In the wake of the mass school shooting in Florida, some have expressed concern about calls for stricter gun laws. From House Speaker Paul Ryan to local opinion writers, the proclaimed concern is there will be a knee jerk reaction to the tragedy. In this view, the problem is mental health an…

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City planners can't pass up all that easy money from those federal and state grants, can they? These feel-good bike and pedestrian projects won't help us travel on our dilapidated roads one iota.

I wish Kevin McCarthy would at least consider the position of White House chief of staff if it were offered to him. Having spent 20 years in the Air Force and 15 in the federal civil service, I've often heard the phrase, "promoted out of the job."

What are we to do about shootings in schools and other public places? How do we balance long-held constitutional rights with the public safety of a free and open society? Do we even have the right to arbitrarily possess any type of firearm? It appears that lately a preferred firearm of mass …

Immediately after the school shooting in Florida last week I said that if Barack Obama were still president he would take full responsibility for the failures of the FBI to stop the shooter before he committed his deadly mission, but that most likely Donald Trump would do the opposite and cr…

On the day of the Valentine's Day massacre in Parkland, Fla., local officials had protocols, emergency response plans and high school security all in place. But the security staff and fencing around the campus was still inadequate. They needed additional school security — armed officers.

The NRA does not control the government, it supports the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. Which means we the people have a right to protect ourselves from enemies foreign or domestic and that right shall not be infringed upon.

One of Rep. Kevin McCarthy's challenges is choosing between local agriculture interests and the far right’s views on immigration reform. He’s paid well to represent local interests so the result should be interesting.

Robert Price's Feb. 18 column on first responders ("We've counted the immediate victims, but a second wave of them is inevitable") is not gonna help put a end to gun violence in America. Gun violence is a part of American culture, with over 30,000 deaths every year. These numbers are facts t…

Another school shooting. Children were murdered. Lives were upended forever. "Thoughts and prayers" were mumbled from afar. Americans with differing political views lobbed haymakers at one another. We've read this story before, and we know it probably won't be the last one like it.

The Florida school shooting could have been prevented if just some of the many people who knew of the shooter’s mental condition would have taken the situation seriously. Several school shootings have occurred prior to this, but common sense lessons on how to prevent more tragedies have been…

U.S. citizens need to take a moment for self-examination. We were manipulated to elect a president out of fear. Fear of socialism, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. We elected a self-serving opportunist who has no moral values, or political experience. I did not vote for Hillary Clinton; I…

Every bishop, chaplain, monsignor, pastor, preacher, rabbi, and vicar, every sermonizer of every religious belief known to man, has to wish their devotees would follow their teachings and discipline as adamantly, loyally and blindly as Americans follow the doctrine of the NRA.

Tehachapi mountain man Norm Haughness, featured several times in Community Voices, is an obvious Donald Trump hater. But his Jan. 16 article went too far when he called Trump's base "ignorant racists."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s accomplishment cannot fail to impress. He nailed the Russian interference: Facts, names, dates, places, documents.

We at last have someplace to put the blame for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Do we point to the liberal gun laws of Florida which allowed a possibly mentally deranged 19-year-old to buy guns? Under California gun laws he would have never been approved. Do we put the b…

Now that Robert Mueller’s investigations have resulted in 18 indictments and three guilty pleas regarding Russian tampering in the 2016 elections, the president can no longer call the Russian effort a “hoax,” “fake news,” or a made up story by the Democrats. It wasn’t some 400-pound hacker s…

I believe plenty of Americans, strongly encouraged by the GOP and championed by Donald Trump, are either ignorant or unappreciative of the fact that the core issue behind rampant gun violence and reoccurring mass shootings is money. If it were not for the money, we could have a dialogue abou…

The United States has a higher prevalence and lower treatment rate of serious mental illness than a number of other developed countries, an indication that we are not doing nearly enough for that segment of our population. What does this reflect about our society?

