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Miriah is calling the shots now

by: L.E. BASKOW, Miriah Gillett, the sister of Oregon City girl Miranda Gaddis, murdered seven years ago, visits Miranda’s grave with friend  Justin Evans. Letter writers respond to Miriah’s work to honor her sister and move on with her life.

I think that even though it is difficult, Miriah Gillett has made a good decision to step back from her mother (Confronting a killer, Feb. 26). To have such presence of mind at such a young age is impressive.

I think a lot of young people in that predicament would have a false sense of loyalty or simply be afraid to say that what their mom exposed them to was their mom's fault.

Hang in there, Miriah. You are in charge of your life now, and you call the shots. You are safe now.

Carmen Lohkamp

Gresham

A lesson learned in precaution

Thanks for writing this article. While it is very sad and disturbing that a mother would subject her children to so many predators, if just one person reads it and is more precautionary with their own kids or reaches out to Miriah, it is all worth it (Confronting a killer, Feb. 26).

It's so very sad and, unfortunately, so very common in the world and right here in our own backyards.

Maura White

Southeast Portland

Protect our 2nd Amendment rights

In response to Shawn Alford's letter 'Together, we must stop the violence' (Insight, Feb. 26), I would like to respond by saying the National Rifle Association is not selling fear. Want some facts about 'gun violence'?

Guns prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year, or 6,849 every day. Often, the gun is never even fired and no blood - including the criminal's - is shed. Every day, 550 rapes, 1,100 murders and 5,200 other violent crimes are prevented just by showing a gun. In less than 0.9 percent of these instances is the gun actually fired. (National Crime Victimization Survey, 2000, Bureau of Justice Statistics).

Washington, D.C., has essentially banned gun ownership since 1976 and has a murder rate of 56.9 per 100,000. Across the river in Arlington, Va., gun ownership is less restricted. There, the murder rate is just 1.6 per 100,000, less than 3 percent of the Washington, D.C., rate. (FBI, 'Crime in the United States'). Ninety percent of all violent crimes in the U.S. don't involve a firearm of any kind. (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Federal Firearms Offenders study).

The NRA helps to protect our 2nd Amendment rights that people like Shawn Alford are trying to take away. What other parts of the Constitution would he and his group like to put in the paper shredder?

Travis Chamberlain

Keep Firing Oregon, St. Helens chapter

Columbia City

New gun laws are counterproductive

Yes, stop the violence, but don't just change the weapon that is used (Together, we must stop the violence, Insight, Feb. 26).

The anti-gun measures are opposed because they are, at best, ineffective at reducing the total violence and, at worst, counterproductive. A litmus test for them being counterproductive is - would perpetrators be helped by their passage? If perpetrators break into our homes carrying knives, do you think they want us to be able to safely and quickly deploy a gun?

There are already laws regarding guns and perpetrators. New laws would mainly affect honest citizens who would like to protect their homes and families. And perpetrators, by definition, are willing to break laws.

It is not necessary to ban the sale of something to get a similar result. A more deceitful way would be to require the purchaser to pay taxes they can't afford, or buy $1 million worth of insurance (Illinois). To further the deceit, use the word 'reasonable' a lot to make it appear to actually be reasonable.

I am in favor of steps that actually work, like gang interdiction and helping at-risk youth - not ineffective, feel-good legislation that appeals to some people's fears, but is actually counterproductive.

Gary Berger

Beaverton

Opportunity knocked for the New Dawn

Thank you for the great article on the reissue of our 1970 album (It's a new day for the New Dawn, Feb. 26). There is only one error that I would like to clear up.

ABC-Dunhill Records was very interested in the group and wanted us to come to Los Angeles and audition for them immediately. But we were booked for six months in advance in clubs throughout the Pacific Northwest, and our agent insisted that ABC-Dunhill's A and R man come up and catch us in a club instead of rebooking us and sending us south. Big mistake.

Successful major record labels like ABC-Dunhill have hundreds, if not thousands, of groups trying to get in to see them. They don't have to head out of town to audition groups. The door of opportunity opened, and we didn't step through.

Dan Bazzy

The New Dawn

Willamina

Dutch is the way to go

Doesn't anyone go dutch anymore (Critics question Leonard splurges, Feb. 26)? You pay for your meal, I pay for mine. It's clear and transparent.

Paul Dinberg

Northeast Portland

Aggressive lenders are not to blame

Perhaps a bigger problem than potential mortgage foreclosures is the total lack of accountability by the people who borrowed far beyond their ability to repay (Shaky loans may spur new foreclosure wave, March 5). Instead of admitting that they hoped to 'get something for nothing,' by riding the unsustainable wave of increasing real estate values, people want to blame aggressive lenders who told them what they wanted to hear.

Are we incapable, as a nation, from doing the simple math comparing our income with potential payments to determine what we can afford? Don't we ever take a look at a 'worst case scenario' to see what is the potential risk in our decisions?

As long as we can figure out a way to blame others and maintain our economic illiteracy, these kinds of problems will never go away.

Greg Hadley

Lake Oswego

Time for a better focus

Another project? It appears to me the city leaders would rather focus on soccer teams, hotels, outhouses and street cars to avoid the reality of a town falling apart (The Greenest of the Green?, March 5).

Has the City Council forgotten that Mayor Adams declared that Portland is in financial emergency this year? It's only March.

Rick Durbin

Fairview