Controlling killer guns

Another week, another mass killing by yet another troubled individual in possession of weaponry capable of mass mayhem.

Elected officials at all levels of government are once again offering up prayers and sympathies to the next of kin. Prayers and condolences, no matter how sincere, serve no practical purpose.

The common components in all mass shootings are disturbed individuals with access to weapons capable of killing many victims in a comparatively short time frame.

There are no tests that can identify any but the most disturbed among us and, as a consequence, the reactions of friends and relatives of mass killers is often one of shock and disbelief.

Weapons, and access to them, are the component over which we can exercise some control. Contrary to what one might think, and in the face of all logic, the increasing regularity of mass shootings have resulted in less and not more regulation of the manufacture, sale and ownership of firearms.

Both statistical data and public opinion polls confirm we are less safe today than we were a decade ago. These facts do not resonate with lawmakers whose political bread is buttered by the National Rifle Association. The NRA has more American blood on its hands than any Islamic terrorist organization. Legislation banning the manufacture, sale and ownership of military assault-type weapons and large-capacity magazines is long overdue.

Programs designed to get existing weapons of this description off the streets and out of the hands of individuals not involved in law enforcement need to be implemented yesterday.

To those who would reply their weapons would have to be pried from their cold, dead fingers, my only retort is better yours than mine, and better before and not after you surprise us all by shooting up the neighborhood.

Robert Hoffman

Santa Maria

Traffic mess at new center

Who ever conceived the traffic flow around the Enos Rancho project needs to go back to traffic flow 101.

The vehicles entering and exiting Costco make a good road block. Recently, traffic turning left into Costco had the whole south-bound lane backed up to Battles Road. This closed down the left lane to the signal at the entrance to Costco.

Vehicles going into Costco in the north-bound lane were backed up to the service station entrance. All of this is caused by a poorly planed entrance with no dedicated turn lane.

Vehicles are trying to enter a parking lot congested by pedestrians with shopping carts, cars trying to negotiate through a maze of a parking lot and exits. Lowe's exit has two options, go right, or straight across Bradley with no signal. To compound this, the traffic is now coming across Betteravia on Bradley, and the right lane is backed up from Costco.

Bradley on the south side of Betteravia is also backed up, some times to the roundabout. Vehicles are trying to turn right on Betteravia, blocking the entrance and exit of the Walmart shopping  center and gas station. All this traffic is funneled into one lane across Betteravia. What a disaster.

The south bound Betteravia off ramp is another road block. The nice planted islands in the center of Betteravia won't allow any left turns onto Bradley.

The turn lane is too short, and you can't get by the traffic to make a turn for two signal cycles.

The center dividers should be cut back to allow more vehicles to make that turn. What a mess. This would be a good place to avoid at Christmas time.

Richard L. Meyer

Santa Maria