Email letters, Dec. 19, 2012

Denver plans to usurp Western Slope water

Something you wrote in your Friday editorial, “Speak softly, Denver,” concerned me: “The Denver City Council is worried about the threat to its water supply from oil shale development.”

Its water supply?

The oil shale lands in question are exclusively on the Western Slope, mainly in Garfield and Moffat Counties. Is this statement an indication that Denver openly and shamelessly considers our water supply its own?

Put aside for a moment the merits of oil shale development and any question of whether it will actually have any adverse impact on water quality or supply. It is frightening to see Denver’s level of interest in making sure that its access to our water resources is unhindered by anything that we provincials might do.

If the Sentinel editorial board’s take on the Denver City Council resolution is accurate, it could sadly but unsurprisingly confirm what most of us have known for years – that Denver has its eyes squarely fixed on Western Slope water and will not let anything stand in the way of its plans for it.

MARJORIE HAUN

Grand Junction

Nanny state, moral breakdown are behind horrible shootings

The horrible shootings across our beautiful land are caused by the complete moral breakdown in our country led by the graphic sex and violence in our movies and television programs and by the graphic violent video games advertised on our televisions and played by our citizens.

Our nanny-state government fosters the breakdown. It tells everyone that we are not responsible for ourselves and are not accountable for our own actions. It is always someone else’s fault.

I believe that we have reached a point where our country does not have the moral fiber and backbone to turn it around, and I fear for the futures of my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

RICHARD BLOSSER

Grand Junction

People in safe, gun-free zones become like fish in a barrel

I have spent the past three days thinking about the one common denominator in each of these horrific massacres was.  These people were shot like fish in a barrel, no matter if they were college age, high school age, adults at a workplace shooting (postal facilities hospitals) or small children at a elementary school.

These are all ‘safe’ gun-free zones, so much so if you are spotted with a firearm anywhere in the close proximity the school is locked down and you are detained. A safe gun/firearm-free zone. Really now, tell me if you intend to commit the horrible acts these shooters do, where are you going to go? 

Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out you are going someplace where there will be no other firearms, you will be the only one armed, so you have to shoot your way through a locked door, no problem now your prey is frightened so much more fun to do what you came to do.

You do not find these people going into a police station, or a 2nd Amendment meeting or a Firearms Training School, someone would be shooting back and you might not get to finish your little deed.

Arizona is a conceal carry state, Nevada is an open carry state where in Pahrump so many people are packing that you would be absolutely crazy to start shooting at anything. Connecticut has some of the most restrictive gun control measures in the country and it is far as I remember illegal to steal guns.

Some years ago, Israel had much greater problems, they had terrorists attacking schools with the resulting deaths of many children.  People said more gun control was needed. But Israel decided to arm and train its teachers. School shootings stopped and terrorists looked for easier targets.

Gun control never has and never will stop criminals and madmen from carrying out acts of gun, knife or any other kind of violence.  It has also been pointed out to me that you do not see these shootings/massacres taking place in poor neighborhoods where half or more of the population is armed and you don’t know who it is who may be shooting back at you. 

If you really think gun control works, read the following gun history:

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938, and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, 1 million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

You won’t see this data on the U.S. evening news or hear politicians disseminating this information.  Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.  With guns, we are “citizens.” Without them, we are “subjects.”

During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were armed!

Switzerland issues every household a gun. Switzerland’s government trains every adult it issues a rifle.  Switzerland has the lowest gun related crime rate of any civilized country in the world.

It’s a no brainer! Don’t let our government waste millions of our tax dollars in an effort to make all law-abiding citizens an easy target.
Spread the word everywhere you can that you are a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment!  It’s time to speak loud before they try to silence and disarm us.

You’re not imagining it; history shows that governments always manipulate tragedies to attempt to disarm the people.

There is actually less crime committed by the conceal carrying public than by police officers.  I heard that on Bill Bennett this morning.

LOVELL SASSER
Mack
 
Along with easy gun access, think about other factors behind violence

Our nation has once again been shocked by the most recent act of evil in Connecticut. This senseless tragedy has left our nation grieving and seeking answers on why these acts of violence are becoming commonplace.

