Protect the children, but gun control won't work

Accompanying the article in the Dec. 15 Triplicate about the shootings in Newtown, Conn., was a highlighted article from the Associated Press headlined, "Shooting revives gun control debate."

Well, that's no surprise. Every time there is a shooting, the gun control crowd campaigns for more gun control laws.

The senseless killing of 20 young children plus seven adults was an unimaginable evil act committed by an obviously disturbed "crazy" person. Such people, and acts, defy understanding by rational thought. I can not imagine anything harder to live with than losing your young child, especially by a senseless killing such as this.

What we need to do, what we all need to do, what this country needs to do, what our local government needs to do, what the school districts need to do is to protect the children.

How best, exactly, to do that I really don't know. But I know this: More gun control laws will not do it. More gun control laws will only make it a little harder for honest, sane citizens to protect themselves and their families.

Remember the old bumper sticker cliche: "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns." It may be trite , but the logical truth of it is obvious.

Clif Shepard, Crescent City

Sutter Health betraying agreement at our expense

As I understand it, an agreement was made in 1985 between the Del Norte Healthcare District and Sutter Health. Sutter was given the privilege of having a monopoly over hospital care in this region, in exchangefor a promise to provide "improved and expanded care and facilities."

Also, the hospital was to be locally owned, and governed by a board comprised of a majority of local residents.

The original Sutter Coast Hospital had 59 beds, later reduced to 49 beds. Over 10 yearsago, Sutter also dropped hospice care.

Now Sutter Coast, with its Board appointed by Sutter Health, wants to "regionalize," which means dissolve the local board and transfer hospital ownership to Sutter Health. Simultaneously, Sutter Health is considering closing half of the hospital beds to qualify for Critical Access designation, in order to receive higher governmentreimbursement.

This doesn't seem to fit the definition of "not for profit."

If Sutter gets its way, the total number of beds to handle the population of Del Norte County and Brookings/Harbor, could be fixed at 25 - for everything from maternity care to the Intensive Care Unit (ifthey even keep the maternity ward and ICU open, which are optional under Critical Access). If you need a hospital bed, the closest one could be anywhere from Portland to San Francisco. There is also no requirement for a doctor to be in the Emergency Room under Critical Access.

Is this what Sutter considers "improved and expanded care"?

Mark St. James, Brookings