E-mail letters, January 17, 2011

Words matter, and
so does responsibility

In old Tombstone, Wyatt Earp didn’t allow guns in town, according to legend. Cowboys with guns on their hips and booze in their bellies shot up towns indiscriminately.  It was an effort to subdue.
Two items recently week on CNN’s Parker/Spitzer enlightened me. First, Jeffrey Toobin, their legal analyst, stated President Obama is not an advocate of gun control.

The second was a young man named Joe Zamudio who told of his experience at the Tucson shooting.  He noticed the gunfire and clicked off the safety of the gun in his pocket and approached the scene.  Joe noticed a man with a gun but also noticed the gun had no clip.  Deciding not to pull his own gun, he grabbed the man’s arm telling him to drop it.  People screamed at him that this man was not the shooter.  He then saw a man holding down the shooter and jumped in to help hold him down.  The gun remained in his pocket.  Joe claimed it would be irresponsible to pull his gun without evaluating the situation fully.
So, how do we avoid incitement?  In Arizona and New Hampshire, with their “open carry” laws, people came armed to presidential speeches. Candidates went blasting away during the campaigns.

What about all the panic over buying guns and wiping the shelves of all ammunition?  What were these people thinking? Incitement is not necessarilyprotected by freedom of speech. 
If you preach about taking responsibility, you should be responsible. Words matter, actions matter, pictures matter and can easily spin out of control in a boy with a scrambled mind.
Eileen O’Toole
Grand Junction

Where is the outrage
for abortion victims?

There is understandable and justifiable anger, sadness and grief about the murders
in Tucson, Ariz. Yes, our society justly condemns this heinous crime. But, where is the outrage for the ongoing murder/holocaust that occurs among us every day?

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and suffered severe brain damage. Yet thousands of little ones, just as innocent as Rep. Giffords, are murdered by literally having their brains sucked out of their skulls.

Who among us is able, qualified or powerful enough to determine the “worth” of these innocent victims? What is worse, an individual that under the guise of “choice” unilaterally deciding to end that innocent life, or a government that not only allows it, encourages it and apparently now wants to pay for it?

Logic and science both say that life begins at conception. Judaism and Christianity both say that life begins at conception. Under the Constitution of the United States and in the eyes of God, all human beings are equal.

For thousands of years in ancient times, Pagans offered up babies as sacrifices. But, even now, in our supposed “modern” or “post-modern” world, “scientific materialism,” “secular humanism” (and other allegedly “new” worldviews) support the same evil ethic and are really “Neo Paganism.”

These secular materialists, under the auspices of Naziism, did the same things as Pagans and added some others — forced sterilization, forced abortion, euthanasia, and mass murder and ethnic cleansing.

To survive, our society and culture must affirm the truth that each and every baby, from the moment of conception, is of equal value to you and me and princes and kings.

Americans are anxious about many things. Most hope for a return to a robust economy and material well-being. But, even those things are not sufficient.
Marilyn Kivett
Grand Junction


Gas drilling changed
life in Battlement Mesa

This is in response to the critics who object to the efforts of some citizens of Battlement Mesa to stop natural gas drilling within or in close proximity to the boundaries of the PUD.

When my wife and I purchased our building lot in 1988 from Battlement Mesa Company, we were not informed that there were 10 designated well pads in Battlement Mesa or that gas drilling was even contemplated. When we built our house in 1998, we again were not informed of the well pads and at that time there were very few gas rigs and none were operating in or around the Battlement Mesa area. Representatives of BMC assured us that this was a “retirement community.”

When we moved here in 1998, the area was thriving with many small, established businesses that serviced the needs of the growing retired population and the tourist industry. Property values were reasonable and stable, employment was stable and long term, the environment was clean and very attractive.

That all changed when the gas industry arrived. The drilling companies began drilling operations in the heavily populated areas like Battlement Mesa instead of on the thousands of acres of sparsely populated areas, seemingly so that they could utilize the infrastructure such as the roads and water supplies in order to maximize their profits.

