Address mental health treatment

When I was a young child, I remember there being state hospitals where those with mental problems could be sent. I believe the ACLU put a stop to the procedure for civil liberties issues.

Could this be what is needed to stop the killing of our children? This is worth discussing with adequate protection for the rights of those to be treated. — Carl R. Miller, Medford

Criminal insanity

The tragedy in Connecticut is one more horrifying instance of our society failing to protect itself from the criminally insane, and failing to protect the criminally insane from themselves.

Years ago, we as a nation chose to close or downsize our mental institutions. The result of this "mainstreaming" was a new class of homeless, and a corps of potentially homicidal patients being undersupervised by overwhelmed families. We can and must change this. — William Powell, Talent

Just what we need: more guns

I guess it should come as no surprise that a right-wing legislator like Dennis Richardson would propose arming our teachers to confront the next crazed killer.

That's exactly what we need. More guns! Pathetic. Instead, why not begin rebuilding mental health services decimated by budget cuts in the last generation? It's not the entire answer but a far better solution than turning our schools into the OK Corral. — Jeff Palmer, Medford

Time for armed guards

Representative Richardson says arm teachers, but Police Chief Tim George says teachers don't make good armed guards.

The answer is obvious: Let's hire and put armed guards in every school by opening day January. We have guards at our airports, and guards patrolling our bike path and library. Given our rotten economy and our refusal to restrict guns, shouldn't we put more people to work protecting the lives of the most precious things we have? — Ivend Holen, Medford

Stop blaming workers

I see from recent letters the "unions killed Twinkies" trope is alive and well in the Rogue Valley.

Why we must always blame workers for our economic ills is beyond me. It is so counter-intuitive to hold common working folk responsible for the misguided decisions of management and the intransigence of banks.

Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Hostess company managers stole their workers' pension contributions to use for day-to-day operations including executive bonuses while the company slid into bankruptcy. On the other hand, Hostess workers had made wage and benefit concessions over a number of years to save their jobs.

It's time to stop blaming honest, hard-working Americans for the financial sins of their managers and the banks. Don't let wealthy special interests turn us against each other. — Charles McHenry, Central Point

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