Readers Speak

Opportunities not even

Dear Editor,

Talent is distributed evenly but opportunities are not. If an American inherited wealth, was Caucasian, was the product of generations of stable family life, and was male, he would — in the game of life — be born or perhaps have runs already on the scoreboard.

Can you imagine a black President Donald J. Trump? A Donna J. Trump President? A non-wealthy Donald J. Trump President?

Yet, Trump touts his success to his self motivation, shrewdness, and determination. Americans tend to favor “the Self Made Person Theory” for success – it is easy to say and it is true. One does not move forward without individual incentive and effort, making due with what he has.

Yet to automatically associate professional or personal merit with those of higher stations and power is wrong, as clearly and regularly demonstrated by our current President. Tis a pity, our political system does not attract more of our capable and virtuous to seek public office.

Don Scott,


National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Dear Editor,

In April, the United States Postal Service promotes National Dog Bite Prevention Week. I am writing to ask our customers to safeguard our letter carriers against the pain and suffering that can be experienced through a dog bite or attack.

Pet owners’ efforts are critical when you consider the number of Postal Service employees attacked by dogs last year reached 6,244 — a decrease of 500 incidents over the prior year. Within the Western Pennsylvania District there have been 42 dog attacks since the beginning of the year.

My concern is not only for our employees, but with the general population as well. Here are three critical points to remember:

* If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.

* Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.

* The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office.

I am asking everyone to become a responsible pet owner during the coming summer in order to ensure the safety of all of our citizens. Together, we can safeguard all from unnecessary and potentially devastating dog attacks.

Thank you for your help with this very important issue.


Troy Wagner,



Youth shooting sports

Dear Editor,

I am pleased to see the Times Observer provide the youth of our school shooting program generous space in the Sports Section on 4/11/18.

With all the detractors of guns and the calls for abandoning the Second Amendment, it is nice to see our youth competing safely with guns–nearly all of them semiautomatics. These young adults are our thinking, responsible, and safety minded future. They are enjoying the competition and camaraderie that thrive in the shooting sports.

Kudos to the parents, the instructors, the sponsors, the persons whose donations make it possible, and the NRA for helping to guide our youth to be responsible in life and understand that it is not the guns that cause catastrophes.


Daniel Reiff,


Bear spray

Why aren’t we giving every teacher a can of bear spray to keep in there desk? It’s non-lethal but will stop a shooter and give people a fighting change to get away or to stop a shooter. If it will stop a bear, it will stop a person. Most bear spray will shoot 25 feet if not more. It blinds you and also makes it hard to breathe. If you can’t see or breathe you can’t shoot a gun. Let’s give our teachers a fighting chance instead of making them sitting ducks. For anyone who doesn’t think it will work, spray yourself with pepper spray one time. Let’s save lives and put this in every school. Cowards won’t attack someone that they know has something to fight back with.

Chris McKee,

N. Warren