Is NRA suggesting a police state?

The authors of the Second Amendment of our Constitution would be terrified by the National Rifle Association's proposal for federally financed armed police officers in every school.

This could be the beginning of the police state the "right to bear arms" was to protect us from.

How many officers would be needed to have one in the right place at the right time to prevent a massacre? What about shopping malls, theaters and any other place where groups gather and where massacres have occurred? We soon could have our community saturated with armed police officers and have a police state rather than a free state.

In his zeal to support the right to bear arms, Wayne LaPierre, NRA vice president, has unwittingly proposed destruction of the free state. His dedication to guns has gotten his thinking cap in a twist.

Marion A. McIntire

Richmond

Save the theater in Pleasant Hill

I'm surprised there has not been more news coverage about the planned closing of the Cinearts ("Dome") Theatre in Pleasant Hill to make way for a new sporting goods store.

Lisa White's recent article quoted Councilman David Durant as calling it a "sacrifice we need to make for the overall benefit of the community." But why does a sports store (of which there are many in the area) benefit the community more than a place where people can view thought-provoking independent films, most of which cannot be seen elsewhere this side of the Caldecott Tunnel?

Yes, we need to exercise our bodies (and perhaps it is fitting for a sports store to replace the Bally Gym that closed last year) but we also need to exercise our brains. Letter writer C. John Crawford has it right. We should preserve, advertise and celebrate this type of art house film theater.

Please publicize the current plan and give the community a chance to speak out. We need to save the Cinearts Theatre or help it to relocate nearby.

Pat Kasavan

Walnut Creek

Shame on Waste Management

Given the California mandate to decrease landfill and the desire by Lamorinda residents to protect our environment, the recently announced rate increase structure of Waste Management rates in January is appalling.

I do not fault them for raising rates on garbage or even green waste, but to raise the rates on recycling is counterproductive and is in opposition to the desire of the community and state of California mandate to decrease landfill.

We would like to encourage people to recycle, not discourage them. It would be vastly better for our community to initiate a larger increase than proposed for garbage, and decrease the current rate for recycling.

I am aware the increase in recycling and decrease in true garbage volume in the last few years has resulted in Waste Management and other garbage processors realizing less revenue. However, this is not an excuse for discouraging recycling.

Our local governments need to speak out and object to Waste Management's rate increase.

Barbara Preston

Moraga

So much for compromise

As the Times well knows, the fiscal debate is about both taxes and spending. And shouldn't it always be?

Yet, your Dec. 27 editorial, "So much for compromise on the cliff," omitted even a passing mention of the "spending" problem.

This sort of political bias surely destroys the spirit of compromise when one side is not being heard.

Marshall Clegg

Discovery Bay

Armed guards at every school?

The NRA recently proposed that every school have armed guards and teachers, and that video gun games are worse than child pornography.

Not a word about semi-automatic weapons, large bullet clips and background checks to sell at gun shows. A gun does not kill people, but a video game does?

Does someone need an assault weapon to bring down a defenseless duck sitting in a pond? Do you parents really want a police officer, teachers and patrolling parents armed with AK-47s and tear gas to match "the bad guys" daily at Mt. Diablo Elementary?

John Carr

Concord

Compromise is not 'capitulate'

The definition of compromise is, among other things, give and take, find the middle ground, and cooperation.

The Dec. 27 Times editorial, "So much for compromise on the cliff," appears to define compromise as capitulate to the Democrats' position no matter what game they're playing, or how much they intend to drive the country further into debt, which is growing at more than $1.2 trillion yearly.

Although President Barack Obama has given lip service to spending cuts, nowhere is there any movement on his part to propose spending cuts of any significance. In fact, Obama wants to increase spending with $50 billion in more stimulus money, even though the major problem facing the country is out-of-control spending.

No amount of increased revenue, aka taxes, will fix the problem. Wouldn't some agreed ratio of spending cuts to increased taxes make a better compromise -- say $4 in spending cuts to a $1 increase in taxes? While a modest start, it will get us nowhere, since the Social Security Administration for fiscal year 2012 generated a loss of $47.8 billion, in a benefits program that was supposed to be solvent for a number of years.

Evo Alexandre

Moraga

Worried about gun violence

The massacre in Newtown, Conn., left me wondering that if it occurred in a safe and nonviolent community, it could certainly occur in Richmond.

I have younger siblings who go off to school, a place were we think they are safe and well taken care of. Seeing the tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook makes me worry for their safety.

We should unite and limit the ability of buying and selling assault weapons. They are only needed by the military and the police.

Denise Orozco

Richmond