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After reading Suzanne Fretwell's Sunday, Feb. 16, letter, "Guns were not OK," I partially, but not totally, agree. Granted, displaying a firearm in public is very poor taste; this practice often intimidates, frightens, scares, and alienates non-gun owners.

Remember my own MT letter of July 31, 2011, titled "Concealed means concealed." The last thing any gun person wants to do is attract negative attention to themselves. With the rash of criminal mass shootings over the years, this provokes and antagonizes anti-gun sentiment, and must be avoided!

It's obvious, too; the numbers of letters in both the Medford Mail Tribune and Ashland Daily Tidings confirms this.

I too attended the recent Monday, Feb. 3, Ashland City Council meeting on the proposed gun regulation ordinance, which I naturally oppose.

However, I can certainly understand the other side being present (at least they cared enough to attend, as I did) because we collectively care about public safety, sanity, and decency in Ashland.

Bear in mind my Feb. 6 Ashland Daily Tidings letter, "Gun meeting story was balanced," found online at www.dailytidings.com. — James A. Farmer, Ashland

The so-called debate over global warming shows how polarized the nation has become: even the weather is political. The polar icecaps are melting and scientists agree on why, but Republicans call it a hoax.

GOP lawmakers deny the obvious because they're paid to by the fossil fuel industry. Their base will believe whatever Fox "News" ideologues tell them to, regardless of the facts. The climate change conspiracy theory is another triumph of ideology over reality, playing to the same audience that delights in hearing our president called a foreign-born, America-hating, communist tyrant.

Normal people would denounce such lunacy, but Republicans foster it in order to peddle their crackpot claim that America is being destroyed by "Obamacare" rather than by the unbridled greed of their corporate sponsors. As they rage against Obama for expanding access to health care, their donors dump mountaintops into valleys, poison our dwindling water supply and spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Let's get our values straight: Health care is good, pollution is bad. If Republicans loved America half as much as they do corporate contributions, they would show some concern for keeping it habitable. — Michael Steely, Medford