LETTERS: Accident policy not equally applied

To the editor:

I am an optimistic skeptic. I believe in human potential, but I am skeptical about our execution. My skepticism went off the charts with the pronouncement from Sheriff Doug Gillespie that the Metropolitan Police Department will no longer respond to noninjury automobile accidents.

I find it to be the height of hypocrisy that this policy only applies to taxpayers. All government vehicles are exempt from this new policy. All drivers of city vehicles, county vehicles, state vehicles — the new rule doesn’t apply to them when they are in a fender-bender. One policy for us, a different policy for them.

Taxpayers, the ones who pay for all those public vehicles and public salaries, and the ones who don’t want a tax increase to pay for more police, will be punished by this policy. It’s an effort to force our elected representatives to comply with the sheriff’s demand for a tax increase to fund more officers, so that he can further his political ambitions on the way out the door.

Is this administrative decision by Sheriff Gillespie just hypocritical arrogance furthered by the intoxication of power, or just plain extortion? That is the choice before our county commissioners.



Downsized military

To the editor:

During the 2012 debates, President Barack Obama condescendingly criticized Republican candidate Mitt Romney for his comment that Russia is potentially a major threat to the United States. The president went on to ask if Mr. Romney was aware that the Cold War ended 20 years ago.

Then, just last month, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced his intention to draw down the U.S. military to pre-World War II levels because we will never fight another protracted land battle envisioned during the Cold War era.

Fast-forward to the present, with Ukraine, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the headlines that the U.S. might be entering another Cold War-era scenario. Once again, this president and his administration are showing their continued ineptness and arrogance on the world stage.

The American public needs to understand that as President Obama continues to gut the (so far) finest military in the world, the days of developing new weapons systems overnight and instantaneously mobilizing massive troop buildups are over. If the president is not continuously ready for a variety of eventualities, he won’t be able to just pick up his phone or his pen and merely issue a presidential decree delaying an enemy’s threat for a couple of years, while he gets ready.

Granted, it is expensive to maintain a first-class military that we would hopefully never need, and I’m sure some cuts are justified. But just as automobile, flood, liability, medical, homeowners and numerous other kinds of insurance might seem expensive, how well would you sleep at night without them?

How well do you sleep with the short-sighted and rapidly irrevocable policies of this administration?



Trap defense

To the editor:

Columnist John L. Smith’s recent commentary advocating legislation curtailing legal trapping of furbearers in Nevada is an insult to anyone informed in wildlife conservation and a thinly veiled attempt to conceal his own dislike of trapping (“Activists have yet to target trappers,” March 6 Review-Journal). We trust those in the place of media commentary to express facts in print and allow the public to be informed; unfortunately Mr. Smith is obviously biased.

As a young man, I actively trapped furbearers, and I am a lifelong hunter and outdoorsman. Feral dogs and cats in particular are extremely destructive to wildlife year round. Domestic pets allowed to roam free by irresponsible owners can quickly become effective predators themselves. Ask any wildlife officer, and they will acknowledge that a common housecat allowed to roam free will kill birds and mammals not only to satisfy hunger, but as a game or for enjoyment. I have witnessed packs of free-ranging domestic dogs run a healthy doe deer to death.

So when Fluffy or Fido wind up in a legal trapper’s trap, excuse me for not buying that it’s the trappers fault. A domestic pet doesn’t wind up in a trap unless it is poorly controlled or cared for.

Mr. Smith forgives me in his column if I didn’t know trapping still existed. Well, maybe he and the residents of the Spring Mountains or Lee Canyon weren’t aware, but trapping is legal and ongoing. No forgiveness needed here, Mr. Smith. He also implies trappers belong in coonskin caps and somehow drags the Second Amendment into the conversation. Get to the point Mr. Smith, show your true colors and tell us how you really feel about taking away our outdoor freedoms and traditions.

As an outdoorsman, I have witnessed rabies infecting furbearer populations when commercial fur prices dropped due to activism. I also have witnessed highways lined with road kill when animal populations soared due to urban sprawl and a lack of trapping activity.

Yes, I am an outdoorsman, the one who pays for wildlife conservation through license fees and taxes, as well as volunteering time for habitat. Yes, I have dispatched feral cats and dogs in the wild knowing I was doing the right thing, wishing I had not been put in that place by irresponsible owners. I have a house full of pets — cats, dogs, birds — but I also have the facts before I speak or act. Mr. Smith should get the facts, as well.



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