A few ideas to stop the violence

We would all agree that massacres like the one in Newtown, Conn., should be prevented. It is such a sad disaster that ruined hundreds of lives senselessly.

 What we don’t agree on is how to do that. The aftermath has energized advocates of gun control (again). The problem is broader than that and requires an approach on a number of levels.

1.  Gun Control: This should look more like education requirements to own and possess. Age restrictions and safe, locked storage requirements to prevent unauthorized use. Simply stopping law-abiding citizens from owning or possessing guns will not work.

2.  Violence: We see this every day in the news — gangs, video games — and it pervades our society. We need a war on violence and a return to decency that embodied our culture only a few decades ago. In fact, most of us still are decent, caring, generous people.

3.  Unstable citizens: We’ve taken away many of society’s fail-safes for the unstable in our culture. Instead of mental hospitals run by the state, we allow all but the most disturbed to wander amongst the rest of us. Many are homeless, drug addicts or troubled in ways most of us can’t fathom. We need to address the mentally ill in a way that both helps them and protects them from themselves and others.

4.  Stop the moral decay: Our culture of promoting “no absolutes” continues to cause decay in our society. When there is no clear right or wrong, when any idea or value is just as worthwhile as someone else’s idea or value without a standard for right and wrong, it is no wonder that people go crazy and somehow justify their actions in some twisted thought process the rest of us would reject. How about a return to the 10 Commandments for a start? Even these 10 rules are challenged in courts as somehow establishing a religion. We’ve outlawed prayer in public schools. We consider “politically incorrect” the traditional Judeo-Christian values upon which the founders of our country based our laws, and discard those ideas as outdated, or worse. It is time for a return to a moral compass in this country that provides boundaries of right and wrong and a sense of hope that comes only from doing right.

Alan White

Take control of your guns

Of all the reactionary calls for gun control in the week since the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, conspicuously absent in the debate is a call to insist that every gun purchased come with a free gun lock, and that anyone who keeps unlocked firearms in a home or workplace where there are people who are or could become emotionally unbalanced and inclined to steal these weapons to commit mass murder should be looked at as an accessory to those murders, in much the same way that parents who allow teenagers to have a party with alcohol at their home must either take the keys away from the kids or pay the price, should some drunk kid take off in his/her car and kill somebody.

These mass killings all seem to have one thing in common — a mentally or emotionally unbalanced person steals the weapons of someone he or she knows or lives with in order to carry out the crimes. Most of these nut jobs don’t actually own the guns. They just steal the gun from a careless relative.

Gun owners for the most part (unless they are gangsters in possession of illegal firearms) are responsible people.

Except when they leave their firearms unlocked and accessible to friends, family or strangers.

You’ll never curtail gun sales. Nor should you try. More often than not, it’s not the gun owners who are going off committing these atrocities — it’s the crazy son, daughter, nephew, niece, spouse or neighbor who comes over, steals their guns and goes out on a killing spree. 

What we need are more gun locks for the guns that exist, more opportunities for people to turn their guns in for gift certificates, etc., and less medicating of our youth for the convenience of the lazy parents who don’t want to deal with their children’s A.D.D. by spending quality time with them. And less verbal abuse of those children, understanding that they could someday steal an unlocked gun and go on a killing spree.

People are so quick to blame anyone and everyone except for themselves (and the people like them) when some completely preventable atrocity such as the Sandy Hook School massacre happens.

For God’s sake people, WAKE UP! Lock your guns (or turn them in for gift cards) and get psychological HELP for yourselves and those in your family you’re having problems with!

The only loaded guns we need to worry about … are PEOPLE (and the loaded guns they live with).

R.I.P., Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Justin Markman

You stand corrected, Mr. Moomjean

Re: “When did the left get so angry?” Right Persuasion, 12/13

So a parent complained about students leaving school to see “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Rightly so! Children go to be educated, not entertained.

So a publicly funded high school could not have a “Christmas concert.” Neither could it have had a “Prophet Mohammed concert.” The separation of church and state is a nonpartisan issue. If Muslims had tried to impose their views on non-Muslims, people on the left and the right would have shut that whole thing down.

