Editor’s note: The following two letters were written by Homer High School students in Sean Campbell’s Language Arts class. Because of space, they did not make it in the March 29 Homer News.

Gun control laws won’t deter crooks

Gun control is a serious threat to the American public. The stats are clear. Gun control laws are skyrocketing and less and less people are owning guns per capita. Yet something that even the gun control lobby admits (though they lay blame on other things) is that gun violence crimes are increasing. By definition, criminals and shooters will not listen to gun control laws. This means that these laws filter guns away from people who can use them for good, leaving the criminals with all the power. It has been statistically proven that states with more armed civilians have less crime.

States with restrictive CCW (concealed carry of weapons) licenses have 10 percent higher gun homicide rates per capita. After Florida loosened its CCW restriction laws, the homicide rate drastically fell from 36 percent above national average to 4 percent under. In Texas, rape rates fell 93 percent faster in the first year that CCW laws were loosened than before. States that do not allow CCW have 11 percent higher violent crimes rates then national averages. The states that allow CCW licenses experience a 37 percent decrease in robberies.

According to these stats the more armed civilians there are, the less crime there is. These are only basic deductions. The more you look into the matter, the more evidence you find that supports the idea that we are safer with less gun control laws. I implore you to look into the subject from a unbiased point of view and not let yourself be brainwashed by propaganda.

Gabriel Bales

Effects of Immigration

When most people think of immigration, they often think “illegal.” This is an unfortunate connotation that doesn’t take into account the millions of immigrants who have legally entered the United States, nor does it consider the benefits of immigration.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in 2024 it’s estimated that there will be 35.3 million available jobs. Combine that with a U.S. birth rate that is declining, it is obvious that the U.S. economy will need a larger, available workforce. Thankfully, the solution is right in front of us. By continuing to allow immigrants to enter the United States with permission to work, we could easily alleviate this problem and reduce the perceived issues that immigration provokes. While people may think that immigrants are a burden on our society, migrant workers do jobs that many U.S. citizens will not. So, who is hurt by immigrants doing jobs that many Americans will not? It’s thought that people without a high school diploma would be significantly affected, but the jobs taken by immigrant workers are of low interest to uneducated American workers.

Furthermore, it’s estimated that undocumented immigrants are paid lower wages of 3 to 8 percent less for these low-skill jobs. Interesting to note is that the few Americans who compete with immigrants for these jobs make about $25 more per week than them, so the perceived harm is unwarranted. Moreover, lower wages paid to undocumented workers in low-skill positions serve to cut costs of goods and services, the result of which can lead to lower prices for American consumers in industries such as restaurant dining, agriculture, produce and construction.

According to Brookings, immigrants offer more benefits than deficits to the United States. Through their contributions “they fuel our economy, create more jobs, provided services in undesirable positions, help us retain local talent, and make us less globally isolated.” When seen in this way, immigration can be viewed as a strengthening factor for the U.S. economy. Can we really afford to eliminate this important historical and foundational aspect of our nation?

Xander Kulhanek

Kudos to student writers

I was pleased to see the thoughtful expressions from students in the Homer News on March 22 and March 29. The ability to thoughtfully analyze issues and positions is a prelude to participating in our community conversations and democratic process. The power of student’s voices has been at the forefront in the school safety movement which has had such consequence in the recent public discourse across our state and the nation. Civil and civic conversation is so important to our ability to work together to improve our communities and state.

Thanks to our teachers who encourage development of civics skills within our communities.

State Rep. Paul Seaton

Thankful for scholarships

I would like to thank the Homer Rotary Club and the Homer Marine Trades Association for each choosing me as their 2017 scholarship recipient. Prior to attending KPC for the welding technology program, I applied for both of these scholarships.

To the Rotary Club, I would like to thank all 64 of the members for considering me. All of you keep the Homer community healthy, and that was most certainly shown when I as a college student got financial aid from your club.

To the HMTA, I would like to thank all the members for considering me also. Growing up fishing in Alaska, I support this organization wholeheartedly.

After I graduate this late spring, I plan to go back and fish on my boat in the PWS area. Between fishing I plan to do a little welding as a side job. When I come back to Homer, I would like to find a seasonal welding job.

Maksim Kuzmin

Address mental illness, not gun laws

Raising the age for purchase of firearms is the Trump way of doing an end run around facing reality in regard to reducing mass killings. Any high school student knows that by moving into slums of any city in the U.S. one can purchase any type of firearm he or she desires for a few hundred dollars or less U.S. currency.

It is clear by the past decades record that passing new gun laws is a fruitless effort on the part of our politicians and the results of said have only brought the numbers to a higher level. Rather than a new law we must amend an old law to get results needed to bring the numbers of dead down consistently, and that law is the one that protects members of the American Medical Association from lawsuits for refusal to state anything that has to do with patients suffering mental disorders of any type. Known as the Doctor Patient Privilege law, an amendment to this law would mandate that psychotherapists, psychiatrists, sociologists, as well as psychologists (clinical or consulting ) who determine after time with patient, conclude said patient is a danger to himself and/or others, is to immediately contact the FBI and inform said agency of his or her findings. This amendment to said statute of the Privacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution would affect less than one-fifth of 1 percent of the citizens of the U.S.

