Surprised by attack on columnist, source for column

I was surprised by the scathing personal attacks in the recent letter by Paul Smith. He took the low road, causing needless trouble.

There is no reason to suppose that the experiment by Campus Reform was a sham. They were functioning as a disruptor. Disrupters may point out truths in a way that is uncomfortable for those invested in a differing view, but if their point is true, it is true. A wise, mature person will still accept it and learn from it, not attack the source.

Even the New York Times published a long article a year or two ago on how political correctness has run amuck.

Lois Johnston

Moscow

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A sound bite, not a solution

An Daily News article on Sept. 3 says that politicians are talking about restricting firearm magazine size.

Detachable magazines have been around for over 150 years, with modern designs available since 1900. With a bit of practice, a user can swap in a new one and get back to shooting in an instant, as YouTube can demonstrate. Capacity makes a very small difference to thugs who plan an attack. All they need to do is carry a few more. The attacker at Virginia Tech used magazines of various capacities, small and regular.

The nut at the school in Connecticut was constantly dropping partly used magazines as he moved through the building. Limiting legal capacity will have little to no effect on the crazies, even if they obey the law.

On the other hand, honest people defending themselves aren’t going to be carrying a dozen magazines or multiple weapons. They will have whatever is in the nightstand gun, the rifle they pull from the closet or have in their purse. Fear and panic affect even the best marksman, so having a few more rounds available when surprised can mean surviving rather than dying.

Capacity limits are a sound bite, not a solution. They are a form of prohibition which will affect honest citizens but not thugs. Spend our effort on identifying violent crazies before they carry out their ugly fantasies with whatever tool they choose rather than restricting honest citizens who may suffer because they obey the law.

Mike Finkbiner

Moscow

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Duo urges support for Benjamin

We urge you to vote for Francis Benjamin for Pullman City Council. He will serve all of us – Democrats and Republicans, long-time Pullman residents and newcomers – with equal regard. Municipal governments are nonpartisan by constitutional design in Washington for good reason; Francis will carry out his duties in a nonpartisan spirit, as he should.

Likewise, Francis will build consensus around well-reasoned and equitable policies that promote the interests of Pullman and its residents.

The two of us, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, have been working arm-in-arm for the past decade to promote civil discourse and advance the prospects of bipartisan problem solving in our state. One did so as a WSU faculty member (1977-2011), and the other as a WSU graduate who went on to serve as the Thurston Coounty Auditor, and then as the three-term 14th Secretary of State. The Foley Institute and the Ruckelshaus Center at WSU have supported our joint efforts to help our state legislators avoid the gridlock of hyper-partisanship characteristic of Congress.

In their respective Democratic and Republican public political lives, both Tom Foley and Bill Ruckelshaus took equal pride in their ability to advocate for their party’s viewpoints and to find ways to identify common ground, shared values, and mutually agreeable public policies.

Candidates of either party who share this commitment to civil discourse and bipartisanship once elected to office deserve our support. During his prior service on the Pullman City Council, during his term of office as the president of the Washington Association of Cities, and since then as a key figure in economic development for the Pullman community, Francis has demonstrated his commitment to the political values shared by Foley and Ruckelshaus.

Sam Reed

Olympia

Nicholas Lovrich

Pullman

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No free lunch? Correct. It’s time to pay up front

Dale Courtney recently pointed out that there is no “free lunch” (His View, Aug 21).

Dale focused on the array of “free” public services provided by government, which of course are not free; we pay for them through taxes. Here, I focus on a different “free lunch,” one provided by the natural world, which we have all taken advantage of for years without paying for it: using our atmosphere as a repository for carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion.

Now, the bill is coming due: from shellfish production problems due to ocean acidification (happening now on our Pacific coast), to climate refugees fleeing their homelands where they can no longer grow their traditional crops (estimated at 26 million people per year), to more destructive storms and rising sea levels (coastal flooding is already more common). We are now paying after the fact.

It is time to pay up front, which is why I support the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Fees on fossil fuels would provide the incentive for efficiency while dividends to households would help finance changes and prevent hardships from rising fuel costs.

Chemists have known the heat-trapping properties of carbon dioxide since the 1800s – now we understand the problem much more clearly and it is time to act. For details and to see how you can support this legislation, visit this shortened web link: http://bit.ly/2kz1425

Steve Flint

Moscow

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