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Letters to the Editor, March 12

Letters to the Editor, March 12

AR-15 is not an assault rifle

I am writing in response to the letter from Don Bolles published in the MT on March 1 in which he stated that as a Vietnam combat veteran he knows that the AR-15 is an assault weapon and as such, should be banned. I would ask what branch of service he was in since to my knowledge the M16, a rifle capable of burst and/or full automatic fire, was the standard issue in Vietnam. The AR-15, the civilian version of the M16, is capable of semi-automatic fire only and is not used by any recognized military unit in the world as an "assault rifle." The AR-15, except for its appearance, is essentially identical to the Ruger Ranch Rifle — semi-auto, 5.56/.223 caliber and with detachable magazine — yet there are no claims that the Ruger is an "assault rifle." The AR-15's appearance is the only reason it is called an "assault rifle."

Just as we are told not to judge all illegal aliens or Muslims by the outrageous actions of a few criminal or radical individuals, so the actions of a very few deranged individuals must not be used to attack the NRA or penalize all law-abiding gun owners.

Gaither B. Everett

Medford

Recall travesty

I received my ballot and voted against recalling the Ashland Parks and Recreation Committee members, and here’s why.

Elections require integrity, and the reasons for initiating the recall don’t pass the truth test. There has been no Senior Center mismanagement of funds by public officials, their financials are subject to annual audits and all meeting notices were properly announced in advance on the city website. The March election is costing Ashland $30,000 and a waste of taxpayers’ money. With two members up for re-election in 2018, what is the rush?

The Senior Center is not closing but there is a desire to expand capacity to improve community engagement. According to the Center for Non-Violent Communication, all conflict arises from unmet needs. What we need from everyone involved is more empathy, mutual respect and gratitude. This recall is not a healthy or reasonable path forward.

Anne Golden

Ashland

Say no to recall

Some people seem to think that they have not been heard, or their testimony was disregarded, if a public body does not do what they want.

Citizen volunteers donate many hours to serve on various committees. They listen to staff and the public and then make the decisions necessary to further the mission of their committee.

In the case of the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission, the commissioners have regularly bent over backwards to accommodate all views and opinions. Although only required to take 15 minutes of public input, they sometimes listen for an hour and a half so that all may speak.

If someone is unhappy about a commission’s decision, they should keep speaking up. And run for a seat on the commission — a couple are up for a vote in November. But a costly and divisive recall is not the way to go.

Ashland voters, just say no.

Marc Valens

Ashland

Reduce waste

In light of our newly reduced recycling options, I thought people might like to know about one simple thing we can do to reduce our personal waste streams.

The websites catalogchoice.org and dmachoice.org let you register and send requests to reduce/eliminate unsolicited catalogs and direct mail that arrive at your home. CatalogChoice is free; Dmachoice requires a $2 fee for 10 years. In my experience, these tools are very effective, though not 100 percent so.

Anna Stevens

Medford

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