Getting a REAL ID

was a real ordeal

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

On a recent Monday, I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to update my driver’s license and to get a Real ID. I had my valid Virginia license and valid U.S. passport with me, both with photos, in addition, a valid state-issued real estate license and a Virginia boating license.

I was told to get a Real ID I would need the following: my Social Security card or a current bank statement as well as two pieces of mail (one preferably from a utility) with my name and address on them.

Who uses a Social Security card for identification? The additional required items are not recognized forms of identification. However, these items obviously trump a valid U.S. passport and Virginia driver’s license. Does that make sense?

In addition, I am shocked at how many Virginians are unaware of this legislation that goes into effect October 2020.

What a boondoggle!

After three hours at DMV I had renewed my driver’s license. Yes, three hours.

Jeff Donahue.


Reader sees no need

for additional gun laws

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

We do not have to do something about guns.

Recently I heard a member of Congress on television saying we have to do something. Doing something just to be doing something has the same effect as doing nothing, or maybe worse. We should be trying to recognize and reduce violence, not creating more gun laws. Violence is the issue, not guns.

What new gun law can we pass that will prevent illegal weapons? Answer: Nothing. We can only create more illegal weapons. Not a solution.

What new gun law can we pass that will prevent murder and violence? Answer. Nothing. Murder already is punishable by death. If that won’t work, will a new gun law? I don’t think so.

We do not have to do something about guns. We don’t need any more gun laws. We have plenty of gun laws. New gun laws will have no effect on reducing violence. We do not need to do something just to be doing something. We need to get our heads together about violence and off of the partisan politics of gun control.

Doing something just to be doing something — does that sound like a reason to take away millions of people’s right to self-defense? Does that sound like someone wanting reasonable gun reform?

Do nothing about guns. Not a single thing. Do not infringe on the Second Amendment. Hands off.

Doug Berry.

North Chesterfield.

Mounted Unit disregard brings shame to Richmond

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I moved to Richmond about 20 years ago after marrying a city resident. Over the years I have taken an interest in the Richmond Police Department and issues affecting it. One glaring deficiency is the apparent disregard of the city administration for one of the police department’s most admired and useful units. The Richmond Police Mounted Unit is the one with the most positive impression to the average citizen. This is due to the fact that most people love the sight of a beautiful, well-groomed horse with a rider sitting tall in the saddle. These animals work normal shifts except when needed during their off-hours. The horses are great for community relations, as well as one of the most effective passive crowd control measures.

It is shameful, however, that these animals are expected to do their job, like any city worker, but when they return home, it is to a condemned building with inadequate space to live a normal life. There has been “lip service” by city government to rectify this glaring problem. The administration and council have even gone as far as allocating funds for this project. However, nobody seems to have researched how much money such an undertaking would cost, so when the bids exceeded the allocation, it is unknown what further action has been taken. So in the end, as a former law enforcement officer and an admirer of fine animals, I call on the mayor, as well as the council to make the project of giving the horses adequate housing a priority, or dissolve the unit and place the horses with a police department that will take proper care of them.

Failing this, the various animal right groups, such as but not limited to the ASPCA and Humane Society, should take a serious look at this smudge on Richmond’s image.

Robert B. Einig.


Yang’s UBI proposal

could be a boon for many

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Try out this thought experiment: “What would Richmond look like if every adult had an extra $1,000 a month?”

This equates to $12,000 per year, so in Richmond:

The average public school teacher would get a 21% raise. Someone making the city’s average of $35,000 would enjoy 34% more pay. And local farmers making $25,000 would receive a 48% salary increase. In total, $2.64 billion would flow directly into the hands of Richmond locals every year.

How would this affect Richmond residents who live below the poverty line? Or stay-at-home moms, the elderly, broke college students or struggling business owners? How would the city be different if people had the economic boot taken off their throats?

This thought experiment is actually a very old idea known as Universal Basic Income. Variations of it have been championed since the founding of our country by such figures as Thomas Paine, Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Nixon and Milton Friedman. It has recently been popularized by Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who has made it the flagship proposal of his campaign.

Yang, who prides himself on his love of math, even went so far as to announce a raffle at the most recent Democratic debate, wherein 10 selected entrants would receive $1,000 per month for a full year. Call it a gimmick, but he at least succeeded in planting a question in the minds of his listeners: “What would you do with an extra $1,000 a month?”

Daniel Lantz.


Using caller ID cuts spam, but also important news

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

My wife and I are among the antediluvians who still maintain a landline — a vanishing breed to be sure. Our phone jangles frequently throughout the day with calls from distant area codes, unidentified numbers, local area code but strange number, etc. Thanks to caller ID, we ignore them and let them ring out. No message ever is left. Recently, a call came in from a distant area code that we ignored. Sadly, for us, it was a legitimate call to advise us of the death of a family member. We are thankful we found out by other means. Unless you’re my mother, don’t call my land line. I won’t answer.

David Faison.


Will lawmakers say ‘I do’ to removing race question?

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

So it looks like the race question on the Virginia marriage application was removed in 2003 but reinstituted in 2005 for whatever reason. Maybe it was because a number of legislators believed that old times here are not forgotten. Hopefully, the General Assembly shouldn’t have any difficulty removing that question now.

Ken Knust.

North Chesterfield.

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