Not even another massacre of the innocents could move Republicans to support something as basic as expanded background checks. What do they have against keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane?

President Obama's rebuke nailed it: There's no coherent argument for failing to do this. Instead they parrot blatant lies from an NRA that was for it before being against it.

So much for any pretense of representing the American people: 90 percent of us favored this and 90 percent of Republicans voted against it. Perhaps they're afraid of alienating their base — the 10 percent who think that it's part of Obama's dastardly plot to transform our republic into a "feudal utopian collective," or some such gobbledygook. More likely they're just adhering to their core values, namely the bribes — pardon me, "free speech" — they receive from corporate sponsors such as the NRA.

Republicans have been deservedly ridiculed for their antipathy toward science and their knee-jerk opposition to anything Obama is for. After their dismal showing in the last election, they did some soul-searching but apparently couldn't find one. With last Wednesday's vote, the GOP degenerated from the stupid party to the evil party. — Michael Steely, Medford

In 1863 at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln extolled the Union forces for upholding representative democracy, which he defined as "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Well, last week's Senate vote on gun control, — polls say the American public supports background checks on potential gun buyers by a 90 percent majority — failed to gain the necessary 60 votes to pass. The gun-manufacturing lobby, the National Rifle Association, pulled in all its markers held by the senators, our senators, to block this obvious effort to prevent guns being sold to criminals and mentally defective persons. It seems that the political support and generous contributions to these senators is much more important to them than the people's votes.

The Supreme Court in its "Citizens United" decision has ruled that money is free speech and so we must support our democratic representatives with more than just our votes, but with our money as well, else we will be outbid in Congress by the wealthy. — Gordon Topham, Central Point

I have been reading these arguments for and against evolution for over a month. It's time for them to stop. I understand that it can be a topic about which people feel the need to correct others on what they feel to be true, but it reminds me a lot of our government right now — so polarized and drawing such heavy party lines.

Intelligent design proponents will demand explanations that evolutionists cannot give, either in part because the fossils are now being burned as fuel in cars or because the fossils don't exist (the process of making a fossil makes them rare by nature). They will demand explanations that prove intelligent design, or demand the teaching of it in schools; they will want to see real-world examples that may not satisfy their needs. It is exactly like Congress, and the continuous political shenanigans to filibuster any good amount of change.

It is not "wrong" for two separate lines of scientific thinking to exist. If intelligent design proponents want an end to this argument, then they must gather the evidence to support their own cause instead of demanding their opponents support their hypothesis. — Lyra Sinclaire, Medford

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