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I like Sean Crawford's comparison of guns to cars (Feb. 7). Although imperfect like most analogies, it does produce some ideas that could help reduce gun violence.

As Crawford observes, despite many vehicular deaths, "we're not talking about banning people from driving cars." Similarly, no one is talking about banning appropriate people from shooting guns in appropriate circumstances. Still, to drive cars one must be licensed after passing both written and practical tests. Similar licensing for anyone buying a gun might produce more gun safety courses giving prospective shooters the necessary legal knowledge and practical experience they need to keep us all safe.

Guns should be licensed like cars, with comparable required common-sense safety features. Gun owners, too, should be required to carry liability insurance to protect potential victims from harm caused by their guns. If cars are defective, the manufacturers can be sued for resulting injuries or damage; let's restore gun victims' rights to sue to try to hold the suppliers accountable for negligence or intentional disregard of known risks.

Given the many lessons to be learned from comparison of guns to cars, let's unite to demand our legislators begin implementing them. — Becky Snow, Ashland

We live in Mountain View Estates in Talent. My question is how could this asphalt plant that operates along Interstate 5 and the greenway, without the proper permits for 12 years, not be noticed? Why is it allowed in the flood plain by Bear Creek with no sewer?

It is growing in size and the smell is terrible. They are working at night and disturbing our sleep. How can the county even consider reviewing their application to be grandfathered in. What happens if we have a flood? Will all their stored oil, gas and chemicals go into our creek?

We are a senior area with 165 homes. Most of us at our age have health issues and only want clean fresh air when taking our daily walks. Why can't this plant be shut down at once? They are breaking the law! We have been told it will not go before Jackson County Planning until May.

Protect our creek, greenway, and our health. — Lois and John Schmidt, Talent

Oh yeah! Marriage means more than "sex." Love means more than "sex." If you find this too complicated, take heart: Even our president is confused. In the "old days" there were rules of morality — ethics. Those rules are now obsolete; "If it feels good, do it!"

You could tell the difference between a male and a female by sight. And it could be determined at birth! If you were a male, you knew it; your parents told you how to behave, how to treat a girl and what to do with your penis. If you were a female, you knew it; your parents told you how to behave, how to dress and how to say "no."

We cared what others thought. Now if you don't like something about me — "Go —— yourself!"

Family was at the center of our civilization. Our hearts used to show our love. Now our genitalia points to it. Today it is "same-sex marriage." What's next? Sex no longer matters: What about breed? I love my dog!

Looking for answers? Read your Bible. — Bobbie Boothe, Medford

"And God knows, if anyone truly needs protection, it's women!" — Dean Leffler's, Feb. 17 letter.

Agreed! Lets revisit the issue of women's safety, security and protection. In my Jan. 29 Ashland Daily Tidings letter I quoted from Larry Elder, who rightly stated: "A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Col. Sanders." Yet women's safety, security and awareness goes beyond just firearms; there are places where women and everyone else aren't legally allowed to carry a concealed handgun: courthouses, federal buildings, public schools, post offices, etc.

So what tips are available to women? Paxton Quigley, author of "Armed and Female: Taking Control" (2010) has posted an eight-minute online video titled, "Women's Self-Defense Basics." This is part of her "Not An Easy Target" seminar addressing how criminals target their victims: often women. This can be viewed online at www.paxtonquigley.com.

On Jan. 24, 1996, the Mail Tribune ran a letter of mine on Quigley's "Armed and female" (1989). The sequel I just mentioned by same title is revised and expanded. The issue of women's safety must be revisited and revised periodically. — James A. Farmer, Ashland

As it stands, local police are not enforcing at least one federal law. That would be the federal law that makes marijuana illegal to grow, use, or possess. And, in fact, there's even a medical marijuana distribution center right next door to the federal courthouse in downtown Medford. So yeah, federal (and state) laws can be chosen to not be enforced. It's being done right now all over the states of Oregon, California and Washington, to name a few. If some people can have their pot, why can't others have their guns? I guess around here, you just can't have both at same time! — Rick Nelson, Medford

It's time to consider rewriting the Second Amendment. School shootings will continue until we, as a nation, decide that a child's right to be safe at school trumps the right of the village idiot to assemble an arsenal and the Second Amendment vigilante to indulge his fantasy. Anything less than a complete rewrite is what Leonard Pitts Jr. describes as "moral masturbation" (MT, Dec. 24, 2012): it satisfies some need but produces nothing of lasting consequence. — Bill Sherwood, Phoenix

Having a conversation with my friend Jess, he brought up that it seems odd that the administration is talking about arming Syrian rebels and at the same time, working towards disarming its own citizens. Somehow, that just doesn't seem right. — Mel Beaty, Medford

I wish to give a public shout-out and thank you to the U.S. postal clerks in Medford and Jacksonville who responded most graciously and helpfully to the terrible time pressure I was under. They got it done and I am grateful. — Tim Connolly, Jacksonville