Email letters, February 22, 2013

Rep. McLachlan caves in to Biden on gun bills

It is amazing how quickly the corruption of politics in Denver ruins our elected representatives, or maybe just exposes them for what they are. A classic case is Colorado 59th District Rep. Mike McLachlan.

Twenty-four hours before he voted for all the Colorado gun bills, he emailed my wife and me that he was inclined to vote against any gun magazine ban bill. Then, came the call from Joe Biden and McLachlan was reduced to a quivering bowl of Jell-O.

I would really like to know what Biden and his pals in Denver promised McLachlan. (Tell us that you did not sell Colorado out cheaply, Mike, but sell us out you did.)

Here is a quote from Mike’s election web page: “2nd Amendment Rights – Mike supports the 2nd amendment and the rights of all gun owners.” Here’s another quote: “I will be a representative that carries Southwest Colorado’s common sense values to our legislature.” How is it common sense to ban any magazine produced in the future that holds more than 15 rounds while still allowing the thousands here to remain legal?

I would love to hear McLachlan’s explanation on how this is going to prevent violent crime. If the magazine bill is passed in any form, the Colorado manufacturer Mag-pul and its revenues of $50 million-plus will leave the state.

Using McLachlan’s southwestern Colorado version of common sense, I guess the marijuana industry can make that up. McLachlan also voted to make the transfer of family heirloom firearms to our children illegal if we don’t register them.

Now that was some more good common sense. We all make mistakes. Electing McLachlan was a big one, but fortunately it is one we can correct.

DANIEL MOORE
Creede

Brady Trucking deserves voter support in Ref. A

Whitewater Building Materials is a third-generation, family-owned business since 1948 and is in the south downtown area not far from Brady Trucking. Along with other business and the community, our business has been an integral part of the development of the Audubon Section of the Riverfront Trail and other sections, as well.

If not for these contributions of land, easements, labor and materials to the Riverfront Trail, there may not have been a Riverfront Trail system to enjoy today. So, imagine our dismay when we see how Brady Trucking’s growth has been stymied when it, too, is willing to be a part of this big and grand idea of a Riverfront Trail system for the entire community.

When Brady bought its land, it was not pristine open space, as some would lead you to believe. It was a rendering plant that required thousands of dollars to clean up. Brady’s development plan includes not only the easement for the trail but also a buffer and fencing.

Looking at our existing trail and other trail systems outside our area, one realizes they often go through residential, commercial and, YES, industrial property. They go through open space, beside and under major highways, through reclaimed mine sites and beside existing mine sites.

Referendum A is about property rights and responsible development, not about trails and parks versus industry. Both can coexist. That was the original dream for our trail system. It has taken all of us to build the Riverfront Trail, and we have done it with cooperation.

Don’t let intolerance by a few ruin what we have. Vote yes on Ref A.

MARK GARDNER

Grand Junction

New school calendar an example of yet another ineffective change

I have a mixed set of emotions: anger, frustration and delight. I am angry with the District 51 school board for coming up with one of the stupidest scheduling for the coming school years. I am frustrated that the teachers for the most part have caved in and accepted this terrible plan, and I’m delighted I do not have any children registered with District 51 schools.

Looking back to my school days, the first day of school was just after Labor Day and the final day of the year was just before Memorial Day. At that time the United Stated was the leading world in educational performance. Guess what?  We even put a man on the moon.

What the new school day calendar very effectively does is destroy a chance for a child to have a summer job. The chance to work during the summer is a very vital segment of a child’s education. Children learn about business, money, responsibility and socializing beyond using a telephone, and they gain a sense of independence. District 51 has effectively destroyed this important segment of an ability to grow, mature and assimilate with the rest of society.

Virtually every change that has been thrust onto school systems has been proven over and over again to be a failed experiment. If I had a student in public school, I would not like a bunch of know-nothings experimenting with the child’s education. An example of the successes with all the changes is that 30- to 40 percent of college freshmen have to take remedial classes to be allowed to attend college. All one has to do is look at the past 40 years of public schools in California to know that all this experimentation does no good, and, in fact, is damaging to the child’s future successes.

