Letters from our Readers: Police must carefully bring down suspects 

To the letter writer who suggested that Oakland police ought to have shot a man in the legs: Police officers are trained to aim for the torso, which is the easiest target. Shooting at a moving target requires much skill. A suspect charging with a knife can cover a great distance in the seconds it takes to draw a weapon and fire.

For the officer protecting himself from a deadly threat, shooting at the legs is likely to be ineffective, as well as pose a danger if bullets miss their intended target and kill innocent bystanders. Modern police practices have evolved over the past 100 years as a result of careful scrutiny of every officer-involved shooting.

After thousands of hours of training and many years on patrol, I am still learning the job. It is always amusing when those without any experience want to tell police how to do their jobs. We are the ones putting our lives at risk. Those who genuinely want to be better informed should request a ride-along with their local police department or take part in programs like San Francisco’s Community Police Academy.

R. Edwards, Oakland

How to attract business

Merchants want legislative fines on commercial property owners who don’t lease empty storefront space in a timely manner. Will such legislation attract businesses to anti-business San Francisco? Will the legislation speed up permits and license applications?

When you want to attract businesses to San Francisco, move City Hall’s costly laws, rules, regulations and bureaucratic red tape out of the way of opening and running a small business.

Ron Getty, Vice chair, Libertarian Party, San Francisco

Honest debates needed

Your Sunday editorial argues against the financial reform bill on the grounds that it gives the executive branch the power to assure bank bailouts. That is untrue. The bill gives the power to put failing institutions out of business.

GOP pollster Frank Luntz told Republicans that the way to kill the bill was to argue that it guaranteed “bailouts,” which are thoroughly disliked by the voters. Luntz is the same guy who came up with the “government takeover of health care” slogan to scare voters about that legislation.

Let’s have honest debates over these issues, and not get sucked in by slogans and sound bites developed on the basis of focus groups and polling paid for by a political party.

Robert A. Low, San Francisco

Key to winning elections

Do voters respect honesty or is it that smart politicians understand that you have to tell the voters what they want to hear? I say they both are right. Honesty and sincerity are what wins elections. That’s what the public wants. So once you learn how to fake sincerity and honesty, you have it made!

Marc Perkel, Gilroy

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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