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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

This letter is in response to all the individuals who wrote the horrible comments about our family's situation.

Clarification: The big screen TV in the picture is nine years old and doesn't work. Our income is $2,800 a month. Our house payment is $1,150. My husband and I are both disabled — he has a bad heart and a pacemaker, three herniated discs in his back and severe shoulder arthritis. We have both worked, raised five kids and took in one foster child whose mother died. I am disabled with PTSD and need two new knees.

To every judgmental person, God bless you. I won't go into details about our life, but I can tell you that I would not wish it on anyone else.

This community needs to stop being so judgmental. I am thankful we have such strong faith in the Lord, because if we didn't, your horrible comments may have put us over the edge.

Please, we need to stand as one community together caring for one another, because heaven help us if we don't. Always think about what you say before speaking. — Angela Manring, Talent

Newspaper and TV pundits have dismissed the candidacy of the Libertarian-Republican Ron Paul as a flash in the pan, with no massive appeal. They have been shocked at his recent successes. I think they will be even more shocked in the future.

In 1998, a list of the 100 best fiction and nonfiction books of the 20th century was compiled. The result was that the top two novels, and four of the top eight, chosen by 217,520 readers, were by a single author — Ayn Rand, the fountainhead of modern libertarianism. Equally shocking was that the top nonfiction book was also by Ayn Rand, and eight of the top 18 nonfiction books were about Rand and libertarianism. This was 1998, before the surge of interest in libertarian ideas.

Even with the probable defeat of Paul for the nomination this year, it is likely that libertarian ideas and candidates will be with us for the foreseeable future. It will be a mistake to ignore their appeal and to glibly dismiss their ideas, especially the theories of the libertarian economists of the Austrian school such as Nobel laureates Frederick Hayek and Milton Friedman, and Ludwig von Mises. — Lou Goldman, Ashland

What does a cop use to stop a suicide? Answer: His gun.

At best, this is sick comedy. At worst, it is the tragic truth, a truth we have seen played out in our communities and our state several times in the past few weeks. We should expect better. We should demand better. So called "suicide by cop" is not a suicide, it is a homicide.

Whether it is justifiable, negligent or criminal, homicide is the stuff for grand juries to decide. What is for us to decide is whether our community has the will to demand that our first responders, especially the ones with guns, receive the training necessary to avoid these tragedies in the future.

Training programs are available. The so-called "Memphis Model" Crisis Intervention Team training is one of the most highly regarded. Our law enforcement agencies are aware of this training and its effectiveness. They need to implement it. We, the citizens, need to persuade them to do so.

Would these recent tragedies have been averted with this training? Lacking a crystal ball, who can say?

How does a cop prevent a suicide? Answer: With effective crisis intervention training. — Mike Hubbard, Medford

A great ending to a tragic story. Brittany's insurance company, Cigna, would not cover the cost of the prosthetic leg because she had reached her policy's monetary limit. This pressured a responsible family to have Brittany become a ward of her community — who generously helped her gain the prosthetic limb and return some normalcy to her life.

This is a prime example of why we need to implement the president's health care policy: In 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to cancel our health insurance because our medical costs have hit some arbitrary ceiling. It will also allow Brittany to buy health insurance, even though she has a pre-existing condition, something she can't do today. — Tom Smith, Eagle Point