Letters to the editor for the week of Aug. 30

Readers discuss the second amendment and Renton’s “multiculturalism”

  • Tuesday, September 3, 2019 9:49am
  • Opinion

Second Amendment

Reader says column on gun control is off-base

Dear editor,

I find it necessary to comment on Rich Elfers’ diatribe on placing blame for mass shootings. I find it interesting in his approach to place blame on every possible thing except the actual shooter. This astounds me that someone is that absurd.

Mr. Elfers cites an article from the Business Insider as well as a comment from the Violence Policy Center, holding those sources as the holy grail of information while condemning and ridiculing the [National Rifle Association (NRA)]. I suppose he has never really looked into all the gun safety and training programs that the NRA conducts that are free to the public. I doubt the Business Insider has conducted free gun safety training programs for the public. The same goes for the Violence Policy Center. Hmmm, very short-sighted on his part. Yet, I suppose Mr. Elfers would just like the NRA to “go away” and he would be extremely happy. Then there wouldn’t be any free gun safety classes for the public. Gun accidents would increase but Mr. Elfers would still be happy with the increased carnage since he obviously has no regard for safety training. His world is very one-sided.

Mr. Elfers lackluster attempt to tie the gun industry and the NRA together is a disgrace. Maybe he should look at the Democratic party and its association with the various unions and their monetary kickbacks. Perhaps he should look at the Renton Reporter, which his article was printed in, and its association with advertisers of federally illegal substances. Doesn’t that newspaper get money from them? He can’t look in that mirror since he wouldn’t like what he saw.

I cannot see how gun manufacturers are to blame for any of the shootings that have occurred. They are a manufacturer of a device that is sold to the public. They cannot and should not be responsible for the actions of an individual that uses it for illegal activity. I suppose in Mr. Elfers’ skewed world of placing blame he would be holding Ford or Chevrolet responsible for all the car accidents that involve their vehicles!

Gun sales and ownership are both heavily regulated, even though it is a civil right in the USA and Washington state. Perhaps Mr. Elfers First Amendment rights should be regulated like the Second Amendment? I wonder if he would appreciate having a background check done every time he uttered a word or penned an article? Hmmm, I wonder how long he would have a job as an opinion writer?

Mr. Elfers needs to take the same strident steps to complain about some other industries that knowingly produce items that can kill people. I don’t see him complaining about the alcohol or tobacco industries. I believe quite a few more people die each year by using those products, yet he is silent. I don’t see him complaining about the advertisers of class three drugs that are in the newspaper that prints his articles. His silence speaks volumes about his convictions.

Has Mr. Elfers been concerned with the increase in drug abuse victims in the local area? Not too many articles written about this subject from his bully pulpit. I believe there are a lot more deaths caused by drug overdoses but that doesn’t bother him. He has more important items to write about. Ah yes, the gun industry and the NRA are easy targets for Mr. Elfers.


David Yadock


Reader questions multicultural goals of Renton

Dear editor,

I have lived in Renton for two years now and have read over and over again, statements by the mayor of the city, Mr. Dennis Law, on how strong his commitment has been towards diversity an inclusion throughout his years of service. Everywhere I walk, everywhere I sit, everywhere I drive, I see how people from the whole world share spaces, experiences, stories, and time together making Renton truly diverse. We share experiences, we care for each other, we depend on our neighbors, we worry about each other’s well being. However, when all is said and done this multiculturalism, this diversity he has been so politically deploying is not truly embraced by the city’s government.

People of color continue to be without access to services in the language that they speak. Limited English proficiency individuals must navigate city services without any insider allies who can adequately address their needs. The city has been getting by with a phone line — that if used at all — merely links an individual to nether space and not to any truly caring or involved civil servants who can address our concerns or satisfy our needs.

The lack of a truly bilingual staff at city hall is appalling, city publications in other languages are non-existent, and the website is severely unfriendly to those who need access to information in other languages. It is sad that in this day and age the city relies on a multicultural festival that pretends to bring all of us together. It seems more like enhanced tokenism where diversity is used to cover up the underlying inability to truly serve diverse constituencies.

I was appalled to see the latest issue of “Let’s Go Renton!” was plastered throughout with images of people of color and not one single word in another language indicating inclusion.

I do hope that future city government will look at issues beyond the fake, political sphere and truly understand that lip service and self-congratulatory statements (oh yes, and the posing for the occasional photograph, Ruth) are not enough. It is not enough to have people of color as a backdrop. To be truly inclusive you have to recognize that we speak other languages and process other meanings, and that many a times communicating to us only English is a reminder of a nasty entrenched message telling us “we really don’t care if you are here.”


Sophia Vackimes


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