant regarding the spending of public monies to promote and advocate for certain causes, and especially so where the “faith-based” approach is involved. Are they taking the money from taxpayers and subjecting the young women to their version of Christianity? Are they “required” to attend services? If so, it reminds me of the scene in George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, where the poor have to listen to hours of Christian indoctrination in order to eat. I do hope that’s not happening here, and as much as trafficking in young women is a real and horrific problem, throwing money at it without oversight isn’t going to make it better. Bravo to you.

Rick Houston


Doesn’t K.J. have a day job?

Re “What viable arena plan?” by Nick Miller (SN&R Editor’s Note, February 21):

I’m in the last of five months that I spend each year in Sacramento County, and while here, I read The Sacramento Bee online and SN&R at The Coffee Garden. One cannot fail to notice the coverage given to a contest between various millionaires to own a professional-sports franchise. Inserting himself into the snarling between millionaires is the mayor of Sacramento. Having read the record over the past five months, the mayor comes across as a never-ending shill for local millionaires. After five months, I’ve yet to notice an article regarding the mayor that is not connected to this franchise struggle. Doesn’t he have a day job? The taxpayer ought not have a dog in this fight at all.

Owen McGowan


Get it right, Miller

Re “What viable arena plan?” by Nick Miller (SN&R Editor’s Note, February 21):

I read your latest Editor’s Note in SN&R, and I couldn’t be more disappointed. First, I will say that I think it is great for people to disagree with the decision to try and keep the Sacramento Kings in town and build a new arena. It is fundamentally important to have opposing opinions.

However, when those opinions are backed up by incorrect information, it is ill-fated at best to continue to oppose. When those opinions are then printed, and thus carry the weight of fact for some people given your position, it is extremely dangerous. Where are you getting your facts? The new arena will cost $300 million? That’s simply not true. At present, it’s $255 million. Next, how exactly are the Sacramento taxpayers paying for that? If you had actually done any research into the situation, then you would know that the general fund will not be affected in the long run. Also, throwing the fact that parking will be affected is flat-out incorrect. Again, if you had done your research, you would know this.

Dissension is OK. Dissension while being uninformed is criminal.

Bert Beattie

via email

Editor’s note: SN&R stands by its story.