Fewer then forty-eight hours after the massacre, the powers to be from the president on down are resurrecting the need for gun control legislation.

So be it, but let us factor in several other components that need to be addressed. Specifically for starters are violent Hollywood films, violent video games and gangsta’ rap. Yes, Mr. President, a mere two weeks ago you invited a Korean gangsta’ rapper to entertain you, Michelle, your pals and possibly your two daughters at the White House. The same gangsta’ that rapped about killing American military service members. What hypocrisy!

Sad to say that Hollywood movie moguls, video game makers and gangsta’ rap music producers are untouchable. All one needs to do is follow the money trail of these three industries. We know who they primarily donate their money to political campaigns and thus they draw a pass when legislative attempts to curb their violent products is proposed. Yes these groups are subject to “ratings,” but only a fool would believe that these ratings work.

If you really want to help our country on the road to preventing further tragedies have all too frequently occurred in schools, malls, theaters and the workplace, focus on ALL the factors, not just gun control.

WAYNE C. TELFORD

Grand Junction

‘Jump on GJEP bandwagon’ to help grow local economy

I want to thank you for your article about Refrigeration Hardware Supply in Sunday’s paper. It is important to be reminded of the good that can come when business leaders work together toward the common goal of economic development.

The economic partners have been part of many success stories in the Grand Valley. Western Colorado is a prime location for companies seeking a business-friendly climate, along with remarkable quality of life attributes, and we must continue to capitalize on our local resources.

We as business leaders need to “jump on the GJEP bandwagon,” as the article suggests, and work together to find ways to grow our economy through business expansion, recruitment and retention.

Success is ours for the taking … let’s not let the opportunity pass us by.

ED FORSMAN

Clifton

Passing more gun laws won’t solve problem of suicidal shooters

Once again gun ban discussions permeate the news. And once again we face the possibility of all the unintended consequences that come along with bans.

One has started already, a sudden increase in gun sales. Another will come later when a black market appears. The guns will still be available, only now the price will double or triple. The suicidal shooter seeking immortality will get one regardless of bans and pay whatever’s charged because it’s what he or she needs to make the event bigger that the last. They know they’ll be dead anyway, so they’ll get the best and charge it, of course. News reports will spread their name and fame like a cancer and showcase the grandeur of depravity for some other ambitious nut.

Only gun manufacturers will feel the sting of a ban. Having lost public sector sales, they’ll now need to seek other markets, justice department, underworld or foreign, most likely. Proliferation of guns will continue; in fact, outlawed guns may be more desirable than ever to some because owning one would be cool.

So, let’s put this tragedy behind us, pass a bunch of laws that won’t work and get ready for the next bigger one.

Just a reminder, though, avoid places where people may shoot back; suicidal cowards don’t like that.

AL CARLEY

Grand Junction

Build adjoining rooms for teachers to use as refuges

Here’s just an idea in regard to safety in our schools. It is interesting that the teachers/staff in some of the classrooms were able to secure their students in a small room that was in their classroom and secure the door so no one could enter.

Rather than have a safety officer with a weapon or a trained teacher/staff with a weapon, why not have every classroom have a room large enough to handle the size of the class/teacher. If a alarm/lockdown notice were activated, the teacher could in seconds herd his or her class into this room and secure a door that would be opened from the inside only.

We had them when I was in school, and they were coat closets and storage rooms. The present schools could have these constructed in most cases without major construction. All schools being built could have these in the building plan prior to construction.

A side issue would be that construction companies would be able to put people to work, that they may have had to lay off. This would preclude having to hire more police/security folks or train a teacher/staff to handle weapons to make the schools more secure.

I don’t believe most teachers want to be asked to defend or have to handle weapons in the classroom. Regardless of the cost, it would be better than having another situation like we have had in Newtown, Conn.

