Guess we should sue carmakers as well

This is in response to the recent letter "Victims should file suit over guns."

If we follow the letter author's line of thinking, we should also sue all of the current car manufacturers. Cars today can drive well in excess of 100 mph. Many people die each year due to high-speed crashes.

The families of those people killed while speeding should be able to sue the car manufacturer that produced the car that killed them. Even though the driver was being negligent while driving the car, the manufacturer should still be liable.

What about alcohol? Drunken drivers kill a very large number of Americans each year. Do we sue alcohol companies when a drunken driver hits and kills an innocent family of five?

It is not the NRA's nor gun manufacturers' fault that those people were killed. Maybe we need to address the real issues of today: mental illness and normalizing violence through television and video games.

We need to focus on solving the problem, not finding a scapegoat.

Randy Martinez

Martinez

Bratton must mend fences with groups

In observing the coverage and conversation around new Oakland Police Department consultant William Bratton, much of it has been focused on the narrow scope of his extremely expensive contract and fears of the infamous stop-and-frisk tactics Bratton employed in Boston, New York and Los Angeles.


Advertisement

Now that Bratton is here to stay, it is my hope that he can mend fences with the grass-roots citizens groups who were his initial opponents to better inform his work.

Whether his contract was worth its price will be proven by the outcomes of his tenure, and he will undoubtedly find success difficult to achieve if he views the community as adversaries of his agenda rather than allies in reducing violent crime in Oakland.

Miquette Thompson

Oakland

Head Start must meet certain expectations

Head Start's fact sheet says it "promotes school preparation by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services."

A recent letter writer says "everyone knows" it's just free child care for the working poor. If so, the author loses his argument with the comic strip duck who says Head Start is a failure.

It is not "absurd to hold any other expectation" for Head Start than academic preparation for rising out of poverty. That is precisely what we taxpayers are paying for. If Head Start is not teaching and empowering children to earn, keep and build wealth, stop taking our money for it.

"Meaningful redistribution of wealth" just means robbing Peter to pay Paul, without teaching Paul the life skills to earn for himself and achieve financial stability.

The real bullies are those who want to take other people's money to redistribute. They're also cowards who wouldn't stand a chance in a fight against a comic strip duck.

Beth Elliott

Oakland

Not telling the truth about sequestration

Sequestration was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2011 to satisfy federal legislators who insisted that we were spending too much money for too many unnecessary agencies and bureaucrats.

Our current operating budget (although never legally voted on) is 7 percent higher than last year.

The proposed sequestration 5 percent cut in current government spending is actually 2 percent higher spending than last year. Wow.

The Democrats and Obama are not telling the truth when the sequestration cuts are really an increase in spending. What's wrong with our president when he said everything would stop?

Our federal budget is $3 trillion. Of course, we can eliminate 5 percent of our overstaffed federal agencies. Sequestration states that the president can cherry pick what cuts he can make. He is not required to make cuts in agencies like aircraft controllers, FBI, etc.

Obama should eliminate the 41 czars and their staffs that he created. Most of our federal agencies are duplicated by our state agencies and are unnecessary.

It would be easy to eliminate an entire agency or a good part of these agencies, and we would never miss a thing.

Mike Vukelich

El Sobrante