Email letters, Dec. 21, 2012

Denver justified in its interest in Western Slope resources

It was encouraging to read about the leadership being taken by the City of Denver in supporting a slow and cautious approach to oil shale development in western Colorado [Dec. 18, Over objections Denver raises oil shale water concerns]. However, as a fourth-generation rancher and farmer deeply concerned about water issues, I was a little disappointed to see some paint the City’s action as “controversial.”

After all, clean and abundant water is as equally important to Front Range communities as those on the West Slope. Although oil shale development will likely not be economically viable any time in the near future, if and when it does, it will have a profound impact on all of Colorado’s environment and water supplies.

There should be nothing contentious about our elected representatives expressing concern about this and encouraging a common-sense approach going forward.

RICHARD KAUP
Golden

Time’s choice of Obama not surprising

Time magazine announced its person of the year this week. Surprise, surprise—it chose Barack Obama. That’s twice now. The choice was obvious since he’s liberal and president.

Being a head of state must be the only qualification for becoming person of the year. Character obviously doesn’t matter because Time chose Adolph Hitler in ‘38 and Joseph Stalin in ‘39 and ‘42.

They turned out to be cruel dictators. How else would you account for choosing Obama, a little-known politician with no experience other than community organizing, who was miraculously elected twice to the most powerful position on Earth?

Only time will tell how Obama fits into history. It would be interesting, however, to read what I’m certain were glowing reviews of Hitler and Stalin back then. They were men who went on to do great harm to their nations and murder millions. Obama’s track record these last four years has been less than stellar, unless you consider advancing what some see as socialism stellar.

Only one other man can claim title to “the most government foisted on the American people” before Obama. That was F.D.R., and he was chosen twice, just like Stalin and Obama.

America’s leap into socialism has been dramatic, first with state controlled health care, and now, with the forthcoming “gun control.” Just two more steps down the path toward more government and less freedom. Obama is well on his way to setting historical precedents here.

I just hope we don’t look back, see the damage and realize the mistakes after they’ve happened.

AL CARLEY
Grand Junction

BLM needs to rethink plan on oil, gas leasing

Unemployment registration should be available on Internet

Why, in this day and age of computers and technology can’t I use the Internet to sign up and register for unemployment benefits? Why must I call and wait for hours, only to be disconnected without ever getting through?

And before the morons start up with all their “stop complaining and get a job” idiocy, understand that unemployment is not welfare. Unlike welfare, which is basically permanent government money for lazy people, unemployment is temporary (meaning it expires) assistance for people who have been laid off and are actively looking for work.

Yes, they have the time to sit and wait on the phone, but that is not the point. It is unacceptable to spend five days on the phone, using up phone minutes (because apparently 800 toll free number aren’t free on cell phones).

Things need to change. The government needs to finally move into the 21st century.

JEREMIAH HABECKER

Grand Junction

Higgins’ analogy of cars to guns inappropriate

Michael Higgins’ recent letter about outlawing cars because they kill, while amusing for the gun crowd, is a completely ridiculous and tired argument.

A car serves a higher purpose, which is to provide transportation such as getting to work, running important errands, traveling through our great state of Colorado, etc.

Now, yes, people do get killed by cars, but, and it’s an important BUT, these incidents are primarily accidents  and we accept the risks that deaths are going to happen for the higher purpose of transportation which is important to most of us.

Deaths caused by guns are generally NOT accidents. People die from guns because someone else intended to kill them. This is an important difference, one that Michael fails to mention.

For the most part, people do not have the intent to kill people when they drive cars. And because of this important difference, many of us seek to have reasonable gun laws, especially when one’s intent is to kill numerous people with an assault rifle, such as the tragedy in Newtown.

JIM CIHA
Grand Junction

Leave current management of Bangs Canyon as it is

I want to elaborate on Bill Grant’s recent column on a proposal to expand motorized use within Area 5 of the Bangs Canyon Special Recreation Management Area – an area designated as backcountry and recognized for its wilderness characteristics.

Some folks want to open up the canyon to more motorized traffic, but make no mistake that wildlife, hunters and other people who enjoy wildlife will lose out if that comes about.

This habitat serves as a corridor between two populations of big horn sheep and has been identified as “severe winter habitat” for mule deer by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Yet these values were given scant consideration in the BLM/ Responsible Rec Foundation’s motorized trail development plan.

When the BLM first drafted the plan for this area, somewhere, somehow, somebody got the idea that more motorized access was needed for elk hunters. This flawed concept is repeated throughout as a “need” for the development of new motorized trails. But any successful public land elk hunter knows that the elk tend to retreat to the least disturbed habitat. Indeed, scientific confirms that motorized disturbance sharply reduces elk hunter success.

Indeed, elk hunting is very good at Bangs Canyon and surrounding units as it is. Some 40- and 50 percent of elk hunters consistently find success in this unit, which is more than double the state average.

To the BLM’s credit, it seems to have retracted this statement in the current plan, acknowledging that “disturbance of game species due to increased recreation traffic would likely decrease hunting success…” 

Yet, motorized recreation groups such as the Blue Ribbon Coalition still argue otherwise.  (See the action alert on BRC’s website.)

The current management seems to be working quite well. Hunters are enjoying good success, and the habitat functions well for mule deer, bighorn, elk and a host of other wildlife.

Let’s leave it like it is.

TIMOTHY BRASS

Southern Rockies & Social Media Coordinator
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Boulder

Spare some sympathy for murderer’s mother

As the mother of a challenged son, I feel for the mother of Adam Lanza.

She was not responsible for his murderousness and was the one who tried hardest to help him. Yet she is only casually counted as one of his victims.

