Demand gun control
As a retired elementary school teacher, I know well what the last week of school before summer break looks like. The excitement and anticipation of a long, restful summer, a break from routines of academics with games, signing of memory books, movies, pizza parties. Instead, 19 students and two teachers are dead and blood is on the hands of the Republican Party whose members refuse any kind of even reasonable gun control.
I am not running for public office, so I have no problem stating the obvious: The United States of America is a sham of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Every one of us who simply shakes our head at yet another senseless shooting, but does nothing to contact members of Congress and others who have blocked reasonable gun control, is complicit in this violence.
A “well regulated militia” is what the Bill of Rights says. The founding fathers never imagined assault weapons that are not designed for any sport other than killing many people with no skill.
I urge everyone to flood Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Josh Harder and the White House with emails. The Republican Party and their uncompromising support of gun ownership need to be voted out of office.
Anita Bruce, Modesto
Numb to random carnage
Another senseless shooting. This time in Uvalde, Texas. As a nation, we have become numb to this random carnage. We are the only country where these gun slaughters occur. There will probably be other incidents prior to the reading of this comment.
Nothing seems to help. Perhaps if our senators and representatives (particularly on one side of the aisle) did not have excellent security to insulate themselves from gun violence, they might finally stand up to the NRA and gun lobbyists and pass legislation to stem the proliferation of gun sales and the resulting avoidable tragedies.
Jim Hoagland, Ripon
What Memorial Day means
The Vietnam Service Medal on my dress blues has one silver and two bronze stars; each bronze star represents one military campaign, and the silver represents five. As my fingers touch the stars, they elicit remembrance of the brotherhood of ordinary young men from across the nation who voluntarily answered the call during the Vietnam conflict to do the extraordinary. It is a 1966-68 time capsule that includes two childhood friends who gave their all.
How do we honor such sacrifice? Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg made that clear: “That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”
The message seems to elude many, as Memorial Day has become another long weekend for many to enjoy only the fruits of those sacrifices.
“The people, by the people, for the people” behavior renews their memory and gives meaning to the liberties we enjoy. As Lt. Col. John McCrae so eloquently wrote of their devotion in “In Flanders Fields,” “To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.”
Hector Barrera, Ceres
Pizza double standard
I’m 13. My friend tried to get a pizza delivered to Turlock Junior High School. He was refused because of “allergy issues,” and the office staff “volunteered” to eat it for him. But a few minutes later we see a teacher and his students delivering eight boxes of pizza to their classroom. Does their class have allergies?
Kai Bennett, Turlock
Can’t have it both ways
I received a political mailer that called Adam Gray a “Trump Democrat.” My neighbor received one the same day saying Gray was a “Pelosi Democrat.” We were laughing about how impossible it was for anyone to be both these things, especially since we know that Gray has the support of law enforcement, teachers, construction workers, farmers, doctors and business owners. We know Adam Gray. He fights for our area, and stands up for us no matter the opposition.
Linda Dash, Atwater
Alanis knows public safety
Juan Alanis is a Stanislaus County sheriff’s sergeant who supervises over 40 deputies. He has served this community as patrol watch commander, school resource officer and as a child crimes detective.
A proven leader, Juan has what it takes to address California’s growing crime problem. Juan will use his 27 years of law experience to fix broken laws that have fueled rising crime rates, led to smash-and-grab robberies and put law-abiding families at risk. He’ll fight hard to protect neighborhoods from crime.
Tim Mohr, Modesto
Condit is one of us
In the race for the State Assembly’s newly created District 22, we have a rare opportunity to send someone to Sacramento who is one of our own Valley-grown leaders to represent us.
Chad Condit has grown up here in the heart of Stanislaus County, served our country in the Navy and has been an advocate for the Central Valley’s best interest for decades. He has the experience and knowledge to get the job done in Sacramento. Chad wants to make our neighborhoods safer by providing more funding to local law enforcement agencies and wants to actually fix our water storage crisis.
I have personally known Chad for over 45 years and I have worked legislatively with him for many years as well, so I know he will be a very responsive elected leader and will always be accessible to his constituency. If we send Chad Condit to Sacramento, you can believe he will deliver for his district.
Brenda Scudder Herbert, Ceres
Withrow defends Wood Colony
Since 2010, Terry Withrow has been on the Board of Supervisors and has done a phenomenal job for Stanislaus County. As a CPA, his knowledge helped make the county financially stronger; he led the way to make investments in neighborhoods and roads and he stopped the plan for a 24-hour gas station in Salida. He also reopened the sheriff’s substation in Salida and led the fight against the state’s water grab.
He created the Wood Colony MAC (Municipal Advisory Council) so we wouldn’t be blindsided by the city of Modesto or the likes of his opponent’s biggest financial supporter, and he has never wavered in the fight to save the prime farmland that is Wood Colony from development, unlike his opponent.
Lisa Dovichi-Braden, Modesto
No mask? Deal breaker
Terry Withrow’s unwillingness to simply wear a mask in meetings was not just a “stunt,” but arrogant and disrespectful behavior. That’s not leadership and there’s no way he’s getting my vote.
Candice Carleton, Modesto
More perspective on Russia
Re “Russian cruelty” (Letters, May 15): This letter correctly points out that Russian autocrats, whether Ivan the Terrible or Vladimir Putin, care little for human life, however, his points need both perspective and correction.
According to the WHO, 36% of Russian men are alcoholics vs. about 17% of American men. Russians consumed at one time on average over four gallons annually, far more than Americans. However, over 10% of America women are alcoholics; only 7% of Russian women are. Indeed, Russian consumption was only the fourth-highest in Europe and is comparable to other European Union countries. Additionally, government efforts to curb alcoholism led to a decline in consumption from 4.16 gallons a decade ago to 3.09 in 2016 and 2.04 in 2019.
The writer is way off when he claims Ivan IV killed millions of people. First, Russia probably only had 6-7 million people during Ivan’s reign. Second, the most academically reliable figure for Ivan’s deaths ranges from 60,000 to 220,000.
Samuel A. Oppenheim, Franklin, MA
Check health options carefully
Being in the health insurance industry for 35 years, specializing in the senior market and now utilizing traditional Medicare and a supplemental plan, Medicare Advantage/HMO plans are not for me.
By signing up for a Medicare Advantage/HMO plan, you lose the use of your traditional Medicare card for health care benefits. That’s right, your Medicare card is invalid, especially when traveling. Your health care benefits are usually limited to your service area. Most specialists prefer traditional Medicare/supplemental plans vs. Medicare Advantage/HMO plans.
A “Medicare and You” handbook is mailed each year to each senior. The back section shows Medicare Advantage/HMO plans in each county. It will show you the deductible you will be responsible for, and in most cases, for a major medical incident. Including your out-of-pocket costs for chemotherapy drugs, that usually runs 20% to 40%. Be sure to review all your options with an agent who specializes in the senior market.
So, Rep. Josh Harder, continue to support traditional Medicare and Medicare supplemental plans where you and your doctor are in control of your health care, and not your Medicare Advantage/HMO plan.
Arlene M. Avila, Turlock