As for the teachers accepting this garbage, I suspect they are worried about losing their jobs if they do not agree with the board. For years the summer months were a time teachers could use to increase their education level, get other work to supplement a low income, go on vacation or spend some time with their own children.

I am sad that my taxes pay for this incompetency. If I had a child enrolled in the District 51 school system, I would immediately take the child out of the system and (even if I had to find a second job) enroll the student into a private school that is leaving behind a legacy of well rounded, educated children ready to go out into the world and do well.

I don’t even want to go into this new plan to ask for more money. Until District 51 can do what it is chartered to do, I am not willing to contribute one more dime to help pay for an incompetent system. I will vote against and campaign against any efforts to get any more money. I am not willing to throw good money after bad.

It is unfortunate that good students and effective teachers need to suffer because of the bad eggs in the system. Money does not an educated student make.

DAVID SHRUM

Grand Junction

Visitor to federal building received ‘bum’s rush’

Thursday’s paper showed “visitors and dignitaries” visiting the Wayne N. Aspinall building. The sentiment of the picture is a bit disingenuous.

As an ordinary citizen, I tried to visit the building and was given an unceremonious bum’s rush out the door by three uniformed factotums. This national historic place is evidently open only to assorted swells and such.


BRIAN G. TOBIN
Grand Junction

Wyoming takes action to protect its children

The Wyoming Senate school safety bill makes $2.3 million available to help school districts obtain security in their schools. They will have funds to hire police officers and to create a task force to develop school safety and security plans. The new hires will also participate in drug programs and safety training.

The measures in the Colorado bills will limit gun magazines to 15 rounds, ban concealed-carry guns on college campuses, require background checks on all gun sales and make gun buyers, rather than the state, pay for gun checks.

Not a word about school security.

Most people don’t get it. This is not a gun problem. It’s a people problem.

Only the naive think they can keep a gun out of the hands of a person who wants one. If we can accept the fact that we have limited control over guns, then we can move on to other issues.

The mentally ill present the most difficult dilemma. Most of them are nonviolent and harmless. Doctors may bring to the surface some of the dangerous ones, but only a few will be reported. The limitations here are patient privacy and the possibility of medical malpractice lawsuits. As a result, some doctors will not participate.

The best source of information to determine a patient’s mental stability is from family members. The problem is that this information usually surfaces after the shooting, which is too late to save lives.

I think we can conclude that trying to screen mentally ill patients is a hit-and-miss proposition and keeping guns out of the hands of people who want them is just as difficult.

The only real option is armed security in Colorado schools.

WILLIAM F. MCKNIGHT
Grand Junction

Biden’s 12-gauge shotgun suggestion is illogical

Vice President Joe Biden told us on national television that we should purchase a double barrel, 12-gauge shotgun for self-defense.

He said to load it with two shells and walk onto the balcony and fire the two shells into the air. He promised that no one would then harm us. He then proceeded to inform us that using a shotgun was easier than using an AR-15 rifle.

What an absurd line of logic for several reasons: One, where would he keep the shotgun that would be easily accessible for instant use in the dead of night after being awakened from a sound sleep by an intruder? Most gun owners keep their shotguns in gun safes. Not very handy there.

He would be outraged if he walked into my home and saw a shotgun leaning against the bedroom wall. Is he suggesting that we should carry shotguns outside our homes for self-defense? That would go over real big as we walk the streets of Grand Junction.

Two, he is trying to tell us what weapon we should choose for self-defense. He appears to be pro-choice when it comes to abortion rights for women but not in letting women choose what weapon to use for self defense, one that might actually make sense.

Three, to prove his point, Biden should do without the Secret Service agents who surround him for security and carry a shotgun with two shells as he travels around the country and overseas. I am sure he would balk at this suggestion.

In addition, this would have saved the Grand Junction Police Department $5,000 in overtime paid to officers for Biden’s escort in last week’s junket to Aspen.

Obviously, clearer heads with better reasoning abilities should be involved in the gun control debate.

SHAWN BRILL

Grand Junction



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