Your June 2 article "Fear of crime holds up US effort to disarm Iraq" has an ironic twist to it. We are demanding that Iraqis turn over their weapons in the interest of establishing law and order, but we refuse to consider even the faintest whiff of such action in our own communities in the US, which would do a lot for reducing criminal activity here, too.
"Fear of crime holds up US effort to disarm Iraq" highlights the end result of the increasingly Draconian firearms laws in this country. Whether it be gun turn-ins or outright confiscation, the result is the same. The more you deprive law-abiding citizens their right to self-defense, the more you abet the "right" of the criminal to ply his or her trade. As in Britain, Australia, and now Iraq, fewer firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens means more crime.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
Regarding the Work & Money column "As tax plan passes, critics blast GOP priorities" (June 2): I could not help wondering why the stated priority - "jobs and growth" - was not even mentioned. The column seems to deal with priorities through the biased lens of the critics. Those who see the tax code as a vehicle to redistribute income see only how "benefits" are distributed between income classes, thereby ignoring who bears most of the tax burden.
Ignored also is the fact that the money given to someone to spend has to come from another without regard to how that individual might use the money taken by taxes or loaned to the government. The theory underlying the GOP tax plan recognizes that the only real benefits of changing the tax code come from altering behavior of taxpayers. In reducing marginal tax rates, capital-gains tax rates, and dividend-tax rates, this plan will stimulate much-needed investment by increasing after-tax returns on capital invested. This is necessary to trigger employment growth. Isn't reducing unemployment better than extending unemployment benefits?
Finally, every tax-rate reduction in memory has stimulated economic growth with resulting increased tax revenues, which, together with controlling spending, is the ultimate answer to deficits.
Laguna Beach, Calif.
I simply cannot support your editorial regarding the FCC's relaxing control of media ownership ("Remote Control," June 2). The argument that the media should be subjected to the market forces as any other business overlooks a major fact: The broadcast airwaves belong to the people. The BBC does an outstanding job, much better than most US media, in its reporting of world and current events. It happens to be monitored by the government. Anyone who watches a few hours of US news cannot walk away without feeling they were being fed some "canned" information. As for corporations wanting to reach the widest audiences and not being motivated by political considerations - how can you say that when it has been so obvious that the major networks bent over backward to sell the war in Iraq?
Thanks to Ezra Ochshorn for "Elder suicide: Are you aware of it?" (Opinion, June 2). It has been a "hidden concern" for many years, as are serious alcohol and drug problems among the elderly, which, also carry a stigma, often contribute to the depression and suicide.
Long Beach, Calif.
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