Email letters, Dec. 6, 2012

Remove lethal means if someone seems suicidal

First of all, I want to be clear that I’m not on an anti-gun mission. However, in 1970 when my dad was threatening suicide, I took custody of his 12-gauge shotgun. I still have it, and he went on to live another 10 years before his death of natural causes.

The recent and very public suicide of Jovan Belcher compels me to comment on the availability of guns and the role they play in the number of suicides in the nation and Mesa County.

The Harvard School of Public Health has found that while some suicides are deliberative and involve careful planning, many appear to have an impulsive component and occur during a short-term crisis in which the acute period of heightened risk for suicidal behavior often lasts only minutes or hours long. Easy access to guns and the impulsive nature of many suicides are a lethal combination.

Today there is increased awareness of the danger of drinking and driving, and there isn’t hesitation about taking away the car keys when someone has had too much to drink. A lethal weapon available to a person in the depths of despair can end a life in an instant.

If someone in your house is at risk of suicide, please take away access to the means. Remove medications if that’s appropriate. Take away keys if that’s necessary. And, yes, remove or lock firearms. You’ll be glad you did.

Executive Director
Western Colorado Suicide Prevention Foundation
Grand Junction

Obama’s policies sure to squelch job creation

I would like to address Wayne Flick’s comment. If you tax the top 2 percent, you squelch job creation, research and development, hiring and purchasing of new equipment. Small businesses fall under that income guideline. Where does Flick work? Small businesses cannot afford to expand or hire if Obama gets his way.

No jobs ... lost jobs ... what part doesn’t Flick get? He says raise the inheritance tax ... typical liberal. He must be poor. Only the rich will be hurt by it. Does he understand that these people paid income taxes on that money before they willed it to their beneficiaries?

So, according to Flick, tax them once ... tax them twice. Not enough? And those CEOs who make a lot of money? They worked for it. I am middle-to-low-income America. I want job creation, and nobody in that welfare or unemployment line is giving me a job.

I do agree with you that the oil companies no longer need their subsidies. Our president swore on his first election that he would go line by line through the budget to eliminate waste. That never happened. A whole lot of talk, no action.

Cut foreign aid completely until our country is once again on good footing.

Grand Junction

Magnificent land owned by all still needs proper stewardship

We’re lucky in Colorado because many of our state’s most remarkable landscapes are on public lands that we all own.

From iconic peaks to isolated mountain streams, these lands offer prime opportunities for reflection, recreation, hunting and fishing, among other pursuits. They’re places that have brought many of us here to live and work in the first place.

In fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates outdoor activities such as these brought $2.9 billion into Colorado’s economy last year. Outside projections indicate that President Obama’s recent designation of Chimney Rock as a national monument will double the economic benefit the iconic formation provides the region, bringing an additional $1.2 million to the area. Coloradans on whole saw nearly 75,000 jobs and more than $14 billion in economic development derived from our public lands, and that’s
just in 2011.

Coloradans understand that our national leaders should exhibit a careful balance when managing the American people’s investment in these lands. Whether an area is drilled for oil and gas or preserved as wilderness (both important and legitimate uses), the proper stewardship – and continued ownership – of our public lands should be prioritized if Colorado’s going to thrive in the 21st century.

Unfortunately, that ownership and balanced stewardship are currently threatened. Some members of the House of Representatives have proposed selling off millions of acres of public lands to the highest bidder. These millions of acres you and I hold title to would be put up on the auction block if some have their way.

It’s clear the federal government must confront our fiscal challenges, but policies such as this put our economic future, not to mention our treasured national heritage, at risk. Rather, we should protect one of the key economic drivers of Colorado’s economy -– our public lands -– by rejecting these misguided policies.



Fiscal cliff to be more like irrigation ditch

I would like to encourage all of us good ol’ American citizens NOT to lose any sleep over the “fiscal cliff” that soon approaches. Here is the reason why: Professional politicians are a large group of people whose membership extends far beyond just elected officials. These people always put the needs of the political parties well before the needs of America.

They have spent many weeks now fluffing their feathers, talking tough and flexing their muscles on hard-line points of financial issue. Believe me, this is all just for show and a good massaging of their own individual egos.

In my political campaign, I learned a hard lesson that what is good and logical will probably not happen. As the deadline draws close, all the professional “party slaves,” both Democrat and Republican, will hug, kiss and make up to insure that they themselves will not suffer and to insure their political dictates will survive. Both sides will cave in. The solution will hurt America but most assuredly sustain the parties.

There will be no crash off the fiscal cliff. It will end up being more like jumping a small irrigation ditch. We all will end up paying more in taxes AND have our benefits cut to the bone. The altars of the two parties, however, will continue on unscathed.


Taxpayers should reject another TABOR override

When the TABOR override measure to provide funds to pay off the Riverside Parkway was voted on, it was presented as a temporary increase. We were led to believe that the tax increase would end when the parkway was paid off.

Now the city wants us to vote for a new TABOR override and at the same time to suggest how this increase in taxes might be spent. How about letting this tax increase expire as we were told it would? The taxpayers would not be getting a refund; the city would not be “forced to give back the money.” It is not the city’s money to give back; it is the taxpayers’ money.

If the city council decides to schedule a vote to approve another TABOR override, it should at least be honest with the voters and admit that this was a temporary measure that is on schedule to accomplish its objective and the city has no right to this money in perpetuity.

No dollars will be “freed up” with the approval of a new ballot question. A new tax will be created, and the city council doesn’t even know what it wants to do with this money it doesn’t have.

I urge the city to be more honest with the taxpayers, and I urge the taxpayers to vote NO on this underhanded attempt to make a temporary tax increase permanent.


Grand Junction

Election results encouraging for Mesa County Democrats

A month before the election, President Obama made it clear to America he would let the Bush tax cuts expire for the top 2 percent and there would be no cuts to Social Security insurance or Medicare health insurance. He carried that position to victory Nov. 6. That is what a majority of Americans voted for and how our president was soundly re-elected.

My fellow Republicans, we lost and it’s about time to man up and stand down. Democracy is majority rule, and the majority has spoken. It’s time for Republicans to admit “job creators” are those of the middle class, not multimillionaires or billionaires. They aren’t interested in creating jobs, just more money, as we would have probably seen had Mitt Romney been honest about his taxes.

How can Gary Harmon quote Rep. Scott Tipton as saying “the ball is in the president’s court” and keep a straight face? No Republican ideas supporting the winning majority’s vote in this past election? That’s right in character. They were elected in 2010 promising jobs, jobs, jobs and quickly switched to abortion and smaller government’s arbitrary debt reduction.

Willing to sacrifice our economy in efforts to limit Obama to one term, they avoided job issues and the realities of middle-class life without jobs. To quote Sarah Palin: “How did that work for ya?”

Even though Charles Ashby’s Monday article said Mesa County conservatives outnumber county Dems 3 to 1, that’s not what the election results suggest: state District 54, Republican Wright over independent Menger 1.3 to 1; District 55, Scott over Robinson 1.55 to 1; U.S. Dist 3, Tipton over Pace 2.4 to 1; and Romney over Obama only 2 to 1.

Some vote only their party’s self-interests, others for who’s best for the job, but certainly not 3 to 1. Liberals and Dems, keep the faith.


Proposed tax raise on rich impractical

Empirical evidence suggests that raising taxes greater than somewhere in the 20-percent range retards revenue. Hence, the economy and the Republicans have nothing to gain and everything to lose by raising taxes on the so-called rich. Apparently, this is the goal of the president.

Grand Junction



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