Pet loss grief, Assault weapon ban, Common sense — Letters for June 22, 2022


Siuslaw News Letters to the Editor

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on these and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Pet Loss Grief

Several weeks ago, I lost my best friend — my dog Max, to a sudden, violent illness. I was unprepared for the grief I felt over the loss. It was so overwhelming I was prompted to seek counseling over the next couple of weeks. There was no one available in Florence.

Then, by some coincidence (I call it providence) there was a blurb on Facebook about the new Pet Loss Grief Group at Oregon Coast Humane Society starting the next day. I was hesitant to go but decided it would be better than nothing. After that first meeting, I began to understand my grief over “just a dog.” It was so wonderful to be among the others who were suffering the same intense feelings.

I’ve attended several meetings and can honestly say life is much better now. The facilitator is engaging, compassionate and professional. Fellow attendees share their feelings or just listen in silence. It is very cathartic and just plain helpful.

For anyone who has suffered the loss of a beloved pet, be it dog, cat, bird, lizard…whatever, please consider joining this group. No need to suffer alone. They meet Wednesdays at 3 p.m.

Thank you so much Oregon Coast Humane Society and the Pet Loss Grief Group for helping me through this difficult time.

 Maire Testa — Florence

Assault Weapon Ban

On Jan. 17, 1989, a gunman wielding an AK-47, walked onto the grounds of Cleveland Elementary School, in Stockton, Calif., and while the children were playing at recess, he sprayed bullets, killing 5 and injuring 30. He fired 106 rounds in three minutes. I remember it vividly as I lived in Stockton and worked for the mayor at that time. It was the first mass shooting at a school that I can remember.

In the aftermath, there were calls for banning assault weapons.

California passed the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 in November 1989. In that same year, the ATF banned the importation of assault weapons because there was no “sporting purpose” for assault weapons. Most assault weapons were made in mainland China at that time.

In 2004, President George H.W. Bush made the import ban permanent. The Federal Assault Weapons ban was enacted in 1994. It was allowed to expire in 2004. Mass shootings rose quickly after 2004, both in frequency as well as the number of people killed and injured.

Assault guns have only one use. To kill and maim as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. The bullets don’t just fire one small hole in a victim’s body. It obliterates the part of the body that has been hit. The deaths and injuries are so horrific, that most of us have never seen anything like it unless you are a combat veteran.

In Congress, a bipartisan group of Senators, 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, have been meeting to come up with a solution. At the end of last week, negotiations abruptly ended with one of the Senators walking out in frustration, saying he was “done.”

Congress is not going to save our children.

It is up to us as voters to take action by voting out the NRA shills. The majority of Americans are for background checks and “red flag” laws. Some members of Congress are taking the blood money donations from the NRA instead of putting the interests of their constituents first. The NRA represents the interests of the gun manufacturers, not your 2nd Amendment rights.

Vote in the November and in the 2024 general election like the life of your child or grandchild depends on it. Because it does.

 Marybeth Marenco — Florence


In the recent downturn of the market, my retirement nest egg has taken a hit. I listen to the stock market pundits comparing the present to the past and they have no idea what is going on. Yes, the crisis between Russia and Ukraine has stopped production of oil from Russia and grain exports from Ukraine to European countries, but that does not affect us.

What we are experiencing is our lack of cheap consumer goods imported from China that we require due to their COVID shutdown.

As a nation, big business has always looked outside and not inside because they could find cheap (slave) labor in other countries — from tennis shoes to electronic components. In Oregon, not sure if it still happens, our logging industry would send their logs to China to be milled and then shipped back because it was cheaper. We once imported Saudi oil big time because their crude was “pure” and took less time to refine than our own.

Now we have crisis of supply and demand with all kinds of products because our government has a blind eye to corporate profits.

There are two products that more or less control our economy and they are the gas pump prices and REM, or Rare Earth Metals.

Our petroleum czars have controlled gasoline prices in our country forever. To make up for the lack of individuals not driving for the two COVID years, the czars have decided to screw us by not producing oil in our country. Demand is controlled by supply and making obscene profits from the consumers’ pocketbook.

Now REM are metals used by military and defense uses, automotive and almost every electronic device we use daily. China has a stockpile of REMs that they have mined and refined for years and every country purchased from them because they were dirt cheap. Once again with the COVID shutdown, REMs from China are not being exported or produced.

Other countries have their own areas where REMs can be mined and have decided to start producing their own, like our own country.

We need to stop relying on other countries for cheap labor and exporting our jobs to those countries even if the cost of making a tennis shoe at home costs more.

Win Jolley — Florence

We Ask for Common Sense

The Uvalde massacre is the second-deadliest shooting at an elementary, middle or high school on record in the United States, following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Conn., according to The New York Times. Read that again — Sandy Hook took place in 2012.

Tell me, because you are part of this: What’s been going on for a decade in which not one common sense gun safety law has advanced to be passed by Congress?

There can be no disagreement among us that we all want communities that are safe from gun violence. We don’t want any more instances in which the second-graders are so blasted apart they can’t be identified without DNA testing.

Who among us wants to fear going to the grocery store? Let us all pray, each of us finds peace and safety in our chosen places of worship.

Is it really so unreasonable to ask that we do not have to arm ourselves simply to enjoy a barbecue in our own backyard?

Just the most basic measures would save lives. Do you want to be gunned down? Does the gun you own really make you safer?

Please think about your answer because it appears our future — and our kids’ future — depends on it. We are a nation alone that is awash with guns. And not by accident.

It hurts to live in a country where guns are viewed as the only way to protect our safety and lives. Other nations don’t put up with this cowboy culture. They seem to be free of the carnage we experience. Do you dare to ask why?

Which mass shooting will happen next? 

How much more tragic and soul-crushing loss of life will it take? There are enough guns and 30-round magazines to make it happen. There are those ready to kill. And more in the wake. Guns don’t shoot themselves. It takes the production of killing machines on a hair-trigger. And what little kid is safe from them?

At this moment, there is a bipartisan gun safety bill making its way into law. You can call, text, email or write a postcard or letter to your elected member of Congress expressing your support. You can vote for those who want to protect kids, not guns. Or you can remain silent to those who decide.

You cannot say you have no part in it. Your power and safety is to vote for an America without this plague of gun violence that serves no one.

Darlene Norwood– Florence