SCHOOLS & PRISONS
Treat schools the same as prisons
I have an idea ..
We should change the name of our schools to prisons.
Budget decisions made at the state level. The Department of Corrections budget was just set with a 7.1-percent increase over 2013. Schools got 2.2 percent. Studies have shown that there is a direct connection between underperforming schools and higher incarceration rates.
If we just change the names of our schools to prisons, perhaps there could be better funding to educate our younger population and avoid paying for their incarceration when they are older. Personally, I hate to think of schools being called prisons, but, at a minimum, doesn't it seem we should fund schools at least as well as we fund prisons.
DARALENE FINNELL, Hailey
People will fight to keep their guns
I have had a hard time getting your view on Sheriff Raney's position on acting in an unconstitutional manner then cowardly hiding behind a weak "I just enforce the laws" argument. I guess Hitler's SS could have done the same thing. Good luck kicking in doors if the call does come. In my best estimation, people won't give them up that easily. If only 5 percent decide to fight back, Raney might get a forced feeding on humble pie he never counted on.
If several thousand Iraqi insurgents can hold the whole U.S. Army at bay and allow no peace, I would imagine the Ada County sheriff shouldn't be too hard. Raney also might need to consider that many of his deputies will refuse his orders if only passively.
I can't wait to vote him out. As a matter of fact, I'm going to make sure I print and disseminate our fearless sheriff's position with as many people as I can. I find Sheriff Donohue's position refreshing. Anyone who thinks the hippies downtown have the numbers to out vote a now well-informed conservative base might want to hold off on your next Washington or Colorado dope vacation because you're already high.
JOHN W. WEAVER, Meridian
How NRA sees it
According to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, the only thing that'll stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Based on that premise, all good school teachers and college professors should be armed.
Schools should also arm all good students, principals, janitors, secretaries, cafeteria personnel, nurses, crossing guards, bus drivers and groundskeepers.
All good shopping mall and theater employees should be armed. All good shoppers and moviegoers should be armed. Weapons can be issued at the door for the good patrons who aren't already carrying.
Great idea, Wayne. What could possible go wrong?
Hold on! Here's a better idea. How about a law requiring all citizens to be armed at all times?
If everyone were armed, it could reduce bullying, terrorism, robberies, gangs, rape, murder, domestic violence, drug wars, overcrowded prisons, pedophile priests and pesky Jehovah's Witnesses knocking at your door. It would eliminate airport security, metal detectors and the NRA. Society's biggest remaining problems would be drunk drivers, a useless congress, Sarah Palin and the tea party.
My choice for next president of the NRA (Nimrods Anonymous) is Florida's neighborhood watchdog, George Zimmerman.
KEN WHITE, Twin Falls
People's attitudes need to change
The case of Mamokete Folkes is truly tragic, but it is a mistake to blame the system. The problem is the law: People cannot be forced to accept psychiatric help unless they are an immediate danger to themselves or others. So we rely on the mentally ill to decide to seek treatment. This is a prescription for insanity.
This all began in the late 1960s. Three things combined to create bad law: 1) civil rights groups rose up in opposition to conditions in state-run mental hospitals; 2) a myth was propagated that mental illness is a sane response to an insane world; and 3) taxes could be saved by closing mental hospitals.
All of a sudden thousands of people were released to "community programs" that consisted of little more than a homeless shelter.
American society persistently denies the reality of mental illness. Popular psychologists deny the existence of the unconscious, as if everyone could somehow be "taught" to be normal. People look down on psychotropic drugs and those who take them. We are blinded by myths of personal responsibility and freedom. In order to deal effectively and mercifully with mental illness, we have to begin by admitting it exists.
DAVID CARLSON, Boise
Government cuts with different rules
I read Kevin Hall's article on the front page (March 7) and was absolutely amazed at the misinformation in the opening paragraphs.
Mr. Hall asserted there that the government was spending 3 percent less, which is not true.
The federal government has a baseline budget and the sequester really is just reducing the rate of increase, not cutting anything. The projected spending for this fiscal year is still greater than 2011 spending.
The government's use of the word "cut" is much different than what we mean. A "cut" to them is a reduction in the increase, instead of the spending growing by 8 percent. For example, it will grow only 5 percent under the sequester.
I suggest that Mr. Hall do a better job of researching his stories.
DICK WILLIAMS, Garden City