How are gun laws working?

Five hundred gun deaths, 43 were children, in the short period of one year. This tragedy occurs annually, not in a war-torn foreign country but in Chicago, run by Rahm Emanuel. The city has the toughest gun laws in the country.

These horrific statistics were rarely mentioned in the press until a young girl affiliated with Obama's inauguration was killed. What about the other 42 children? How are tougher gun laws working? — Pat Butler, Medford

Not yet post-racial

During the inauguration of President Obama, a question that my sociology professor asked me came to mind: "Is the United States transforming into a post-racial nation?" My answer was yes, until I looked beyond the surface.

Books such as "Ain't no Makin' It" by Jay MacLeod and "Amazing Grace" by Jonathan Kozol illustrate the discrimination that many citizens go through on a daily basis. People of color living in projects and impoverished communities don't receive the same education and public services than more affluent communities do. While there are great stories such as that of Oprah Winfrey, most people of color still face discrimination.

More recent events are the measures to ban Chicano studies from Arizona's schools and to eliminate slavery from history textbooks in Tennessee; furthermore, the tea party in Tennessee also demanded to remove the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan from the textbooks, yet to include the violence of the Black Panther Party. Irrational? I think yes.

These examples illustrate that we are not a post-racial nation. It is important that all children in America receive equal, good-quality and accurate educations. Schools need to allow students to identify with the learning and to help them succeed. — Viridiana Avila, Medford

Cheers to city engineers

The property owners that are upset by city staff's proposal for East Main Street should walk a mile in the shoes of those who brave that hazardous thoroughfare to work or school every day.

It is a dangerous route for pedestrians, particularly schoolchildren and their parents who tend to use the narrow, exposed south sidewalk. Businesses along that stretch would certainly benefit from safer, easier access for their customers, and many bicyclists would gladly choose that direct route into town if they didn't have to risk life and limb. Cheers to the city engineers for their proposed upgrades! — Elizabeth Martin, Medford

Will educating take place?

Will educating take place in Oregon schools? The current legislation, which set the high school graduation standard, allows for the standard to be circumvented by the school districts.

Performance funding for Oregon's post-secondary schools will give incentive for the schools to crank out diplomas without regard to the quality of education.

Kitzhaber's goal that 40 percent of Oregon adults hold a college degree doesn't mean this 40 percent will be educated. — Bill Hartley, Medford

Memories of Gestapo

The picture in a recent Mail Tribune of the two persons patrolling Medford streets with rifles over their shoulders brings back memories of the German Gestapo of the 1930s. The rants from NRA officals only add to the thought they would welcome the overthrow of the government. Even our Jackson County sheriff expresses support for the NRA. — Harlan Moore, Medford

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