Does the frequency of gun ownership have anything to do with suicide rates? According to statistics available online, Wyoming has the highest rate of suicide by guns. Two-thirds of all gun deaths in America are suicides. Wyoming is consistently in the top three positions for suicides per capita with 25.2 out of 100,000 residents in 2016. (In 2015, they were number one.) Guess who is number four? New Mexico with 22.5 per 100,000 residents. And guess what? We had more of them because we have more people. So, Steven Dapra [“Common Sense Makes No Sense,” Letters Alibi v27 i11], I applaud you for using the internet to do research. I did too.
Sean Jones, Albuquerque
Cuts Ignore Small Business
I was glad to hear about the recent [tax cut] protest in Civic Plaza, because all the positive spin about how it has led to corporate bonuses ignores a key group: small business owners like me.
The law gives enormous, permanent tax cuts to large corporations but does little to strengthen the economic power of small businesses. The Small Business Administration says small businesses employ more than half of New Mexicans, but what does the new tax law do for us? Other than creating an even more complicated tax code that gives every advantage to our corporate competitors, not much.
The tax law doesn't treat small businesses like job creators. I may get a nominal cut, but it won't be nearly enough to offer raises or hire employees. That is a snub every small business owner, and everyone who works at a small business, will feel.
Terry Warkentine, Albuquerque
Two Problems, One Solution
Sometimes two challenging problems can be each other’s solutions.
Problem No. 1: New Mexico lacks sufficient numbers of professionals such as nurses, physicians, teachers, police, fire fighters, psychologists and other mental health specialists. If we successfully protect our DACA families, as we should, we still will need more experts to be our best future state.
Problem No. 2: American citizens living in US territories surrounded by Atlantic and Pacific oceans have undergone devastating and increasingly frequent climate events leading to a mass and random exodus into states like Texas and Florida. Few if any permanent arrangements are there to welcome the many highly skilled, usually bilingual, American climate refugees.
There is a growing threat to the peoples of our American territories in Guam and the Micronesians, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. I learned a great respect for the abilities and resilience of these island Americans. But resilient or not, their survival as a geographical entity is coming to an end. Ocean levels are rising, hurricanes and typhoons are intensifying. Where will their most creative and talented island people go? Recruiting the very island Americans we most need to our mile-high, safe, beautiful and spacious New Mexico would easily benefit our state, while providing a fresh start to these neighbors. Nor would immigration be an issue since all these territorial residents are American citizens that can move freely to the mainland. An Occupational Opportunity Office for the recruitment of American Climate Refugees securing professionals in short supply here in New Mexico, a new state level office, would move this opportunity forward.
Robert Morgan, Albuquerque
We Have Been Informed
Dear Editor and Contributing Writers,
I appreciate the reports you provide in the Alibi of the decisions made and actions performed by our local government and how it is liable to affect us readers. And the call for "citizen attention and monitoring" of these activities of our elected officials given at the conclusion of August March's report on current issues in "The City and the County," [Alibi v27, i9].
Our vote for these officials is not the only way to let them know what we support for them to do in our city/county. To paraphrase the conclusion of the ballad "The Hangman," by Maurice Ogden, they only do what we let them do, what we let them know we have been informed of and paid attention to, and what action on their part is in our best interests. For example, we can contact Senator Martin Heinrich to inform him of our reading of the Guest Editorial he wrote for the same issue of Alibi [v27 i9] referred to above and our support of his concern for the growing risk to public safety in our world due to gun violence and the need for responsible gun control.
Anita Yoder Rusk, Rio Rancho
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