Email letters, January 14, 2013

State Dems ignore major issues such as jobs, energy, education

I’ve seen several stories recently about Colorado’s new, all democratically controlled government. The House, Senate and governor are all democratically controlled and ready to get right to work on the important issues facing Colorado. No, it’s not education, not jobs, not the economy, not the tough decisions to curb spending, not energy, and not our environment.

The number-one item on the agenda of the new legislation is civil unions. The article published Jan. 9 entitled “Unfinished Business at the Capitol” gives real insight to Colorado’s future and agenda. The new speaker of the house boasts himself to be openly gay, taking it upon himself to prioritize civil unions as the most important agenda to begin the new session.

His reasons include the argument that this will eliminate Colorado’s nickname of “hate state.” I’ve lived here 50 years, and my wife was born here. Neither of us has ever heard our state referred to in this way. Until recently I would characterize the state as a “moral state.”

This new speaker goes on to say, “with bipartisan support, pass civil unions this year.” I’m not sure what is bipartisan about a democratically controlled House and Senate and the ear of the governor. The article goes on to say this bill includes support from all 20 Democrats in the Senate and all 37 Democrats in the House, plus one Republican. Either this is the last Republican in the Colorado Legislature or Ferrandino needs to read the definition of bipartisan.

We (the citizens of Colorado) elected these individuals to represent us. It seems obvious that their agenda is self-serving and self-motivated. I would urge current legislators to remember they represent the entire state and act accordingly.

RANDY LITWILLER

Crawford

FBI stats prove it’s ineffective to restrict use of firearms

Thank you for the Jan. 11 articles on the planned governmental assault on so-called assault weapons, especially the 2011 FBI stats you shared, showing that one is more than three times likely to be killed with a knife than a rifle. This proves that eliminating the Second Amendment is the government’s main target and is not making us any safer.

Furthermore, President Obama has threatened sweeping gun control measures once his re-inauguration is completed later this month, including dictatorial use of executive orders just as he has in the past. It is said that he will use Lincoln’s Bible to take the oath of office. It would be more appropriate to use the same one as used by Hugo Chavez after whom he more closely governs.

Gun control zealots have said that the Second Amendment was written during the time of muskets and has no place in today’s world.

To that I say the First Amendment was written during the days of quill pens and town criers. Shall we restrict it accordingly, as well?

STEPHEN FULLERTON

Grand Junction

Water issues decided by rule of law, not big-city whims

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown is right —the resolution passed by his colleagues on oil shale offended us on the Western Slope.

As both Brown and Sen. Steve King have pointed out in op-eds on the resolution, water issues have been worked out over many years of negotiations and agreements, and they are matters decided by rule of law, not the whims of a big-city council.

I find the arrogance of some Denver Council members frankly appalling. If they have a particular vision for their city, that is their business, but to tell another jurisdiction how it should or shouldn’t run its economy is well outside their bounds. I am as fed up with Denver liberals trying to impose their version of how things ought to be as I am of the sense of entitlement they seem to have over our water.

Brown was also correct in his assessment of oil shale. Our oil shale industry has approached issues of water rights, supply and quality responsibly and legally, and it will use a very tiny percentage of Colorado’s water.

Councilman Brown pointed out that agriculture uses far more, suggesting tongue-in-cheek that maybe the Denver City Council may issue a resolution against farming. My first thought was that was as unlikely as their proclaiming against ski resorts, which also use water, given how much Denverites like to eat and ski.

On the other hand, they enjoy the fruits of the energy industry, too, yet seem to have no problem issuing proclamations against its development. Maybe Brown should be cautious about giving his council-mates ideas.

SEAN M. HUNT
Grand Junction

Let’s see Wager step up as first school volunteer

I believe Rick Wagner should be the first “well-trained local volunteer” to protect children in our local school district as he suggests others do in his Jan 10 column.


JOSE U. LUCERO
Grand Junction

Front-page story regarding Miss America’s mastectomy decision inappropriate

I am appalled by the story on the front page on Jan. 12 about Miss America. Breast cancer is a subject that needs to be discussed in appropriate venues, but an article and photo like that have NO place on the front page.

I would prefer that article and photo not even be in this paper. The Sentinel is not People magazine or some health publication.

I was going to comment on the story, but it seems that the Sentinel has already realized its mistake as I cannot find it on the website.

BRADLEY BARKER

Grand Junction

Government can’t dictate how citizens protect themselves

Imagine this scenario: You are at home with your wife and kids, and suddenly in the middle of the night someone is trying to break into your home, or several people are trying to break into your home.