SUSAN CUSHMAN

Grand Junction

Lengthy police response time key factor in arming citizens

Average police response time to crime in the U.S. is eight minutes in cities and longer in rural areas. When seconds count, do you want to be the unarmed citizen looking into the barrel of a cold killer for eight minutes, hoping he doesn’t pull the trigger? Hundreds try it every year, and their graves prove it doesn’t work.

The armed citizen at the scene is 100 times more effective then a police office eight minutes away. How long do you think a wild gunman in a mall would last if 75 percent of the people had concealed guns themselves? If you’re afraid that gun-wielding citizens might kill innocent bystanders, look up how many cases where that has happened; you will find VERY few.

Laws banning guns of any kind will not disarm killers and criminals; they will disarm their victims. Look at Mexico.

Misleading statements by politicians such as “get the automatic weapons off the streets” prove that the anti-gun advocates either don’t know what they are talking about or that they know they have to lie to drum up enough support to trump the Second Amendment.

Gun laws are not what we have to change; our violent and do-whatever-you-want culture does. Our government has only one reason for wanting to disarm us: A defenseless people are the most easily controlled. Look at the former Soviet Union.

The issue here is not guns; it’s government control. Do you want to be free from your government or enslaved by your government? Do you want to rely on your government to protect your home, or do you want to protect your home?

As for me, I elect to cling to my God, my guns and my freedom, because when we lose any one of those, we lose them all. God bless America!

ALDEN SAVOCA

DeBeque

Assault rifles only needed by military, law enforcement

Since I served in the U.S. Armed Forces for 34 years, one would think that I would be for possessing personal weapons, including individual assault rifles. However, my beliefs are to the contrary with the recent events in Newtown, Conn.

I have also worked several years as a therapist in the mental health field and felt it was time to express my views and thoughts. First, it is not weapons that kill people, but people who have evil intent. In the U.S. almost 67 percent of all homicides are committed with guns. Other societies have much lower homicides with guns.

Second, as a society we must take some steps to influence change for good. The family structure must be strengthened and supported whenever possible. Mental health services and facilities must be strengthened and expanded where possible.

Assault rifles should only be available to the military and law enforcement agencies and not the general public. The entertainment industry must accept some responsibility to restrict or limit the amount of violence that is published for impressionable customers. We must all do our part for the right reason and not for the dollar.

When will we as a nation say enough is enough for these mass killings? Let this be a wake-up call for all of us to do what we must do to make our country safer and more secure.

COL. LOU BRACKETT
U.S. Army (Ret)
Fruita

Weapons used by attackers do make a crucial difference

On Dec 19 a letter from Phyllis Hunsinger opened with “they [guns] could certainly provide much-needed protection for children in the schools, should the occasion arise.” 

So, what is she suggesting?  Does she want our teachers (or our kids) packing guns?  Does she want the extra expense of sending armed guards to every school, all day?  I’m trying to imagine what she might want.

She also spoke earlier about it making no difference how perpetrators of mass killings are armed. I beg to differ, since all the statistics show that it makes a big difference. For example, that man in China who attacked 27 school kids was only armed with a knife, and they all lived.

I know. “Guns don’t kill,’ but they sure do kill in the hands of deranged people, especially when those people are packing automatic guns.

SALLY MATCHETT
Grand Junction

Investigate failures to enforce gun laws

Before any legislative bodies in this country pursue enactment of more laws regarding the control of firearms, reasons for the utter failure of effectively enforcing those already on the books ought to be thoroughly investigated.

ALAN METCALFE
Delta

Those embracing evil ought not to be surprised at its power

The Dec. 15 headline of the Sentinel was “Once again, a nation grieves.” But the ink isn’t dry, and neither are the tears. As the line below tells us, gun-control debates are about to begin. Great! Let’s once again ignore the real issues (e.g. where does evil reside?) and pursue the liberal/progressive political agenda.

However, the secularist cannot even discuss evil because there is no rational basis to say it exists, even while staring at it. What have these people done to this nation?

Enter the schoolhouse, and absolutes are removed. Truth is on the scaffold, and you are allowed to make your own rules. The problem arises as soon as someone else begins to make his or hers and the magazine begins to run dry.

The Geraldos yell, “Stop!” It’s too late. The rounds are spent. You should’ve thought of that before Dec. 14 or the one before that.

The secular view has to find deified “time plus chance” and put man in charge. But this man has his moral feet planted in thin air and flails about searching for any intrinsic worth for him or others. He is also lost any sense of shame. The farther you remove yourself from God, the more you devalue mankind. Why do you embrace and celebrate evil and then stand in awe and wonder at its power?

To paraphrase Steve Turner, if chance be the Father of all flesh, then the gunfire you heard Dec. 14 was once again the sound of man worshiping his maker.

TERRY BRIDGEMAN
Grand Junction

 



COMMENTS

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Col. Brackett, being a Retired military man I think you must know what an assault rifle is but there are an awful lot of people who only hear the words and have no idea what it really means. It would be a service to our country if you would fully explain the meaning of an assault rifle. Is it one that fires a bullet? More than one or two bullets without reloading? 5, 10, just how many does it take to make it an assault rifle, and does it have to to be a rifle. What about a pistol, a shot gun? What actually are you talking about?

Ms. Matchett, do you know what an automatic weapon is? Was that what was used in this latest shooting, or do you know? Are you just repeating the media and political rhetoric? Do you just have to pull the trigger once, multiple times, once for each shot? What makes a weapon “automatic”?

Can we please stop with the political BS and be truthful for once. What is being done with the speech going on about guns in wake of the shooting is not “free speech”, but more like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. It is done with the intention of causing panic among the uninformed and those to lazy to educate themselves and that is being done with the intention of rushing through new laws that will give the government more control over our lives and take away our Constitutional freedoms.

Beware people, we are about to become “share croppers” to the government “overseers”.

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