The story about the Christmas tree ban is false. The Daily News ran a correction next day to shut that whole thing down: “But employees of JB Partners Group Inc., which manages The Willows, insisted Thursday there was no prohibition on Christmas trees or menorahs in communal areas.”

The Left got “so angry” when the Right became so intolerant and bigoted toward women. The Right wants victims of “legitimate rape” to be denied abortions because “the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” Translation: pregnant rape victims are sluts. Voters were appalled. They shut that whole thing down in November.

Raymond Freeman
Thousand Oaks

A word from Ojai FLOW

The following is a rebuttal to the recent flier sent by Golden State Water Company to its ratepayers in Ojai. Except for the second-to-last paragraph on the page signed by Denise Kruger, the information is misleading or simply not true. We are waiting for Casitas to announce the exact amount of the bond, at which time we will all know exactly how much each of us will save when we buy out Golden State. Until those numbers are released by Casitas, it is pointless to argue about the cost. We expect Casitas to announce the amount of the bond in January. At that time, the exact numbers will be available for a direct comparison between what customers are currently paying under Golden State and what they will be paying under Casitas.

With regard to the claim that the Felton water takeover did not benefit the community, we say ask the people of Felton and don’t take our word for it. Please read the two editorials created by Felton FLOW last year, which can be found under FELTON FLOW on the “Resources” page or our website www.ojaiflow.com/resources/.

Also, Felton recently just saved money by re-financing the bond they passed to buy out the water company. Felton FLOW says the average ratepayer will save an additional $60 per year. The message from the people of Felton is not that Felton made a bad decision, as Golden State would want you to believe, but rather the opposite. Felton is an example of a community that stood up to its water company and is now better for it.

With regard to the second-to-last paragraph, where Golden State mentions a projected rate reduction for the average Ojai Customer in 2013, we have no idea what they are talking about. We suggest you contact Golden State at (800) 999-4033 or visit the Ojai office at 408 Bryant Circle, Suite G, Ojai, and ask them what YOUR rates will be in 2013. Write a letter about your contact to the VCReporter, Ojai Valley News, the Ventura Star and the View. We are sure that all ratepayers would like to know how much our rates will go down.

We encourage Ojai ratepayers to visit our web page “GS Claims” at www.ojaiflow.com/gs-claims/ to get the latest rebuttal to claims made by Golden State and/or its front organizations.

Please donate to Ojai FLOW today at www.ojaiflow.com/donate to help us fight the Golden State misinformation campaign and to ensure we all will be informed when the time comes for a vote. We are all Ojai FLOW!

Pat McPherson & Ryan Blatz
Ojai FLOW Steering Committee Members

Hope for improvement in Oxnard

The coming year chimes in a new hope for the Oxnard Hispanic community. Gone are the traditional opponents, Tom Holden and Irene Pinkard, who, like her husband, Bedford, before her, laid out an anti-Latino agenda that plagued Hispanics in many areas for many years. Under Holden’s reign and the support of gutless puppets, Hispanics suffered defeat in efforts close to their hearts, such as the effort to send the state of Arizona a message that their racist laws were not acceptable to the people of Oxnard. In addition, family businesses that win or lose clientele on the ability to sell beer and wine were consistently negated that crucial business incentive. However, Fresh and Easy and gas station stores that operated close to schools under the wand of non-Hispanic ethnicities found favor under Holden. Now, Hispanics can feel represented and respected at long last. It remains to be seen just how courageously Tim Flynn and his team will pursue sensitive issues like police overtime, “errant” shootings and its obscene budget, which is four times the size of Ventura’s police department. It has been noted, however, that Chief Jeri Williams’ dispatching policies have been modified to reduce excessive use of three units to question high school truants and homeless persons and seven units to address minor fender-benders. The police budget is horrendously out of touch with reality and the needs of the city.  When seven officers are used to kill an innocent bystander or create a homicide situation in which a victim high on meth has to be so forcefully subdued that it costs him his life, the City Council must insist on major changes. The people of Oxnard have reason to hope for improvement in these areas if we can count on wisdom and courage at the top.

Miguel Espinosa

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