Letters: Jail alternatives | Slow gun violence

Second Amendment

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County should go toward
alternatives to new jail

Last week, Supervisor Otto Lee ignored community outpouring and voted for a new jail (“County to move forward with new $390M jail,” Page B1, Jan. 27).

Four and a half years ago I was homeless. I have bipolar and I was without medication. A situation happened where the police showed up but so did an ambulance. Instead of going to jail, I went to the hospital.

From there I started receiving treatment. After a lot of rehabilitation, guidance, and work, I have housing, I have medication, I’m back in school, and I have direction in my life. I have hope. I hate to think what could have happened if I had ended up going to jail for a mental health issue.

Rehabilitation does not happen in jails, it happens in social services.

I urge readers to call Supervisor Lee’s office to ask him to change his vote to no on a new jail and yes on alternatives to incarceration.

Andrew Siegler

S.J. gun ordinance will
help slow gun violence

Re. “S.J. gun law is ripe for defeat in court,” Letters to the Editor, Page A8, Jan. 28:

I applaud Mayor Sam Liccardo and the San Jose City Council for their courageous vote for gun control. This will save lives and educate and redirect potential gun violators.

Gun lovers love to quote the Second Amendment, which they think gives them individual gun rights. It states that a gun owner needs to be part of a well-regulated militia.

There is an inverse relationship between strict state laws and gun deaths. California is No. 1 in strict gun laws, No. 44 in gun deaths in 2019; Mississippi is No. 48 in laws, No. 2 in deaths. When Sunnyvale passed its strict gun ordinances in 2013 they were sued by the NRA; the NRA lost.

Every day we hear about another shooting. Let’s change that.

Myra Orta
Los Altos

PG&E needs new
model for its business

The Jan. 31 article “A fight over rooftop solar” (Page C9, Jan. 31) highlights the dangerous philosophy of PG&E – “the more electricity they sell, the more money they make,” and rooftop solar is a threat to that.

With federal climate change action stuck in Congress, we can’t afford to undermine rooftop solar in California. The benefits are clear:

• Homeowners save money and make better conservation decisions.

• The utilization of available square footage on rooftops means less development of lands for solar farms, protecting natural ecosystems.

• That’s more efficient, flowing electricity direct from your rooftop into your home, or pulling it across hundreds of miles of transmission lines and substations?

The big business approach of PG&E has resulted in California having some of the highest electricity rates in the nation while causing some of our worst disasters. Make electricity rates more equitable, but PG&E has to support a distributed resource model.

Tom Calderwood
Los Gatos

Red states banning
more than books

Re. “Tennessee school district bans book about Holocaust,” Jan. 27:

With the wave of book banning going on in many red states, to say that I’m relieved to be a teacher in California is an understatement.

This is my first year of teaching, and I simply cannot imagine being restricted in my ability to present my students with perspectives that will make them more inquisitive, empathetic, knowledgeable, and yes, uncomfortable. That is the nature of education.

As my colleague puts it, “When you’re banning books, you’re banning voices.”

Jacob Lafarga

U.S. path is inviting
conflict in Ukraine

Congressional leaders, notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, advocate legislation that invites war by squelching negotiations between the two nuclear superpowers while militarizing Ukraine for $500 million.

The Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act” (H.R. 6470 and S.3488) sanctions Russians, given “significant escalation” — even without invasion.

Opposing Moscow “regarding NATO membership” becomes a non-negotiable policy.

America pledged NATO would not advance “one inch” east of a unified Germany (1990). We reneged, staged an anti-Russian Ukraine coup in 2014, and now arm and train Ukrainians.

How is Ukraine our business any more than Cuba was USSR’s business in 1962? Soviet missiles panicked JFK. Putin fears NATO aggression.

As invaders of Iraq, Vietnam, Korea and elsewhere, we lack the moral authority to be world cops.

The UN Charter (signed in San Francisco) requires settling disputes peacefully (Articles 2 and 33). Preparing for war brings war.

Jeannette Hassberg, Paul W. Lovinger and Grace Teresi
Officers, War and Law League
San Francisco

Americans all too willing
to ignore Trump trouble

Will Bunch asks if we Americans will choose silence when we learn the truth that our former president is guilty of criminal acts (“Trump’s criminal acts — will America care?” Page A7, Jan. 26).

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