RON FIEDLER
Grand Junction

Despite emergency preparations. Sandy Hook victims defenseless

What has been tried before did not prevent recurrence of tragic events such as the one at the Sandy Hook elementary school Dec. 15. The police response was very fast and effective. The shooting ended when the shooter heard the police coming and shot himself to prevent being captured alive to face the consequences of his cowardly act.

They and the school had practiced and prepared for such an event. No doubt that prevented the death of many more. At least two adults died trying to subdue the shooter, even though they apparently had no weapons more powerful than a blunt nose pair of scissors, not even a knife. They were denied the right to defend themselves, which is what I am calling the “Zeroth Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution.

The right to defend one’s self was so obvious and natural that the founders saw no need to state it in the constitution. Perhaps they thought it was implicit in the Bill of Rights. I certainly think it is. Don’t you?

What could have prevented this tragedy? The police response could not have been better. But it was not enough.

The training of the staff was excellent and recent. But it was not enough. Profiling and locking up all potential attackers would probably still miss some and wrongfully violate the rights of many who never would have hurt anyone. It would not be enough.

How about banning the sale of all guns and ammunition and collecting all of the registered guns in the entire country? It would not be enough.

Collect all of the guns and all of the ammunition in the entire country, except for the police. Welcome to the police state. It still would not be enough.

Encouraging responsible adults to have the training and tools to defend themselves might not have prevented it either, but they probably could have stopped it sooner.

VIRGIL FENN

Grand Junction

In reality, taxpayers footing bill for free governmental services

Is it free?

Today I bought license plates for a camper that most people may use three or four months each year. The camper was purchased out of state, so it required a VIN inspection that now has a $20 fee. The license plates have a road fee, a bridge fee, a license fee, a title fee, ownership tax and a tax to cover owning the vehicle from the purchase date until you acquire the necessary paperwork to pay for the license.

While waiting for the county to squeeze the last drop out of my turnip, I noticed pamphlet after pamphlet promoting “Free Legal Services,” “Free Monthly Food,”  “Free Legal Advice Clinic,” a free “Parental Responsibility Clinic,” a food assistance “PEAK” program, the Food Stamp Program and an eight-page application for public assistance. These are well intentioned programs, but the way they are presented in the pamphlets makes one wonder if the goal of each program is to recruit as many people as possible, promising everything free for the taking. 

First, I don’t believe anything in this world is free. Someone is paying for these programs. In fact, with the six fees and taxes paid when licensing a vehicle, I would bet a piece of this cost somehow ends up directed to these and other “free” programs.

Maybe a better promotional media for these programs should be “Your Tax-dollar-funded Programs.” We all need to understand who pays for these so-called entitlement programs. People that need and utilize these programs should understand they are not “free.”  These plans are provided because there is a true need and purpose for each plan. Just because it comes from local, state or federal governments doesn’t mean it is free.

In fact, it probably comes at a premium if it is government managed. These programs are entirely funded by hard-working tax payers who also struggle to put food on the table, afford legal advice or pay for similar benefits of other so-called “free” programs offered by our government.

The next time you go to the courthouse to pay for plates, renew your driver’s license, vote or do any other business, take the time to see how your tax dollars are spent. The stacks of pamphlets offering “free” services resemble a hotel lobby advertising the many ways to spend your hard-earned paycheck. Your eyes will be opened and your stomach turned.

RANDY LITWILLER
Crawford

Look at breakdown of families,  other reasons behind violence

I am a 68-year-old male who has been involved in the shooting sports since 1952. I am an avid hunter, shooter and firearms collector, and I have never felt the need to misuse a firearm against another person except while in the military.

I am sickened by all of the shootings of late, but, as Matt Soper stated so well in his column on Dec. 18, the problem isn’t firearms. It is mental health, extremely violent video games, all the trashy TV programs and the complete breakdown of the family unit in which parents can’t or won’t raise their children with strong moral values, just to name a few.

The knee-jerk reaction of the anti-gun lobby every time an act of violence occurs is predictable and expected. Yet everywhere that concealed carry laws are in effect the violent crime rate is down dramatically.

