Must study killer for prevention

We all have heard about the heinous crime that was perpetrated at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Twenty children and six of the school staff, in addition to the deranged individual who went on the killing spree, died. But very little has been stated about the mother of the killer, the weapons she owned, or where the weapons were kept.

I imagine the police have such information but the press's focus is on the school staff and children. The press noted that the mother was an avid shooter and that she purchased the guns for the purpose of target practice.

The relationship between the deranged son and the mother is vitally important and it should be divulged in an attempt to prevent future catastrophes.

John Canestro

Castro Valley

Women in combat has consequences

Since ancient times, women have served in the military. In the United States, they have the right to serve in our various branches despite the obvious problems of male/female fraternizing.

But what can happen, will happen. At some moment in time and space, a female infantry soldier will be pregnant, perhaps unknowingly, and sent on a combat mission. The U.S. will be the first country in the known world to send an unborn child and its mother into combat.


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What can happen, has happened. Two examples: Who would have thought that under any circumstance an American president would round up certain Americans and put them in concentration camps? And who would have thought that our own Army soldiers would shoot and kill demonstrating, unarmed Kent State University students?

Our Navy is already known for its publicly acknowledged love boats -- the USS Arcadia, the carrier Eisenhower, the USS Lincoln, among others.

What we don't know, and perhaps will never know, is how many women have already served in combat zones while, unknown to their commanders, they were pregnant. We do know that once pregnancy is known, the female soldier or sailor is sent home to raise her family. Most never return to the military.

What can happen, will happen. But let's not make the American military a taxpayer-funded matchmaking service.

Hank Ruelas

Hayward

Malady can elevate sleep aid use risks

If you're one of the many Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, a condition where you suddenly stop breathing in your sleep, then you may want to think twice before taking a sleeping pill.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 25 percent of Americans battle insomnia and take some kind of sleeping aid, whether it's over-the-counter or prescription. For most patients, these medications help improve the time and quality of sleep. But for those who have an underlying medical condition, such as sleep apnea, sleeping aids may hold more risks than benefits.

Patients who have sleep apnea are at a higher risk of experiencing respiratory depression, a rare but potentially fatal side effect where breathing slows or even stops. Others at risk include the elderly and patients with liver or kidney disease.

Though the thought of this may not be comforting, it is something that can easily be preventable. Pharmacists are well aware of these risks and are available for a quick consultation. Certain medications have higher risks than others, so it is important to talk to your pharmacist about which medicine is safe for you.

Mary Margaret Kwong

Hayward

Anti-abortion walk warranted coverage

I was surprised and dismayed that I could find no mention in the Times of the annual Walk of Life that took place Jan. 26 in San Francisco.

There were numerous emotional speeches and an estimated 40,000 walkers, mostly younger people and many families, all from diverse ethnic groups. Moreover, this was the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.

I would like the Times to explain why the editors chose not to run this story. The lack of coverage indicates to me a bias on the part of the Times. Surely, any large event by an Occupy group would have received coverage.

Moreover, not covering a peaceful event sends the message that demonstrators must create some disturbance in order to receive recognition. If some of the abortion opponents had started fires in trash cans or stood on police cars, it is likely the Times would have found that behavior to be newsworthy. This does not bode well for our free press or for our country.

Marlane Huffaker

Concord