License to carry

Re: “From the founder” by Tom Fenton, March 28-April 3, 2021 page 7A:

I concur with Tom Fenton’s editorial on the need for training as a prerequisite to issuance of a license to carry a firearm (formerly designated concealed carry license).

A noted firearms instructor, Jeff Cooper, who was a Marine Corps officer and veteran of WWII and Korea, operated an internationally known firearms training facility. Over many years it provided instruction to multiples of thousands of students, including military and law enforcement, as well as ordinary citizens.

If not an exact quote, he said something to the effect that “buying a firearm doesn’t make you armed any more than buying a guitar makes you a musician.” To me it is a simple recitation of the need for training and practice to effectively use either.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with firearms and contemplating purchasing one, I highly recommend a course of formalized training. Then by all means take the Texas license to carry course if you wish to take the next step. With those, a firearms owner should be well versed in the legal, safe and careful ownership of a firearm.

- Jim Ferguson

Upper Valley

Interview home run

Re: “Q&A: U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar” by David Crowder, April 11-17, 2021 page 1A:

Wow! David Crowder and El Paso Inc. hit a home run again. Great interview with U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar. I have often thought how important it is for reporters to bring intelligent conversations like this to their communities. With the decline of local news, it is getting harder and harder, but you have just made the case for El Paso. Thanks for caring.

- Warren Goodell

Central

Prescription drug bill

Small businesses like mine in El Paso are on the heels of recovering from the pandemic. However, a bill introduced in the state legislature, HB 1919, would hurt Texas small businesses and our workers. It would take away our rights as employers to choose the best prescription drug coverage plans for us and our employees. 

If this legislation passes, the options we can offer our employees would be limited and we wouldn’t be able to let employees know how to access lower-cost drugs at less-expensive pharmacies. My employees and I will have no choice but to spend more hard-earned dollars on higher prescription drug costs.

Who benefits from this misguided policy? Special interest independent pharmacies, a more than $70 billion industry, and their billionaire Big Pharma allies — preventing Texans from accessing lower cost prescription drugs while lining their own pockets. 

Lawmakers should celebrate the free-market success of Texas small businesses finding solutions to bring lower drug costs to their workers. HB 1919 would shut the door on that success for many of us. I urge our representatives to oppose this plan.

- David Villanueva

El Paso

Pandemic survival

Question: How are you getting through the pandemic? Here are my techniques:

Maintaining some form of consistency: I’m making time to continue doing something I was doing before the pandemic impacted everyone, taking walks.

Checking-in often with family and associates: Per a suggestion by a newscaster, I’m checking with family and associates as often as I can. I may send a text message or call someone I know just to ask them how they are doing. I was able to help a family member get groceries ordered to their residence and it went well. 

Wearing two masks when in public: This technique was adapted after seeing and speaking with an essential worker who was wearing two masks. 

Social distance: I’m now grocery shopping from home. When groceries are delivered, I say thank you and retrieve the groceries after the delivery person has left. I appreciate my local grocery store for doing their best to fulfill grocery orders in a timely manner.  

Staying positive: As a Certified Customer Service Representative and small business owner, I understand the value of staying positive regarding business ventures, and maintaining an overall hopeful and positive attitude, as a Facebook group highlighted, has been a priority during the pandemic.

- Martina Lawson-Hines 

El Paso

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