Go, Cougars


It is nice to see an article about the positive things that are happening with student athletes at College of Alameda ("Cougars Enjoy Banner Season," Jan. 3) Great job, Lady Cougars! And, a special thanks to the outstanding coaching staff lead by Coach Linda Thompson.

— Jannet N. Jackson, Ph.D.


College of Alameda

Goodness continues


I went for a run the other morning but didn't want to carry my keys so I left them by the Dumpster of my building, of course, not a good idea but I fi gured Dumpster diving isn't really popular in Alameda so I would be safe.

When I returned from my run the keys were nowhere to be found. I looked long and hard in vain. I went inside dejected at the thought of having to replace my keys. I moved here from New York. I fi gured I should just go out and make sure my car was still parked outside my place.

Much to my surprise on the seat of my car under a note from Danny and Don, who it turns out are my sanitation workers, were the keys. They had walked a block or more from the Dumpster pushing the electronic car key until they found my car.

I was so impressed with their kindness and goodness. In a world that seems to be increasing in our distrust of others I thought it would be good to publish the news that goodness continues.

— Ruth Campbell

Report the facts, please


I am wholeheartedly discouraged by an article on the front page of the Alameda Sun, regarding a petition of Big 5 to halt gun sales ("Residents Petition to Halt Big 5 Gun Sales," Jan. 17.)

The article contains incorrect and misguided information. I expect better investigation and reporting from the Alameda Sun, my favorite local paper.

Can we look at facts please? A Ruger "takedown" denotes that the rifl e is capable of being broken down into two pieces for easy transport and use by pilots or back-woods travelers in cases of emergency. It is meant to be a survivalist weapon.

The article also refers to the Remington 770 .30-06 Bolt Action as a "semi-automatic assault rifl e." A bolt action rifl e requires manual loading of each round and therefore is not semi-automatic.

The Ruger 10/22 and the ATI .22 both fi re projectiles the size of frozen peas at very low velocities. They are only slightly more powerful than a compressed air rifl e or B.B. gun.

These fi rearms are intended for hunting small game, training, target shooting, plinking, or for use as a survival tool, not as weapons of mass destruction, as quoted in the article.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary was a truly horrifi c event, but attacking Big 5 is a misguided and knee-jerk reaction to the situation. The weapons available at Big 5 are nothing like the Bushmaster XM-15, which was used in that horrible tragedy. The XM-15, commonly referred to as an AR-15, is a true assault rifl e. It is quite obvious that the people signing this petition have no real experience on the issue of fi rearms and are reacting emotionally, rather than analyzing the facts.

I am not a member of the National Rifl e Association (NRA), nor am I gun nut. I was raised in Northern Minnesota by loving parents who were both open-minded and liberal school teachers. I took fi rearms safety training as a child and was fi ring a Ruger 10/22, along with a Stevens .410 shotgun, at a very early age.

I am also an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army and served in combat overseas. I have real-world experience with assault rifl es. I agree that civilians should not have access to highcapacity magazines or true assault rifl es. Background checks should be tightened for such fi rearms, especially in the area of mental health.

My wife and I came to Alameda in 1998 and fell in love with our Island City. We also love the California back country. We routinely shop at Big 5 for camping gear, fi shing gear and sporting licenses, as well as water wings for our two-year-old and tennis balls for our dog.

We support Big 5 and will continue to bring them our business. I ask that people in our fair city, and across the nation, stop using the victims of these horrible tragedies to promote their personal agendas on gun control. Use facts and reason, not irrational emotional responses.

— Kyle Hansen

Don't tell me what I need


The Second Amendment is not about hunting, it's about protection of the individual. Do you want to live in a police state? I don't either, but when the police are better armed than the general public, you have the basis of a police state. I don't want to live in a place where the police have special exemptions, where the law writes particular exemptions for the police or the government. The law should apply to all equally, and if we don't need assault rifles on the streets, then the police shouldn't be allowed to have them, either. The police are simply citizens with power of arrest, paid to do full-time what every citizen should do on an as-needed basis.

Law abiding citizens are not the problem. My guns are not the problem. But, when you tell me "You don't need...," I wonder why you have the gall to presume to know what I need. I'm a free American and what I need is none of your business. How dare you presume to dictate my needs?

