E-mail letters, January 11, 2011

Series showed girls
can aspire to anything

When I was a girl, I could aspire to be a nurse, a teacher or a secretary.  Today girls, like boys, have a better opportunity to be anything they want to be, and to bring their skills and experiences to the workplace and to the community.

My hat is off to The Daily Sentinel for its fine series featuring many women in our community who are serving our community in ways that were not open to women not so very long ago. I believe that our community is a better place to live today because we have the contribution of the female half of the populace.

The exciting thing for me is that there are hundreds of local women like those chosen by The Daily Sentinel who also could have been profiled.
Dot Hoskin
Grand Junction

Culture of violence
is what led to killings

This is regarding the hysteria surrounding the attempted assassination and murders of the congresswoman, judge and other innocent victims of a deranged individual in Arizona.

We, through rationalization, are covering up the root cause of the problem. This root cause exists not only in the state of Arizona but in the United States and worldwide. It is not politicians hammering away at each other with irrelevance, but with ourselves.

We live in and tolerate a culture of violence. It surrounds us every day, primarily as presented in the media, not only in the reporting of worldwide events such as the daily brutalizing of innocent people in the Middle East, but violence everywhere. 
Consider the programming of shows presented to the general population as entertainment. Consider the commercials on television today, people running through burning cities brandishing weapons and setting off explosives demolishing buildings, vehicles and each other. Consider the games today presented to our children, depicting the same scenes of destruction. If we witness numerous killings every day, surely we will become inured to killing, accept it as a commonplace thing and as the accepted solution to problems. 
Police in schools. Kids carrying weapons to school. Body guards for all public figures.  Fear to express an idea that is contrary to current thought. Political correctness rather than truth and reality.
Whatever happened to kids playing games in neighborhood streets? Fun without alcohol? Athletes with morals? Drugs for real illnesses? Environmental health ahead of greed? Dependence on individual strength, self sufficiency, and character? The unwritten laws of common sense?
If our sense of reality comes to us electronically, then we are subliminally being programmed to accept the ideas, values, and morals of a few very persuasive individuals.  Unfortunately these individuals are motivated by money, with little regard for the consequences of their productions.

How will our leadership, ourselves and our children ever be able to make correct choices and decisions when our experiences are based on electronic fiction?
Robert A. Tallarico
Grand Junction

Columnist’s logic would
would lead to cell phone ban

I had reservations about responding to Gail Collins Jan. 11 column regarding our Second Amendment rights to bear arms. This is, by all rights, a time for prayer by all and reflection by those who were fortunate to know the patriots killed or wounded.
However, I would like to put the right to carry and use a cell phone to the same test as she placed on guns.

According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle deaths were down 4 percent in first 11 months of 2010. They totaled 31,740, or nearly 87 deaths per day.  Of this total, 28 percent involved drivers talking or texting on cell phones.

Because of the extent of the problem, federal transportation officials unveiled an organization Tuesday, patterned after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that will combat driver cell phone use. The group, FocusDriven, grew out of a meeting on distracted driving, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation last year.

These numbers, by my calculations, mean 24 people a day are killed in vehicle accidents
involving use of a cell phone. Using Collins’ line of reasoning, we should eliminate the sale of cell phones by making more rules. This is her solution to a mad man gone wild.

Research shows there were eight killings in Washington, D.C., on the same day as the shootings in Arizona, and it has among the strictest gun laws in the nation. Common sense and a look into sad events in our history indicates to me a very different conclusion.

The person responsible has a history of social problems, as is so common with the mass murders in our schools and workplaces.

It is not the weapon used, it is the intent of the perpetrator, and we cannot legislate or regulate the behavior of bad people. I am an educator, and I know all the rules in the book won’t change the behavior of a school bully. But I think Collins would agree he or she never picks on someone who is prepared to handle the bully.

I wonder how many shots he would have gotten off had the man with the gun under his armpit (as Collins put it) been present? If it were me, maybe three or four before I had his
Tom Keenan



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