Letters to the Editor

Readers write: Letters to the editor, February 28, 2018

City needs one electric utility
Anchorage does not need two electric utilities. Chugach Electric is a veteran, community-based organization doing it well, so we don't need city government duplicating that service. If we sold ML&P to any other utility company, we'd still have duplication and high rates. Selling it to Chugach makes sense.
— Marge Stoneking

Let's share the arts for all
I recently had the privilege of attending the final dress rehearsal for "Little Shop of Horrors," courtesy of free tickets given to the Young Cancer Support Group. The audience was multicultural: brown, white, black and shades in between. Not the usual 90 percent white crowd I'm used to seeing at performing arts center. The attendees had all received free tickets given to social service agencies by the Anchorage Concert Association. I was thankful for the chance to see this show, but I want ACA to do more.
I have been to numerous shows at both Atwood and Discovery where there are many, many empty seats going to waste. I keep wondering when the organizations that use PAC are going to get on board with the practice most cities our size or larger have adopted, namely selling same day tickets at half-price (or in some cases even lower) after a certain time on the day of a performance. Selling these tickets at half-price would serve several useful purposes: it would help fill some of the empty seats, it would offer the opportunity for people who can't afford full-priced tickets to participate in some of the cultural activities that occur in our city, and it might even bring in some additional revenue.
I would also like to see these organizations offer more free tickets to social service organizations and schools. To be successful the receiving organizations need to do more to promote these tickets to their members/clients. The arts are important to our society. The younger a person is exposed the more likely they are to continue going and supporting the arts as adults. Anchorage is a very multi-cultural city. We need to do a better job of making the arts, especially live performances, accessible to those who cannot afford $92 tickets (the cost of the tickets where we were sitting).
— Jamelia Saied

Vote your conscience
In light of the most recent child carnage in Florida, and the NRA's disregard for any common sense and meaningful change in gun laws, the Alaska government should cut ties with the NRA by way of getting rid of the personalized license plates promoting the NRA.
Don't get me wrong — I'm a gun owner of multiple firearms and a strong defender of the right to bear arms (always have been), but enough is enough of the NRA and Congress, for that matter, turning a blind eye to the slaughter that is currently happening in our country. If our legislature, federal and state, will do nothing to help curb the violence and killing by strengthening gun laws, the people will have to make the change happen by way of your vote. Do your research on our legislators before filling out that ballot!
— Rory Spurlock

Change the 'death culture'
Regarding conservative John Kass's commentary on Friday, Feb. 23:
So you agree, then, that the "right" has a "death culture" around guns? Would you be willing to modify your use of guns if the "left" modified its use of abortion?
— Kristen Holmes

You don't need an AR-15
Our lawmakers are so cute with their drivel regarding what they are going to do about gun control.
The military, and local and state law enforcement have a very stringent vetting process as to who qualifies to serve with their agencies. Odds are if you pass the vetting process you may never even fire a weapon. Just filing paperwork, doing laundry, KP, getting the general coffee (VPSO's are not even armed.) Should the need arise they should have access to an AR-15, but again, you have to get through the vetting process.
For hunting, you just take a rifle or shotgun and make sure that you are a good shot, and never leave a wounded animal in the field. For home protection, I don't want to be shot with a 9mm Glock or Grandpa's inherited .22.
There is never going to be a zombie apocalypse. Unless you stole money or product from an outlaw motorcycle gang or a drug cartel, you will never need an AR-15.
— Grant Hedman

NRA at root of problem
Thanks to "gun guy" Steve Meyer for showing the courage to admit publicly that this country has a gun problem. Now, if a few million more of us responsible gun owners would do the same, we could begin a national dialog that eventually would move the needle toward a safer and saner nation.
Mr. Meyer was too polite to say it but the reason we are in this horrible situation is the NRA. A front for the arms industry, the NRA has bought the obedience of enough politicians to squelch any mention of guns in any discussion of gun violence. Just this week before the Alaska Legislature our sometimes moderate Lisa Murkowski, asked about solutions to school massacres, stumbled through a rambling soliloquy about mental health because she just couldn't say the word "guns."
Thanks also to the courageous students and parents who stood up this last week and said enough is enough, but by focusing on school shootings they allowed the NRA another opportunity to create a diversion. Wayne LaPierre quickly came out blaming the schools, the parents, and the FBI. Guns don't kill people, school administrators and parents kill people.
This issue isn't just a few dozen dead kids gunned down at school, it's tens of thousands of kids and adults gunned down all over the country in recent years, not counting suicides. We need better mental health screening and treatment to be sure. But remember this: every country has mentally ill people but only one has an epidemic of gun violence. Because only one country is awash in military-style weapons and handguns. Because only one country has the NRA.
This once-respectable organization, which promoted shooting sports and gun safety and published nice magazines, was hijacked in the mid-1970s by new leadership with an extremist agenda who has convinced millions of gullible sportsmen to become "patriots" and "defenders of freedom" by simply sending in some cash, and buying more guns and ammo.
NRA membership comprises just 1.5 percent of Americans, and only 20 percent of U.S. gun owners, but so far it has controlled the national agenda. What are the rest of us, who own and enjoy responsibly using guns, doing to address the problem? Mr. Meyer is right, it's time to start a reasonable dialogue.
— Terry Johnson

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter under 200 words for consideration, email letters@adn.com, or click here to submit via any Web browser. Submitting a letter to the editor constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Send longer works of opinion to commentary@adn.com.