So what would you legislators do to save the lives of one of your own, a police officer, or most importantly, to keep our children alive?

John A. Anderson


BBBS Bowling support appreciated

Last weekend, Big Brothers Big Sisters hosted our annual Bowl for Kids Sake celebration. Big thank you’s go out to the Homer community for coming together to make this year’s fundraiser such a huge success. More than 100 community members, businesses and organizations made donations of financial and in-kind support, donated to our fundraising bowlers and gave their time to helping at the event. Congratulations to our top individual fundraiser, Laura Upp and our top team fundraisers, AJ’s and Kharacters. While the statewide program is undergoing changes and the Homer office will be closing this spring, BBBS will continue to provide support to our 28 existing Big and Little youth matches and all funds raised during Bowl for Kids Sake will help to sustain these matches until the youth leave or graduate from the program. Thanks Homer for your years of supporting Homer’s youth mentoring program. If you have questions on the changes to the local program, please call Heather Harris, CEO BBBS Alaska at 907-433-4622.

Christina Whiting

Bowl for Kids Sake, Coordinator

AYEA helps youth be heard

In early March, 21 youth from all over Alaska gathered in Juneau for Alaska Youth for Environment Action’s (AYEA) 2018 Civics &Conservation Summit. We were given an opportunity to talk with our legislators about issues we care deeply about. To be a part of this experience was inspiring. I hope our legislators will make the right decisions, especially on HB 173, Climate Change; HB 277, Net Neutrality; and HB 105, Wolves in Denali.

While in Juneau I focused on HB 105, Wolves in Denali: A bill to limit the hunting/trapping of wolves immediately adjacent to Denali National Park. The Board of Game established a buffer zone on the parks’ eastern boundary in 2000, but they eliminated that buffer in 2010. In 2014, less then 6 percent of park visitors were able to see wolves, a decrease from 45 percent from 2010. Wolf population in Denali has declined from 116 in Spring 2006 to 50 in Spring 2014. At this rate, the wolf population Denali could all be gone in a few more years. HB 105 helps to correct these trends.

I’m so glad AYEA exists to help youth use their voices, and be heard, about environmental issues which affect our communities. I had a great experience with AYEA and I highly recommend other teens go who are interested in making real change on the issues that you are most passionate about.

Ellen Eller, Kasilof

Pebble will impact Homer area

I am writing after attending a meeting at Islands and Oceans last Friday, to alert people on this peninsula that we have less than 30 days to comment on the most recently submitted permit application that moves Pebble Mine forward.

It’s not only going to affect prime brown bear viewing and habitat, nor only the fishermen who fish Bristol Bay, but please realize, that we on this beautiful pristine Kenai Peninsula are under attack as well.

Some of the impacts are substation energy plans at Happy Valley, another gas pipeline through Cook Inlet from Anchor Point to the other side of the inlet, huge substations across the inlet as well, a new road and an ice breaking boat to cross lake Iliamna daily 365 days a year, across the wilderness. Think about the increase in activity in our boat harbor. Think about the increase in industry where we all choose to live.

It’s full bore ahead again. Now, they feel so emboldened by who is in power. They didn’t even bother to put in a thick application. They are bold and unafraid.

It is up to us Alaskans, and up to the world, to stop this process, once again, from moving forward.

Please attend April 11, 5-8 p.m. at Homer High School. We are not allowed to give public testimony, but we all plan to show up, and we can give private testimony on that date as well. We have April now to submit to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at this website: https://pebbleprojecteis.com.

Do what you can right now to let your voice be heard. It’s now or never again. Write your legislature, your senators, your congressman. Give specific reasons this might affect you.

For more information, look on Facebook or contact Cook Inletkeeper. There are plenty of reasons for all of us to participate. Please show up April 11. Join us.

No Pebble Mine — the wrong mine in the wrong place.

Amy Christiansen

A prayer to start the day

Good things happen when you least expect them. Be blessed.

May the energy that rises the sun, creates heat from the fire, makes a flower bloom, lights the stars, and keeps my heart beating…may that miraculous goodness, order, and power…work in me to accomplish good. I am thankful for this day.

I am thankful for being able to see and to hear this morning.

I am thankful for the oh so many blessings I experience in this life. I am thankful for the ability to forgive.

I forgive myself today for everything I have done, said or thought that was not of highest good.

Let me start this day with a new attitude and gratitude.

Let me make the best of each and every moment

Empower me to clear my mind so that I can listen and follow divine guidance from within.

Let my life shine with non judgment towards myself and others.

Let me trust this inner power when presented with challenges.

Let me respond well and claim the assistance of the oneness of all life when I’m pushed beyond my limits.

Let me know and experience this miraculous power for good intimately.

Let it change me.

May we know there is no problem, circumstance, or situation that is too big to give over to this amazing power for resolution.

I release any issues, negative circumstances, or energy blocks and trust miraculous healing to occur.

May the oneness of all life and the power of good within and around me nourish and comfort me, keep me safe from all danger and harm.

Bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help others, keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. May I be a light to those that can’t find their way, are stuck, or misunderstood.

Blessings on the people I know, my friends and family members. May there be peace, love and joy in their homes; May their needs be met without impairment.

In the name of those who live this truth and all those who have modeled it before us. Empower us to be our best selves. Amen.

John Fenske