Spehar is obviously unfamiliar with federal firearms laws or deliberately prefers to mislead the public when he states in his column that he “is exempt” from a federal firearms background check if he “goes to Lincoln Park barn” to buy a firearm. Here’s just a FYI for Spehar:  He will be subject to the very same check as if he were at Cabela’s or anywhere else. It is also against federal law to buy a firearm outside of a gun show in the parking lot.

So, Spehar needs to be more educated about what he writes, or, as I stated earlier, he intentionally desires to mislead the public to strengthen his point. So much for the “gun show loophole theory” so widely espoused by those of his ilk.

GEORGE BUTCHER

Delta

Feds are similar to burglars who steal food from ordinary taxpayers’ kitchens

When it comes to federal taxes, I compare Congress and our federal government to a burglar who breaks into your home and steals your food from your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards after you just bought them at the grocery store.

Millions of Americans just paid their federal taxes before or after April 15. Congress and the federal government do not have an approved budget from which to work nor is it ever balanced. Yet, they keep taxing Americans for money they can’t manage.

The New Year, 2013, is almost here and the burglar, Congress and the federal government, will be trying to steal more money from you again.

We are working with an outdated, non-reformed, broken tax system. The IRS has wasted billions of dollars on fraudulent overpayments for years. American taxpayers pay way too much in taxes to the federal government.

All totaled, individual American taxpayers pay 66 percent of federal revenue in taxes. American corporations and Wall Street pay only 12 percent of the federal tax revenue. The remaining tax revenue comes from imports and miscellaneous sources.

What is wrong with this picture?  Corporate America and Wall Street have most of the wealth, cash, stocks, bonds and real estate in this country. Plus, they own tax-exempt businesses overseas. For sitting on $2 trillion plus for four years, job creation has been scant at best. Worst of all, we bailed them out. 

The American people need to quit paying for Corporate America’s tax bills. Corporate America needs to pay the 66 percent, not you and me!  Corporate America, Wall Street and the federal government are all in your kitchen stealing your food.  When will this robbery end? 

RANDY FRICKE

New Castle

Though tragic, Friday’s murders small compared to abortion stats

Friday’s tragedy was covered in depth by all the networks and by your newspaper. The loss of life was decried.

But where was the outcry about the number of babies killed by abortion the same day? This number slain in Connecticut pales in comparison. And the babies were slain by persons who had taken an oath to protect life.

I haven’t heard anyone calling for the control of abortionist tools.

L.R. MCGINNIS
Grand Junction

Limit time DC legislators have to fatten their own pockets

The fiasco in Washington about the economy demonstrates a failure of our public school system. I assume the members of Congress did go to school? They learned to read and write, but failed arithmetic and history. The only thing they excelled in was how to spend other people’s money.

They don’t spend millions of dollars to get elected just to argue with each other, but for the most part to fatten their own pockets at taxpayers’ expense.

True, they do start out to do good and end up doing very well. The solution is to limit their stay in Washington.

JOHN O. SPENDRUP
Grand Junction

Violent video games a factor in shootings, other tragedies

After this week’s horrendous tragedy, the media debate is around guns—again. Yet, in the Delta library a movie is available for checkout entitled, “God bless America: Taking out the trash one jerk at a time.” In the beginning of this “cinematic gem” the angry main character shoots a neighbor’s infant to death.

And consider, on the same day of the Connecticut mass shooting in China 22 students were slashed by a knife-wielding maniac. Yep, the only coverage this event received was a two-second bulletin on the bottom of our TV screens – if you blink once, you missed it.

If we really want to end violence, it’s time to look at all aspects, even if they don’t fit in with our personal agendas. Video games such as “Grand Theft Auto” give young people a false sense of the results of violence, and they devalue life.

Adding to all of this, President Obama has no trouble telling the overburdened state of Arizona how to deal with its immigration problems and yet will not use his bully pulpit to speak out against Colorado’s legalization of marijuana, which has nearly all of our town government and law enforcement agencies in a quandary.

This election seems to be driven by the under-educated, but now is no time to stop fighting for the future of our young people. A bumper sticker says it all: “If you are not outraged, then you’re not paying attention.”

SARAH RAPP
Delta



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