Society must support life and help victims

Lost in the recent fracas about Rep. Todd Akin's choice of words during an interview is the truth and beauty of something else he said at the same time: Punishment for the offense of rape should be directed at the perpetrator and not toward an innocent child who may thereby be conceived.

It's a huge load to carry, in all ways, by a wronged victim. Yet executing a completely defenseless baby cannot be justified. That child could be put up for adoption by a mother who, understandably, might well not wish to care for the child due to the painful, even horrific, circumstances of the child's conception.

Our society must support life, not convenience-killing, and help victims of this crime in every way that affirms the intrinsic value of human life.

M.E. Kellogg Rupp

Fremont

GOP in Middle Ages on important issues

It is strange that the Republican Party wants to restrict abortion for women.

Why do men get a say in this, and why are they so concerned? If men vote for anti-abortion laws, they better make sure they don't get a woman pregnant by accident.

Men are the ones who don't ask if a woman is taking birth control, get them pregnant, and run away from the responsibility -- so the baby's daddy is Uncle Sam and the taxpayers support these unintended pregnancies.

It is better for a woman to use birth control than have an abortion. Republicans aren't for Planned Parenthood, what are they thinking?

The Republican Party is all for the NRA and all the innocent people getting maimed and killed by guns is OK. At least the shooters of these guns have their Second Amendment rights upheld.

Shame on the hypocrisy of the Republican Party. They are all for the guns and all the harm they do, but are against women's rights for birth control and abortion.

Sadly, the Republican Party is in the Middle Ages on lots of issues. Birth control is good for men and women. Men do not want to have dozens of children, either, whether they are Republicans or Democrats.

Ann Cutright

Hayward

Doing small service while on big walk

Late morning or early afternoon of every trash day in my neighborhood, after collection hours, I take a walk around 10 to 20 blocks of my neighborhood and pull the trash/recycling/green bins off the streets and to the space between the street and the sidewalk, or, if it is obvious, to the place next to the houses where these bins are kept. It is important to avoid planted areas.

It was suggested to me that I should make this small "service" known, so that other people might do the same thing in their neighborhoods.

Pulling the bins off the streets is useful because it facilitates parking and provides the hardest pull effort, making things easier for older or disabled people. It is also good exercise for me on my walks.

Marianne Hegeman

El Cerrito

Brooks column was out of line

Regarding David Brooks' Aug. 29 column, "The long and winding journey to discover real Romney":

Of all the absurd and toxic columns I've ever read, this is one of them. This newspaper's readership is smarter than some of the so-called professionals that litter its pages.

Kathy Youngs

Benicia

Gun-owning society responsible for deaths

Most gun owners are not responsible for criminal actions. But all of us in a gun-owning society bear the burden of mass murders and all crimes -- robbery, rape -- enhanced by guns.

This is quite clear since countries that do not have mass gun ownership -- Great Britain, Japan, Norway, Germany and others -- for the most part, have nowhere near the murder rate of the United States.

My niece's daughter and her husband were shot and killed in Richmond in 2005. That year, Richmond, a city of 103,000, had about the same number of murders by gun violence -- about 40 -- as Great Britain, a nation of 60 million.

Our laws need to function to stop violence. We have many laws designed to stop injury and death -- regarding things like motor vehicles, drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. These laws impinge on our freedoms somewhat, but they also reduce injuries and deaths.

It's time to impose laws to limit guns to law enforcement, hunting and legitimate use. Since this won't happen right away, get used to more tragedies -- like the shooting at a Sikh temple only days after the movie shooting. Perhaps in the future, we'll have the guts to make gun laws to reduce deaths.

Eric Svendsgaard

Vallejo