Dear editor,

The editors narrative when talking about those who want to close loopholes allowing purchases of guns at gun shows without background checks, including the president, could be found in an NRA handbook. He says, no loopholes exist. Mark O’Mara, CNN legal analyst and gun owner with concealed carry permit says the 1968 Gun Control Act allowed individuals to sell guns from their own “personal collections”, without a background check. In 1986 the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act opened the doors for licensed dealers to sell from their own “personal collections” without background checks. More guns became “personal collections”. “To be or not to be”, loophole or not. “That is the question”? One persons loophole is another’s perceived entitlement, including the editors, who says, “Those are not, and should not be, subject to backgrounds checks.” I’ll leave readers to their own good sense whether this constitutes a loophole. He says, there is no “Assault Weapon”. While I know little about the innumerable types of weaponry there was a ban on “semiautomatic assault weapons” from 1994 through 2004 which the NRA tried to stop and succeeded in 2004 when it came up for renewal. While I may not know, they knew, what had been banned. A rose by any other name is still a rose. He believes, “the president’s actions will make it easier to buy a gun. Bottom line, this is just more do-nothing optics from a president who neither understands, nor respects the Constitution”. Obama taught Constitutional Law, but editors understand.

Albert Newland

Pittsburg

 

Editor wrong on schools

Letter to the Editor:
      I always read your editorials with a certain trepidation, and today was no different, especially since the first word was”Liberals,” and I thought, “Here we go again.  What will Liberals be blamed for now?”   I was not wrong in thinking you might need to check your facts and your conservatism.
     Even though your editorial was an attack on the education system as you see it, I laughed out loud at this paragraph:  “Conservatives, however, tend to believe that most people are reasonably intelligent and, if left to their own devices, will generally  do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves." In the past four years, according to the Guttmacher Institute, almost 300 state laws have been passed by conservative legislatures restricting women’s reproductive rights and access to healthcare.  So it seems conservatives believe that women are unable to “do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves” and think they know what is better for all women.  Those who believe in equality for all take issue with that blatantly false statement.
     That laughable comment aside, I was even more struck by your seeming ignorance about how education and curriculum work, at least locally, and, I, personally, as an educator, don’t appreciate your pejorative comment that “schools are a complete cluster you-know-what.”
     As a local English teacher, let me enlighten you on how my classroom curriculum is affected by government, in this case, the local school board.  Since the implementation of Common Core Standards several years ago, department staffs have made some changes in the curriculum to comply.  But Arnie Duncan, the federal government, and the state have very little effect on what we decide to actually do in the classroom.
     Our school board, most especially our Superintendent, believes that teachers know what we are doing, have the expertise to do it, and based on our experience,  we, the teachers, decide what we will teach.   So, we do agree on something, as you said, “what it really comes down to, is that either you trust people or you don’t.”
      Yes, we have Common Core Standards, but based on those, we still have hundreds of choices of what our students will read and myriad choices on how to implement those standards, and individual teachers decide what those will be. We are constantly tweaking, redefining, and improvising new reading materials and teaching techniques.  We have staff meetings weekly, communicate daily, and share ideas, materials, and techniques constantly.   I really wish you had talked to any local teacher before making comments on how “inefficient” and what a “cluster you-know-what” we are.
        At Pittsburg High School, we teach a variety of research methods, vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation. Perhaps you and your staff would like to check it out.

Sincerely,

Lyn Schultze

Pittsburg