The conversation started with test scores (“A familiar pattern,” July 30) and led to a letter (“Santa Fe needs certified teachers,” Letters to the Editor, Aug. 2). Your coverage on our schools appears to be balanced and fair. Thank you for covering this issue.

I would like to add to this coverage by pointing out something — the lack of respect for substitute teachers. Substitutes are needed but are treated with a lack of respect by human resources, administration, other teachers and mostly by students. How can the teacher shortage and poor test scores be addressed without giving the proper professional respect to these people?

I was hired as a full-time substitute (this was my title, for real) and I lasted about 10 days because disruptive students were allowed to show no respect. I have no ax to grind here. I’m just saying the system has the wrong priorities. None of which involves substitute teachers.

Barney Magrath

Santa Fe

Regulating guns

Here is a great solution to stop the gun violence. It is attributed to Gloria Steinem, but evidently she didn’t say it, although she has endorsed its sentiment. Thanks for the inspiration, whatever the source. The solution: “How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion — mandatory 48-hour waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence. … Let’s close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun.”

Muriel Fariello

Galisteo

Uninviting meter fees

Recently in Taos, I was surprised to pay only 50 cents for an hour of metered parking. It felt like the town of Taos was saying, “Welcome, please enjoy our shops and restaurants, and don’t worry if you only have two quarters, we’re friendly.” And then there’s Santa Fe, now the City Indifferent, City Unfriendly.

Despite the many complaints about doubled meter fees, the city (truthfully) cried poverty, and the low-hanging fruit was this short-sighted solution. But at what cost — the goodwill of now-angered merchants, residents and visitors? The underlying resentment is palpable. Mayor Alan Webber said he wanted to make Santa Fe the most user-friendly city. What does that mean? Scrounging for 16 quarters?

Here’s the reality — my friends won’t go downtown for lunch anymore, so we go to places where there’s easy parking. And that’s a sad reflection on Santa Fe.

Alder del Tangio

Santa Fe

Parceled solution

Regarding Milan Simonich’s opinion piece about gun laws not helping (“More gun laws won’t make streets or stores safer,” Ringside Seat,” Aug. 7): two problems. First, it would be great if we had a simple solution. No single cause or solution will solve the problem — including the one Simonich suggested. Should we do nothing because we cannot agree to follow one proposed solution?

The second problem is asking to prove the negative. We know some shooters obtained their guns legally, but how many were deterred because they were prevented from buying one? We know gangs use guns, but how many gang members left their gun home because of strict sentencing guidelines? We know mental illness plays a role, but how many were deterred by treatment?

We will never anticipate mass or random shootings, and there is no magic cure. If any measure, whether red flag lists, closing the gun show loophole, educating youth, gun buybacks, mental health treatment, religious leadership or anything else, each reduces these tragedies by 5 percent, in the long run we will solve the problem.

Jim Lodes

Santa Fe