— James Wendt

Irresponsible reporting


I protest you irresponsible and shameful reporting, ("Schools Lack Basic Safety Measures," Jan. 17). If someone wanted to know how lax security was for our children you just informed them. As a father of three children attending Alameda schools I am outraged that you would print such an irresponsible article without allowing our local government and schools the opportunity to correct the potential flaws. Shame on the editors for allowing such a story and naming specific schools. Your reporter should have alerted the school officials and allowed a fix to be put in place before publishing information that could place our kids at risk.

Alameda Sun, please reconsider such reporting that places our children at risk!

And as for ("Residents Petition Big 5 to Halt Gun Sales," Jan. 17) None of the rifles listed are assault rifles, assault rifles are military type rifles with intermediate powered ammunition. The rifles you listed are either bolt-action or .22-caliber low-powered target rifles. As a retired police sergeant and firearms intructor for youth organizations and responsible citizens I am concerned with this reporter's inaccurate, clearly biased and uninformed reporting.

Big 5 is a reponsible and supportive organization and an asset to the community.

— Randy Lantz

Editor's note: No one on the Sun's editorial staff owns or ever has owned a gun. Officials at Big 5 did not respond to calls to clarify details about their merchandise.

On those bags


Cloth and canvas bags are the "ugly ducklings" of (reusable) shopping bags ("Treat Reusable Bags Like Dirty Laundry," Jan. 17). They don't hold their shape, being fl oppy. I can imagine people just throwing them away when they get too dirty.

"We" will wash our own bags. Oh, but of course, what about the many who don't? Our food could get indirectly contaminated from someone else's dirty bag, could it not?

— Harvey Pearson

It's outrageous to boycott Big 5


Americans and Alamedans have a right to purchase legal guns. The reason for citizens to own firearms is for protection against tyranny both "foreign and domestic," not just for sport. History is full of examples of countries that have turned against their unarmed citizens. People who don't trust themselves around guns do not need to own them, but they should not infringe upon others' constitutional right to have weapons for protection.

Alameda is next door to one of the most crime-ridden cities in the nation. We have and need the right to protect our lives and property in our homes. If one is so against this right, they should put a sign up in front of their house that reads, "This is a gun-free house."

No one would ever advertise this, since the potential for a homeowner owning a weapon is what keeps us all from increasing the chance of being the victims of violent criminals.

Leave Big 5 alone. They are the only gun store in town.

— Arthur Wong

In response to anti-NRA letter


Labeling National Rifle Association (NRA) members as mentally unstable has no justification and is an ad hominem fallacy ("Start at the Source," Jan. 17).

The NRA has been an important part of fighting for our constitutional right to defend ourselves and our nation. There are already policies in place that effectively regulate the sale and ownership of guns.

The USA has a very low amount of murders by guns when compared with other countries around the world where gun ownership is allowed.

There will always be a few crazies, but they should not ruin it for law-abiding Americans. Labeling people who stand up for our constitutional rights as "mentally unstable" and "dangerous" is a tactic that was used in communist Russia and fascist Nazi Germany.

We should all be proud that there is still an organization of concerned Americans who want to preserve one of the founding principles of our great republic.

Even if you don't join the NRA, it deserves our support and respect.

— Joe Matuko



0 #3 Victor Olontov 2013-02-04 08:34
Keep your head out of the sand

In Russia, guns have been outlawed for a very long time. This has not prevented criminals from owning and using guns on a daily basis. People are helpless over there unless they have money to hire another criminal for protection. Turn in your guns and you will become helpless victims.
0 #2 Jenni McClosky 2013-02-04 08:28
re: gun reality checklist

This checklist was pointless to write because this person is pointing out what everyone generally knows. People do not own guns to cause harm. Most gun owners are responsible and would hate to take another life. Most people who own guns go their whole lives without an accident or incident where it gets fired. Most people own guns to prevent a trip to a coroner. Perhaps Mr. Gilmore will rely on a speedy police response time when his life is in danger. I choose to increase the odds of surviving the wait for the police response by having my handgun.
0 #1 Glen Larsen 2013-02-04 08:18
re: the unwitting Sun

Richard Eckhaus's attack on the Sun for printing an opinion counter to his own is laughable. If you don't agree with an opinion, state why and explain why your reasoning is better. Perhaps Mr. Eckhaus should take an argumentation class at one of our many local community colleges. What is outrageous is to attack our fine newspaper editors for not censoring public opinion. How dare you accuse the Alameda sun as being guilty of collusion with mass murderers in schools for allowing a difference of opinion on guns to be printed. Having officers in school to enforce the teaching of only one opinion has been tried before. Unfortunately the results of doing this didn't fare too well for the societies of the USSR, Nazi Germany or Mao's China.

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