Heroic teachers at Sandy Hook

The next time someone tells me teachers are overpaid, I will remind them of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Gil Stratton

Livermore

Simply must alter the Constitution

Destruction was brought upon vulnerable elementary school children in Newtown. Those children didn't bear arms and their parents now don't want to be anywhere near weapons.

Even though I live across the country, in Richmond, my parents still feel the impact of letting me go to school.

The Second Amendment, which states citizens have the right to bear arms, is no longer relevant in today's world.

Though we can't blame the Founding Fathers for not having foreseen such tragedies caused by weapons they could never have imagined, we should now alter this amendment and adjust it to ensure the security of our nation's citizens.

Lesly Sanchez

Richmond Lesly is a student at Leadership Public School in Richmond.

Stricter gun laws urgently needed

I implore President Barack Obama and my Congress members to take action on gun restrictions.

The Newtown massacre is beyond description. It's incomprehensible to imagine what was in the deranged mind of this young, near-child himself. His actions are nearly unspeakable.

But we must speak about the insanity regarding the weapons industry and flood of small arms filling homes nationwide.

We've come through a very divisive election that left some people feeling excluded, disappointed and angry. That's reflected in Congress with the level of goodwill and cooperation at an all-time low.

However, that's all the more reason to take "meaningful action," as Obama stated. At least for this brief moment, Obama has the American people's will behind him for sensible, logical and hugely needed gun control.

Our lawmakers must not let this opportunity slide by. The NRA and gun lobbies will push back, quoting Second Amendment rights and saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Wrong!

Small pieces of metal and bullets shred the bodies of 20 innocent children, leaving 40 parents and myriad relatives screaming in grief and facing possible lifelong depression. That's what guns do.

Paul Meyerhof

Albany

Courts are not for changing laws

Having the U.S. Supreme Court review Proposition 8 is a mixed blessing.

While the Supreme Court can end the confusion of conflicting state laws, the fact that any court rules on Proposition 8 is disturbing.

Proposition 8 opponents claim it bans same-sex marriages and denies rights to same-sex couples. But this is not true. Proposition 8 simply defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman, and bans nothing.

All of the rights, protections, benefits, etc., granted to married couples are granted to same-sex domestic partners in California. But now the courts are being used to establish or change laws, which was never their constitutional function. That is the prerogative of the people and their elected representatives.

This country is retreating from the principles of democracy, rule by the people, and treading toward oligarchy, rule by the few.

And the few in this country are those who talk the loudest, or have the most money, or are in the seats of power for the longest.

This was never the vision of the Founding Fathers for our country.

Wes Zmolek

Fremont