This resulted in pollution of air and water and destruction of the scenic environment. Property values and rents were artificially inflated and, as a result, many small businesses and a great many of the retirees left the area.
Due to the present economy, many of the drilling rigs and their transient workers have left the area, leaving in their wake devastated property values and very few permanent stable jobs. The environment is no longer clean and attractive, so there is very little left to attract retirees, home buyers, small business, or the tourist industry to the area, resulting in further lowering of property values.

A large number of residents are very upset by what has happened here and would leave if they could only find someone who would purchase their properties.
Garry Evenson
Battlement Mesa

People should think
before speaking their minds

If there is one truth in the Jan. 14 letter by Ralph Santos, “Arizona shooting doesn’t justify losing our rights,” it is to be found in a sentence from the first paragraph “Just for the record.  I just don’t care.”

The gentleman should care not only about what is said, but how it is said.  One of the lessons some of us were taught as children was “Watch your mouth.”  We could speak but tantrums were not allowed.
Many so-called “opinions” some of us have found, are either uninformed or totally emotional in content. That we all have an emotional component is undeniable but, prior to “speaking our mind”, we do make an effort to curtail that emotional component instead of merely “blurting out” whatever it is we feel.

Those who wish to “speak their minds” should first make sure that they have an informed and disciplined one.  It is possible to engage in productive discourse with the former but not with the latter.

No matter how presented, some of us look for the ideas and values being expressed, something which far too many have never learned to do.  It “sounds good” or “feels right” (both emotional reasons) will guide their decisions, even those affecting others.  That represents the ultimate form of relativism, self-relativism and thereby egocentrism.

Do such individuals believe they are right?  They do.  What they do not recognize, or cannot accept, is that cardinal error in any type of thinking, to believe that one can not be wrong.  That is an emotional and self-serving value judgment, as infallibility in anything is not possible for mere human beings.  That has been pointed out to us many times in the past, both far and near.       
Robert I. Laitres


New college instrument
is nor really a carillon

Mesa State College recently acquired a new musical device, described on the front page of The Daily Sentinel on Jan. 15. But what to call the thing.

Whatever it is, it’s not a carillon, which makes sound by ringing actual bells. The object described seems to be a cross between an electronic keyboard and a public address system.

Real carillons generally weigh several tons and contain dozens of bronze bells. You play them by hitting levers on a keyboard with your closed fist to make the clappers hit the bells. Usually electricity is involved only to light the music stand on the keyboard.

Ordinary music can’t be played on a carillon, but must be rewritten because the sound bells make has a unique set of harmonics.

Calling my Honda Civic a Ferrari, no matter how often I do it, won’t make it one. And calling an amplified electronic device a carillon won’t make it one either.
Charles Burch
Grand Junction

Hospital staff made
difficult surgery bearable

My wife and I want to take a moment to commend the St. Mary’s surgical staff, pediatrics unit team and Dr. Mary Beth Deering for the exceptional and compassionate care each and every one extended to my daughter, who recently had surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital.

She was well-cared-for before, during and after the painful procedure: her needs were met promptly and professionally and her family were made to feel welcome in helping her
through this. The nursing staff in the peds unit are amazing!

We think the world of all of you. God bless each and every one of you.
Steve Henderson
Grand Junction

Left influenced shooter
more than the right did

This is in response to John Ijams letter to the editor published Jan. 16.

If there was a political motive to the Shooting in Phoenix, it seems likely that Jared Loughner was more inflamed by comments from the left side of the political spectrum.

Let us examine the evidence about this troubled young man. He believed George W. Bush blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. One of his favorite books is the “Communist Manifesto.” He decried the “illegal wars” of the United States. He is an atheist who had a skull shrine in the backyard. His acquaintances in college call him a “dope-smoking liberal.”

The past week has seen the left attempt to marginalize the actions of Loughner by blaming everything from the political discourse in this country to individually blaming talk radio and the tea party.

The reality of it is Loughner was a seriously disturbed young man who, for some reason was obsessed with Congressman Giffords. This obsession started in 2007, long before the tea party and Sarah Palin became part of the national scene.
Kevin McCarney








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