Must protect what is most valuable

I noticed many recent letters to the editor criticizing the NRA's suggestion that police be placed in schools to protect the students.

When I talked to one of my daughters living in a Phoenix suburb, she said that police have been in all of the schools in her area for more than 10 years.

She also said that they should be there to protect our most valued asset. If, however, you don't consider your children a valuable asset, then don't try to protect them.

Don Crook

Fremont

Different side of Oakland streets

On Dec. 27, as I was being wheeled into my post-surgical appointment at 80 Grand Ave., my wheelchair hit a bump and suddenly I pitched forward onto the sidewalk.

Even as I fell, I could see an apparently homeless African-American man about my age drop his rickety bike and sprint toward me. He quickly had me back in the wheelchair, dusted me off and, as he gently put his hand on my head, said, "You're gonna be OK, my man," and took off.

Just another tale from the streets of Oakland.

Elliot Daum

Santa Rosa

Keep guns from the mentally challenged

This tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is very hard to fathom. Little kids gunned down by a mentally deranged person.


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The Second Amendment is very important. We have a right to defend ourselves. Our Founding Fathers put it in the Constitution to protect us from tyranny from our government. Who knows? Someday we might have a dictator like the one in Syria.

But I think any family that has a mentally challenged person living in their home shouldn't be able to own a gun of any kind. It might not be fair to the family members but I think it should be that way to be on the safe side.

Also, we need more jobs in this economy, so why not hire security guards at all of our schools?

I'm an avid fan of the death penalty. Some experts say it doesn't deter crime, but if they put more murderers to death on a regular basis, I'm sure it would deter crime. Sometimes I think the experts care more about the murderers than they do their victims.

Cathy Ledbetter

Newark

Kerry right choice to represent U.S.

Sen. John Kerry is a right fit for the secretary of state position.

After Gen. Colin Powell retired from the role of secretary of state, his three successors designated for the top position proved to be failures in terms of charisma and diplomacy. They were neither trained for the position nor did they have world diplomacy expertise from any institution of high profile.

In the past, the United States has appointed less effective personalities who failed to portray a dominating role either in Asia or the Middle East.

Of course, they were traveling a lot from here to there for the sake of only handshaking and photo opportunities but couldn't boost the image of our supremacy in world politics.

After reviewing John Kerry's credentials, I feel President Barack Obama has picked the right person who can deliver. His experience, vision, seniority and diplomatic dialogue ability could make a difference in the next four-year term.

Zafar K. Yousufzai

Fremont

Compromise is not 'capitulate'

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

The Dec. 27 editorial, "So much for compromise on the cliff," appears to define compromise as capitulation 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

Does a gun make us more secure?

A bad guy, plus a gun, plus bullets: You have a problem. Take the bad guy or the gun out of the equation: The problem is not as serious.

Protecting the Second Amendment is expensive in more ways than one and may get more expensive. Remember when you did not have to go through a security checkpoint in an airport and some public buildings? The day may come when we must do likewise at all public buildings.

We are going backward. Should every household have a gun and everyone carry a gun to feel secure?

That doesn't sound like a safe country to live in. Are we going to recommend visitors to our country to carry a gun?

Karl Ghaster

Brentwood