Importance of a parent staying home with kids

Your recent article "More expensive than college" (July 16) discusses the difficulties many families have securing quality child care at an affordable price.

The real problem is not a lack of affordable child care or universal preschool. It is that many parents can't stay home with their kids because they must work and other parents won't stay home because they won't change their lifestyle.

I think it's sad that we debate how to get more affordable child care, but we don't address how to keep more parents at home. You can't buy quality child care. As my husband likes to say, you never treat a rental car as well as your own.

My husband and I arranged our lives so that we would not have to put our son in care. We are not wealthy; he is a part-time bus driver and musician, and I am a part-time secretary. Many of us could stay home with our kids if we were willing to do with a little less for a little while.

The first three years of a child's life are three of the most important ones, and, if at all possible, they should be spent with parents and family.

Laura Crandall Seattle

Immigration as tied to environment

In response to your July 20 article "Aid flows to illegal immigrants": I oppose granting mass amnesty to illegal immigrants.

In part, because of the current irresponsible system of immigration, we can expect our population to reach a half billion people in the year 2050, according to the US Census Bureau. That means our population is now growing at a faster rate than China's.

I live in North Carolina, where the quality of life is terrible. We have high levels of bacteria in our drinking-water system and very poor air quality.

What will happen to the environment when the state's population doubles? I know I don't trust my elected officials to plan for the coming crisis.

We should follow the smart example of Japan, which has a near zero immigration rate and outsources any spot labor deficiencies. It is so imperative that we take initiatives to stabilize our population.

Paul Francis Cary, N.C.

Second Amendment interpretations

I take issue with the claim in your July 17 editorial "Sticking to his guns," in which which you identify "the more mainstream interpretation" of the Second Amendment, as one that "asserts a collective right to bear arms as part of a state militia."

One has only to read the amendment, and consider its context in the militia laws of the 13 colonies, to see that this interpretation is flawed.

According to these militia laws, the militia was comprised of all able-bodied males, usually between the ages of 16 and 45 years or some similar age group. Each member of this group was required to provide himself with a firearm "consisting of lock, stock, and barrel" in good condition.

A review of the records of the constitutional debates, as well as correspondence of Adams, Jefferson, and others among those who wrote the amendments, illustrates that these men were intent on ensuring that individuals retained the right to their firearms. A review of history shows the militia was strictly local force, made up of citizens from a specific town or village who might be called upon to defend their homes at short notice.

I'm not arguing that the Constitution should be reinterpreted to meet changing conditions, but let's not try to change the clear intent of the Constitution's framers.

Gary Hobin Leavenworth, Kan.

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