Letters to the editor for the week of Aug. 30

Reader suggests ways to bring more news coverage to Maple Valley

Reader offers unique solutions to loss of coverage

Dear editor,

Losing our local paper is certainly sad news! I will say the quality of journalism from both the writing and photo side has been outstanding! Of course, in the end, we all understand that a newspaper is a business and money comes from the higher population centers.

But wait … we don’t have shootings or high speed chases like Kent, but what if we upped our game? Say we elect a city council like Black Diamond had in the recent past? We’ll call the meetings “Maple Valley Smackdown 2019” and we’ll sell popcorn and Fireball at the door. What do you think?

What if we adopt a city ordinance to eliminate stop signs, make turn signal use illegal and make stopping at red lights optional? Then we’d be driving like our big-city neighbors in Kent. Think of the exciting traffic stories!

And while we have a Maple Valley Arts Council that promotes a variety of the arts, what if we went a different direction and had quarterly “graffiti” days? We could all meet, grab spray paint and deface vertical surfaces. Feels like I’m down in the valley all ready! Everybody grab a can!

Seriously, The Reporter will be missed. The quality and truthful reporting have contributed to our community rather than detract. And while the editor points out, “It’s a transition, not an ending,” in reality it’s an ending. But that’s what we say as adults when we try to soften the blow.

Best of luck in Kent/Covington, consider these exciting new options and if you decide to return I have a can of silver and black out in the shed that are ready to go!

Respectfully yours,

John Porter

Maple Valley

Reader disagrees with columnist’s view on NRA

Dear editor,

One of the columns I read on a regular basis in your paper is the one written by Rich Elfers. Even though his column always has an obvious liberal bias, it is usually well reasoned and I can respect his point of view. That is not the case in the column labeled; “Where To Place The Blame For Mass Shootings” offered in your August 16, 2019 issue.

Elfers presents the idea that the gun manufacturers are responsible for the shootings and that the [National Rifle Association (NRA)] is working hand-in-hand with them to further their evil deeds. He goes on to show that the large gun manufacturers contribute to the NRA in many ways, thereby contributing significantly to their coffers. That part of his information is true. Like any other legal business that produces a product that is legal in the United States of America, they contributed to organizations that support them. And since they sell guns, they do advertise in magazines that support the shooting community. All other businesses do the same thing. Car manufacturers support car organizations and they advertise in car magazines.

The NRA was founded in 1871 to promote the shooting sports. That is what they still do. They have many programs that actively promote the sport. These include:

•Firearms Training – Training courses that teach firearms safety and familiarity

•Law Enforcement – Training for law enforcement firearms instructors and sponsoring law enforcement competitions.

•NRA School Shield – Assisting schools with many facets of school security, including best practices in school security infrastructure, technology, personnel, training, and policy.

•Hunter Support – Hunter safety training.

•Competitive Shooting – Sanctions 11,000 shooting tournaments and sponsors 50-plus national championships each year.

•Safety And Education – Resources and training to ensure the safe and effective use of firearms as well as personal safety.

•Women’s Interests – Training, clubs, competitions and scholarships for women interested in the shooting sports.

•Affiliated Clubs, Ranges and Businesses: Assistance to a network of 15,000 NRA-affiliated organizations.

I have been a member of the NRA for all of my adult life and have found fellow members to be the kind of people you would wish for as neighbors. They are, for the most part, law abiding, patriotic, tax-paying, responsible citizens, the kind of people any country would want to be populated with. When there is a mass shooting, it is not a NRA member who is involved, but it is often the NRA that is mentioned in a negative way by the mainstream media and it seems Mr. Elfers agrees.

How is it logical to condemn a legal business that provides a legal product when that product is misused by some deranged individual? I would think that no logic is used in this thought process. Maybe emotion wrapped around some pre-conceived idea, but no logic. In addition, it is the usual case that a gun in the hands of an armed citizen or a police officer is the only reason the deranged individual stops his shooting rampage. How is it logical to think that it is a good thing to disarm the citizen who stopped the deranged shooter as a response to a deranged shooting incident?

I am a retired police officer with over 32 years of service. I will tell you that most line police officers are very pro-NRA and very pro-Second Amendment. I never feared an armed citizen. They are, for the most part, an asset to law enforcement. More gun laws do nothing to prevent crime since criminals do not obey laws. How is it logical to respond to a psycho shooting by taking the guns from law-abiding citizens? Especially in the case of mass shooters, who only stop their actions when confronted by a good guy with a gun, either in the form of the police or an armed citizen?

The majority of mass shootings happen in gun-free zones. Logic would tell us that there has to be a reason that these deranged individuals pick out these zones in order to provide an environment that provides them the greater chance of success in completed their demented goal. Since the shooting usually stops when the criminal is confronted by armed resistance, the timeline for continuing the shooting is greatly increased in areas where there is little likelihood of someone being armed and where the first person to confront them is the first-arriving police officer.

If the true goal is to reduce the number of these horrific shooting situations, then the investigator should look at some common characteristics of the shooters. Often times they come from a dysfunctional family situation. Many do not have a positive male role model in their lives. Many were taking psychotropic drugs. Many were frequent users of violent video games. We have a society that makes excuses for aberrant behavior and blames society, not the perpetrator, for the crime. Often times, there were many behaviors exhibited by the shooters before the incidents happened that signaled the likelihood of the event. Many times the shooters even made direct threats either in person or on social media and these threats were ignored. I am not saying that any of these things are directly related to the problem, but it is valid to investigate them.

When something horrific happens, we all want it to stop as soon as possible, but an emotional, knee-jerk reaction that results in a new law that oftentimes does nothing to solve the problem is not the answer. Elfers demonizes the NRA even though no member has been guilty of any of these acts. The NRA condemns these acts and offers solutions that have worked for centuries in this nation, but are not currently politically correct. Guns have always been part of our nation’s history. These types of shootings have not. The moral character of this nation has changed. The vast majority of gun owners are law abiding, patriotic Americans and very supportive of law enforcement. Guns are a legal product and no gun manufacturer has supported gun violence. They have no obligation to come before congress because some demented individuals have used their products in a way the manufacturers never intended.

Elfers’ thought process serves to divide Americans and he would do better to work with other law-abiding Americans in looking for a true solution.


Paul Peter