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Michigan’s wrong message on guns

For advocates of responsible firearms ownership, the images that came out of Michigan last week should be appalling.

The battle cry in the face of any form of gun reform is often, “Why are restrictions being placed on law-abiding responsible gun owners?” There is nothing responsible about carrying guns into a heated public protest or the halls of a state legislature.

What was the point of this? Supposedly these people were armed and geared up to provide “security.” Security from whom? And what would be the trigger event that would have justified the use of firearms at a civil protest?

This display was nothing but intimidation, pure and simple. When you bring a gun to a public event, you immediately stifle the free speech of those who are unarmed but disagree with you.

If the reader does not believe this, consider the legislators who were in the building apparently did. News reports indicate that those who had bullet-proof vests donned them while working in their offices.

For those who value the right of free speech, this is rule by the tyranny of the few.

Enjoy your right to own a gun. Take it to the range, take it hunting. By all means, teach gun safety to your children. But when it comes to public events and our legislative bodies, leave it home. That is responsible gun ownership.

Gilbert Burket, Omaha

No to street bond

The voters should defeat the city’s request for a street repair bond issue that will increase taxes. The argument in favor is that you would not wait to pay all cash for a house; rather, you get a mortgage. This works when talking about a fire house or police station. One would not run up a lot of long-term debt to pay the grocery bill, neither should the city do so for ongoing routine maintenance of the streets.

To be fair, the mayor inherited this problem but has done nothing to prudently prioritize street repair from the city’s general revenue stream. Adding debt for this purpose is imprudent, and the request should be turned down.

Tom Cleary, Omaha

We have a manhole cover problem

A big bond issue for streets is coming up for a vote. Our hope would be that $200 million would produce lots of smooth streets. But let’s look at one recent example.

Last summer Saddle Creek and Northwest Radial was resurfaced from near Dodge, up to north of the Benson business area; a total of about three miles. It would be my guess that there are 75 to 100 uneven manhole covers right now in that three miles.

And it is not that they don’t give the manholes attention in terms of time and money; they do. They generally reset each one after they have paved and add a concrete apron for support. And some are fine, so it can be done properly.

When there is a problem it seems to be either the lids are lower than the rims or the rims are lower than the pavement. Whichever, you have a bump. A man-made bump. This is not unique to this stretch of roadway. It also is Dodge (at least east of 72nd), North 90th, Ames and on and on. Where are the inspectors?

Bill Bennett, Omaha

Who pays property taxes

Don Campbell’s May 6 Pulse letter, regarding street bond vs. wheel tax for street repair, said renters do not pay property taxes. They certainly do pay property taxes in the same way we pay Walmart’s property taxes: Both landlords and retailers build their taxes into the price of their products, apartments or apples. Not everyone pays wheel taxes either. There are countless vehicles of both property owners and renters that are not registered in the city. A few legally; most are not.

Rob Butler, Omaha

Bacon deserves reelection

I am proudly supporting Don Bacon and will be voting for him in November. One of the reasons why I like Gen. Bacon is because he is able to set politics aside and focus on helping out the district during these challenging and turbulent times.

For example, he was able to coordinate with Soldier Valley Spirits to produce and distribute 58 gallons of hand sanitizer for first responders in the area who need it to safeguard themselves from the COVID-19 virus. He was also able to get portable hand washing stations to Open Door Mission, where they are used to protect those living and working there.

This is the type of leadership Nebraska’s 2nd District needs. Not leadership that involves attacks against political opponents, but leadership that helps and supports the community.

John Eckert, Omaha

Walz helped bring benefit resolution

I want to take the opportunity to thank State Sen. Lynne Walz for her assistance in helping me finally obtain my unemployment benefits. Shortly before writing to The World-Herald, I contacted her office as well, and my issue was quickly resolved.

Through the flooding last year, working for property tax relief and now quickly working for this, Lynne truly has been an asset to Fremont. Thank you as well, Omaha World-Herald, for diligently reporting on the continued issues Nebraskans face with delays in payment. By the media continuing to highlight issues, hopefully a resolution will come quickly for those waiting.

Jessica Wagner, Fremont, Neb.

Heed the lessons of 1918

Many thanks to Steve Liewer for his insightful piece “In 1918, Omaha eased quarantine and paid price” (May 3). It will take a few weeks before Omaha, and much of the rest of the world, realizes how easily or quickly the coronavirus can be shoved into the past tense.

The lesson of Liewer’s piece is that the virus sets the pace; humankind doesn’t. The virus is only seeking a habitat. To the extent that human beings present it with breeding room will determine the wisdom or folly of writer and philosopher George Santayana’s assertion that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

For the time being, keep your face mask and hand sanitizer ready.

Bruce E. Johansen, Omaha

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