Thank you to Gabe Meline for an informative, critical analysis that looks beyond the press-conference talking points offered by the Santa Rosa Police Department ("Gun Crazy," Nov. 6). If only other news outlets would take such a necessary examination into this tragedy to prevent it from occurring again and again.
I moved up here to Sonoma four months ago from Los Angeles. Down there, this stuff goes on weekly, if not daily. A 73-year-old homeless woman was gunned down because she wouldn't put down a can opener. Another person was shot and killed because he rammed a cop with a shopping cart. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Way too many others to list here. Why are the police and their like sent to and tested at shooting ranges? What happened to putting one in the knee? And how typical that over half the article was on review boards and litigation. Sorry folks, too late; the boy is dead. Nothing will make anybody feel better about this. Cops have an "us vs. them" mentality.
Oh, and by the way, none of them joined the force to hand out tickets—and I know a few. They are always on the lookout for action. They want a reason to use their guns. I could go on and on. This is sick.
They put orange tips on toy guns and airsoft guns for a reason: to prevent others from thinking that it is a real gun. A 13-year-old boy like Andy Lopez knows why the tip is there. He also knows that taking the tip off makes it look more like a real gun.
Given that he knew the gun looked like a real one with the tip removed, he should have immediately laid the gun on the ground before turning around. The cop responded the way they are trained to respond to a threat of death—completely eliminate the threat. That is what he did. It is a shame, but it does not represent a wrongful death.
Star of the Galaxy
A fantastic article ("Destination: Rancho Obi-Wan," Oct. 30). Steve is a tremendous ambassador, and Rancho Obi-Wan is an amazing place to celebrate your passion for Star Wars and the personal friendships made because of the world that George Lucas created.
Good Ol' Boys
The good ol' boy network and the two-tiered justice system is alive and thriving in Sonoma County. Peeking?! How many people have been charged with peeking in the last 10 years? ("Efren Carrillo Charged with Misdemeanor Peeking," Oct. 31.)
The Efren camp, with the help of their friends at the Press Democrat, would like us to believe that his transgressions are no more serious than a child's nursery game.
The board of supervisors did manage to break the deafening silence they've embraced since Efren's return from rehab. "I don't see this as a distraction," said chairman David Rabbitt. "[T]his was slightly uphill from nothing, to be honest."
Two arrests, a 3am underwear romp, a long-term problem with binge-drinking, a month in rehab, a likely civil suit and a misdemeanor charge of "peeking" equals no distraction and adds up to little more than nothing?
Welcome to the new standard for serving on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.
Why would the Artesa Vineyards & Winery that Alastair Bland writes about ("Chainsaw Wine," Oct. 16) want to clear-cut forests to plant grapes? The answer can be described in one word: greed.
What if local winemakers and retailers respond to the assault on our forests by committing to making and selling wines that come only from non-forest-conversion vineyards? They could develop a system whereby local winemakers would have a forest-safe symbol on their labels much like the dolphin-safe symbol on tuna cans. Savvy wine lovers and clubs would know to boycott "chainsaw wine" and purchase forest-safe wines.
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