Re: Journalists

I am so sorry to read that Rachel Rosenbaum, the budding crime and safety reporter is leaving the Appeal-Democrat. Even more regrettable is that she is “leaving journalism.” It is a shame that sharp, articulate young people cannot make an even rudimentary living in the journalism field. 

As Rachel asks in her final column, where will people get all their local news; the objective reporting of “local court hearings, budget meetings, major crime stories, annexation plans, or your own particular area of interest if the newspaper fades into nothingness?”

People say “the paper does not have anything in it” or “ it is full of ads, I don’t read it anymore.” It seems members of the public do not understand basic economics of keeping a newspaper solvent. As the number of subscriptions drop, ad revenue drops, staff is cut, income for the paper drops, number of articles is curtailed and it becomes a downward spiral until the paper withers away.

I know this is a national problem, one with causes ranging from social media to lessening attention spans to the demise of reading in general. But we can do something about it on the local level by heeding Rachel’s words. As she says “the only way to demand a better product is to support it.” Fight truth decay, make the newspaper part of your daily life.

Best wishes to Rachel as she moves on to new opportunities and I hope she will rethink giving up journalism. The public needs her!

Roberta D’Arcy,

Yuba County

 

Re: Mass Shootings

 

Another assault weapon massacre…not one but 3 in 2 weeks. Amidst cries of: ‘do something’ by protestors, Trump made an irresponsible statement: “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.” We expect the president to present solutions, not just rhetoric. We need assurance that something positive is in motion for the future, such as gun control laws that will prevent and as a minimum lessen massacres.

The gun lobby likes to say, “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” Law enforcement officers engaged the shooters in both Gilroy and Dayton in less than one minute. In Gilroy, three people were killed and 13 injured. In Dayton, the shooter killed nine people and wounded 27 others…in 32 seconds. “Good guys with guns” stopped “bad guys with guns” about as fast as possibly could happen, and still 12 people died and 40 were wounded. Assault rifles were designed and intended for military use to kill humans quickly and efficiently. They have no place in a peaceful, civilized society.

NRA’s cliché, echoed by the Republicans, is: ‘guns don’t kill people…people kill people. I’ll re-paraphrase that to: “people with guns kill people.” It is a fact that: we have more than 300 million guns…one out of 10 people have a gun. We have the most gun murders in the world. Statistics show that states with strong gun regulations have lower gun deaths than states without.

We can never get to zero-gun deaths… our Constitution (2nd Amendment) will not allow it. But we can have strong gun control laws that will lessen mass murders.

For starters Congress can re-instate the federal law banning assault weapons. In the 10 years that it was in effect gun massacres dropped. When the Republican gun lobby Congress killed the bill in 2014 mass shootings sky rocketed. That and other bills for gun control are being blocked by just one man…the Republican Senate majority leader – McConnell. He is abetted by Trump and the NRA.

Trump and McConnell allow mass shootings. The best way to hold them accountable is to vote them out.

Fred Kawashima,

Yuba City 

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