Letters to the Editor: Monday, January 12, 2009

Oklahoman Published: January 12, 2009
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Beamed up?
The point of Brandon Dutcher’s "State government’s overhead overload” (Opinion, Dec. 28) can be best illustrated by driving north on Interstate 35 from Norman to the I-40 interchange during the morning rush hour on holidays such as MLK Day or President’s Day. That’s when gross domestic product producers (private industry) have to work and GDP consumers (state employees) are off. When I first experienced this phenomenon, so many cars were missing that I thought we’d had the Rapture! It was clear sailing all the way instead of bumper-to-bumper slow go. Yep, that’s a lot of state employees.

Bob Whistle, Midwest City

Primary problem
Regarding "Changes at lockup may cost more than $60 million; Officials say Oklahoma County has no choice but to fix its jail” (news story, Jan. 6): The special committee formed to study problems that continue to plague the county jail cited a lack of manpower within the facility as the first concern. Perhaps if Sheriff John Whetsel would assign to the jail some of the personnel he uses to duplicate the efforts of other metro law enforcement agencies, that problem would be greatly diminished, if not eliminated. The sheriff has his horse patrol, his information kiosks, his motorcycle squad patrolling the interstate highways within the county as well as a myriad of other duplicative functions better left to the other police departments. The primary problem besetting the county jail is poor or inept management.

Robert Rowell, Oklahoma City

Accountability needed
Any adult who has a child in the house and a gun on the premises (loaded or not) should be held accountable in the event that the child shoots himself or another person with that gun. If the child is unattended, a harsher punishment should apply. Oklahoma has laws in the best interest of minors regarding alcoholic drinks, gambling, driving and smoking; any adult who facilitates a minor who breaks these laws faces criminal charges. A new law should require the gun owner, and the parents, to be held accountable when any child in a private residence shoots a gun from that home and it results in injury or death.

L.