When a child kills himself, another child or a parent, families are devastated. If the thought of this resulting anguish and guilt doesn't persuade gun owners to store their guns safely, I don't believe adding criminal liability would make the difference.
Why not require handguns to be inoperable except to the gun owner? Can't the same biometrics (fingerprint or handprint) that gun owners Paul Kemp, Robert Yuille and Lily Raff McCaulou support for gun safes (My View: "Law needed to keep kids safe from guns," March 30 Tribune) be applied to the gun itself?
If the gun doesn't fire without the gun owner, then the child who takes the gun from mommy's purse can't kill her. And the observant child who learns the code to daddy's gun safe can't shoot his friend while playing cowboys. This kind of "useless" gun would give gun owners ready access to their guns when needed and would keep our kids safe.
Please include legislative bill numbers
Upon reviewing several articles today, in preparation for teaching a group of people how to follow bills in the state Legislature, I noticed a disconcerting situation. In none of the three articles I read concerning specific bills were the bill numbers shown.
As someone who teaches workshops on Evaluating Information and on how to be a Citizen Advocate, I hope that our media outlets will do their best to assist the public in finding information about key public actions — including legislation. Leaving out bill numbers makes it that much harder for people to track this information.
I ask the Portland Tribune to include bill numbers in any article that pertains to a specific bill. The bills can then be easily looked up on OLIS (Oregon Legislative Information System https://olis.leg.state.or.us/ ) where one can sign up to track a bill, find out when a hearing will be held, and easily submit one's opinion on the bill to the committee in which it resides.
Now, make the health care law better
As one of Portland's many small business owners, I am relieved by the decision to remove the American Health Care Act, the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, from the House's voting docket.
The ACA is the first legislation to come along that has helped my business buy health insurance for my employees. It should come as no surprise then that new polling from Small Business Majority found nearly six in 10 small business owners support the ACA, and prefer it to the replacement plan by a 2:1 ratio. Thanks to the tax credits provided by the ACA, I've been able to cover 85 percent of the health insurance costs for more than half of my employees. I believe this has given my business a competitive edge, and I wish more small business owners could enjoy these benefits.
I'm glad the ACA will continue to be the law of the land for the foreseeable future.
And I hope Congress can now come together to discuss improvements to the law, like extending and expanding the small-business tax credits, so that more small businesses can access affordable health coverage.
Portland, solve your own problems first
I read the Tribune, as it is by far the best published in Portland. However, I must comment on and take exception to recent letters it printed that are anti-Kalama methanol plant. We need this plant for jobs and taxes. If you want to serve and make positive societal changes, solve your issues first.
For example, streets full of potholes. Industries spewing toxins into the air. Homeless camps everywhere. Traffic that's some of the worst in the nation. School dropout rates that are scary. Police department scandals. Rampant racism. A forced tax to support art. Your City Council can't even govern because some group or other shuts down their meetings .
You want to involve yourself in our issues, seriously? Stay home and mind your own business.
Kelso city councilman,
So divided, we can't talk anymore
In the front-page article "City ready for legal rematch to ban disrupters from meetings" (March 14 Tribune), it's interesting to note that the Portland City Council is faced with individuals who are disrupting City Council meetings, and the council "is expected to consider a draft policy in response to more than a year of repeated disruption of city meetings by a concerted group of audience members who heckle, jeer, shout at other testifiers and officials, and express political views on homelessness and police."
We have to ask: Have we become so divided that we can no longer discuss issues in a fair and responsible way in trying to reach common ground and find solutions to the issues we face as a community?
Louis H. Bowerman
This is 'The City That Works?'
For a period of time, I wondered if it was just me who noticed the massive increase in coverage of all things contrary to making Portland and the surrounding area livable. Now, I believe the number of concerned citizens is growing exponentially.
A consensus of reaction to rioting, anarchy, homelessness, litter and the general devolving of Portland livability seems to grow by the week. The City Council can't hold a meeting in their own building. Residents who beg elected officials to do something about the massive growing squatter population are told to be understanding and tolerant. This as vandalism and syringes grow, tons of rotten garbage litters more of the city, and county and city officials seem frozen in their complacency. It appears elected leaders are utterly without answers.
Perhaps the intellectuals who make up the revolving door electoral process in our area simply don't see the reality citizens witness each day. The continued predictability of like-minded "progressives" who share homeless values and "sanctuary" identities ensures the real needs of the people who pay their wages go unnoticed.
It appears the elected leaders of our city have abdicated the future of the Portland area to the homeless and the anarchists. When and where will the voice that says "enough" be heard in our area? When will we stop painting false slogans on our city vehicles? "The City That Works?" Perhaps we should stencil "The City Without a Spine."