I have been sitting and starring at my computer screen for two days wanting to say something about the school shooting tragedy in Florida, but, as a grandmother of six, I just could not find the words. Then I read the letters in Monday's paper and really got mad. The letter-writer ("We have …

It is clearly time for the Veterans Administration to act; veterans need a new or newly renovated outpatient clinic in Bakersfield. Local veterans have waited through the last three presidential administrations for a new clinic. Several plans to build a new facility have made their way throu…

When a student, as troubled as this Florida shooter is, is expelled, the person should be compelled by law to have mandatory therapy. I don't mean an anger management course. I mean one-on-one daily therapy with a qualified psychologist paid for by the county or state. Ideally, the student s…

Once again – a school shooting. We will hold vigils, fly the flag at half-mast, light candles, and release balloons. The country will feel sympathy and shock, those closest to the victims will feel indescribable emptiness and grief that will last a lifetime. And yet nothing will change.

Another school shooting and, as usual, people want to blame the gun, the president and the NRA. Yes, this is a tragedy and, yes, something must be done to curb and stop this violence. Everyone agree?

If you need an AR-15 assault rifle for self-defense, I strongly suggest you move. I think young adults and kids (and some adults) are fixated with these guns because many weapons like them are used in computer shooting simulator games.

Actions speak louder than words. Majority leader and District 23 Congressman Kevin McCarthy voted February 2017, House Vote 77, to repeal to the gun regulation restricting access for mentally ill people to have availability to acquire weapons and ammunition. In addition, he has received $42,…

I recently volunteered for a local fundraiser. The nonprofit’s mission is an important service to not only the clients it directly serves but helps to make Bakersfield a stronger community for us all. And even though I enjoyed helping out and met some very nice women, the experience turned o…

Kudos to The Californian for featuring a gay couple among their Valentine sweetheart profiles ("Love, Bakersfield style: Local couples share their stories," Feb. 11). A true Valentine nurtures and supports year in and year out.

History shows that we are a people who love and honor words. "I have a dream;" "we hold these truths to be self-evident;" "we the people." But our history also shows that images, not words, call us to action. From Paul Revere's engraving to Emmett Till's bloated body, from a child's burning …

It was some time ago — several massacres ago — that I had a letter published in The Californian that read: "How many more will have to die before we trash the Second Amendment?" I would like to repeat. Because it's the Second Amendment that invites the use of the word "control" which in turn…

All eyes were on Congress last week as we neared another government shutdown and budget agreements made in early morning hours. Lost in the shuffle was the budget’s strong commitment to young kids and families, which will directly improve the lives of Kern County’s youngest residents. For th…

A question for a recent letter writer: When you read the news in our daily paper, have you found any articles that disagree with Fox News? I have not found any that differ from what I hear reported on CNN or MSNBC. That also includes our local news broadcasters.

The good news Wednesday was that only 17 people lost their Second Amendment rights at that Florida high school. The big surprise was that it happened in Florida, the safest state in the union, where everyone who is anyone packs a gun. But, then again, guns don't kill people, they just fire a…

The First Amendment — to which our nation’s Founders gave the highest priority — guarantees to all Americans three unalienable rights: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom to practice our religion according to the dictates of our conscience without hindrance from human law.

Kevin McCarthy must make a public statement stating that President Donald Trump is threatening our American democracy when he accuses Democrats of treasonous behavior when they do not stand and applaud during his State of the Union address.

The 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights grants religious freedom. This does not state that one’s religious freedom can dictate the actions of another, nor does it allow business transaction restrictions with the general public based on religious beliefs.

Taking the law and the Bible out of the Tastries case, shouldn't we all have rights? All people are important and should be protected. Because we have freedom to make choices, we know that our choice may not be a popular one to some, but is one that is important to us.

There always seems to be controversy about scoring in the Olympics in at least two events. In the Summer Games, it’s usually gymnastics; in the Winter Games, it’s figure skating. Rather than a true competition, these events are judged and scored by an independent panel. Almost all of the oth…

I greatly enjoyed columnist Robert Price's analogy of purchasing a deli sandwich to that of ordering a cake. Yes, every day in our commercial world, we are asked by retailers what we want on our sandwich, toppings on our pizza, and even where we want to sit on an airplane.

In Friday's "Today in history" listing, it showed: "1950: U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy charged that the State Department was riddled with Communists. This was the beginning of 'McCarthyism.'" I'm sure McCarthy had some believers, but it proved to be a sad time in American history.

A recent letter writer says we should stop watching Fox News and get educated. Perhaps if she watched Fox News she would learn that night after night Fox shows the false news put on the air by CNN, MSNBC, etc.