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Letters to editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Reader takes former commissioner to task

The national debate is not about citizens owning guns. I own guns and will fight as hard as the next guy to keep them. Dan, name one Democrat who has advocated abolishing our right to own guns. You used Chicago as your example of why strong gun laws do not stop killings. Virtually all the killings in Chicago and Illinois are one-on-one by gangs. The national debate is about killings in mass with deadly assault weapons by mentally unstable people. Clearly, you did not even mention assault weapons, nor did you present the case of why they should not be abolished.

You incorrectly stated that Obama and the Democrats “held the House, Senate, and presidency for years.” Truth, they held it for the first two years, after that the Republicans controlled the house for the next six years. Also, on health care, maybe you should again read the preamble of our Constitution wherein it states, “provide for the common welfare.” How can we provide for the “common welfare” and ignore the health needs of our citizens?

Also, you mentioned the killing of nine people by stabbing. How often are there killings in mass by stabbing? You also mentioned the numerous killings by another deadly weapon, the automobile. I agree. But, you did not mention that we require car drivers to be licensed. Why not require gun owners to be licensed? Why have a double standard? Further, seldom is an automobile intentionally used to kill another person, although it has happened in Las Vegas on rare occasions.

Moreover, you stated that “gun laws … should be driven by state, not federal laws.” This makes no sense at all because just a short while ago, the shooter in Gilroy, California, was denied the right to purchase an assault weapon there. He then came to Nevada where he purchased the deadly assault weapon he used.

Finally, you stated that “government was not the answer.” Wrong. Government should protect us. Why do we have police? I do agree with you when you wrote, “We will never be able to stop sick, evil people from doing evil things.” But, Dan, why should we make it easy for them? There was a ban on assault weapons for 10 years under Clinton and it worked. Mass killings by assault weapons were greatly reduced. What is wrong with saving lives?

Jim Ferrell

P.S. Dan, you were a great county commissioner, if you run in my district I will vote for you.

Reader hopes “it is not too late” for our country

Up until now, I have believed that the best way to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 has been to focus on advocating for the federal government to do more to help the lower and middle classes with their economic and financial struggles to survive and to pay their bills. So, I have largely ignored his hateful, dumb, stupid, and ignorant remarks in which he demeans, insults, bullies, and disrespects all minority groups, women, and immigrants.

I have done this partly because I have believed from day one that this has all been a big act and that he is a master manipulator and con man who really doesn’t believe the ridiculous, idiotic, and moronic things that he says, but that he cleverly figured out that he could win the presidency by pretending that he actually believes in what he thinks – that 51% of the American people believe in hate. But his hate-talk has now become too dangerous. He is playing with fire.

This big act and he game has to stop.

I call on all of the good-hearted, conservative Republicans in the USA who have a conscience to join Nikki Haley and Carly Fiorina and to call out Trump on his hate-talk. The people who he has insulted and disrespected don’t deserve to hear any more of his nonsense. He might have already damaged our country beyond repair because sometimes there are things that can never be made right. I hope it is not too late.


Stewart B. Epstein

P.S. By way of background, I am a retired college professor of sociology, social work, and psychology.

I taught at West Virginia University, Slippery Rock University, and Towson University.

I also spent five years as a New York state-licensed social worker working as a therapist/counselor in the fields of alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental health/illness.

I am currently serving as a volunteer with the “National Eating Disorders Association.”

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