Maybe you are out of town, and it’s just your wife and kids there. They’ve called 911, but there is no way authorities are going to be able to respond before these people have broken into your house. Maybe you can find a way out and avoid a confrontation, but maybe there isn’t or there isn’t enough time. Hopefully, you have chosen not to be a victim, and you are armed for the confrontation. Here are my questions:

At that point do you want the government dictating what kind of weapon that you can use to defend your life, the lives of your family members and your home? Or maybe you feel you are better able to make that decision yourself. How many bullets do you want as a limit? Six? Ten? Or as many as you feel you need? There is a reason that the Second Amendment states, “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” These limitations on government serve to protect our natural rights of liberty and property.

As saddened and horrified as I am by the events in Connecticut, I have not heard of one proposal by those wanting to regulate guns which would have prevented any of these mass shootings.

In fact, the only thing that makes any sense to me is like the situation in San Antonio, where an off-duty policewoman shot and killed a man who had entered a mall, shooting people and killing two before he was killed. Of course, the mainstream media have been strangely quiet about this.

Government has not the right nor can it possibly pass any regulations that will provide for our safety in such situations. That responsibility is ours, as it should be.

MICHAEL HIGGINS
Grand Junction

Make citizens ride scooters to slash country’s death rate

I find it interesting how President Obama, his puppets in politics and the media have turned an extremely unfortunate incident into an attack on the Second Amendment and a group of inanimate objects. Why is everybody going ballistic (pun intended) over this one issue?

While my heart goes out to everybody affected by gun violence, gun violence as a cause of death is way down the list of causes of death here in the U.S. One is more than 50 times more likely to die from tobacco and almost 20 times more likely to die from a medical error than being involved in a firearm homicide in this country.

Let me just take another cause of death that is way down the list but takes more than five times the lives as firearms each year—motor vehicles. Cars and trucks today are built more safely than ever with air bags, special anti-locking brakes, cameras, etc. So why are they such killers? A lot of the accidents are caused by pushing down too hard on the accelerator that results in excessive speeds.

So, I propose that we call any vehicles that can exceed the speed limit now be called assault vehicles. Many of these assault vehicles have many seats in them, so, if there is an accident, the potential for injury or death is compounded greatly. I propose we call these cars and trucks high capacity assault vehicles.

I suggest that these assault vehicles and especially these high capacity assault vehicles be confiscated and all Americans should now be required to ride scooters. These vehicles cannot exceed the speed limit, and they only have one seat. This would make this country so much safer.

But remember—when we outlaw cars, only outlaws will have cars.

BRIAN LANGFITT

Grand Junction

Democratic Party leans more and more toward socialism

Here is a quote I came across that everyone should read. It’s attributed to Norman Mattoon Thomas, who ran as a presidential candidate for the American Socialist Party more than 69 years ago. In a 1944 speech he allegedly said:

“The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened.” He allegedly went on to say, “I will no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.”

Nothing any truer has ever been said as we look at gun control, food stamps and welfare. Remember that the Second Amendment was not only for personal protection against crime, but to protect us from both foreign and domestic government. Once guns are removed from private people, we are doomed.

Obamacare, is another thing that will work at taking our guns. The minute this starts they will say, “Turn in your guns or no medication.” Socialism is running this county. Beware.

LARRY SCHULZ

Grand Junction

Decline in air quality near Rifle prompts distrust of drilling plans

I am concerned about the plans to drill for natural gas near my home east of Mesa. I have witnessed how the air quality has declined along the Colorado River near Rifle as the gas industry has expanded recently. It only takes one’s sense of smell to know that our clean mountain air is endangered by activities related to gas drilling.

The gas industry repeats its claim that there has never been a documented case of water pollution attributed to fracking. It really doesn’t matter to them as their lobbyists in Washington have purchased exemption from the Clean Water and Air acts.

It matters to me as my family and community will be left with the potential for our water to be tainted by the fracking fluids as most of these fluids with their chemical additives are left underground. The gas industry would have me trust that because of the depth of its drilling there is no possibility of polluting underground water sources. I have no trust for this industry that refuses to even make public the list of chemicals that it injects into the ground.

Clean air and water are invaluable and should not be sacrificed in this drive for “energy independence.” Natural gas is also a valuable resource; it is a gift for us and for the generations of the future. In the drive to enrich corporations and shareholders, however, we are allowing questionable drilling techniques to be used with little consideration for our children or for the natural world.

GARY WEIDNER
Mesa

Gun control controversy shows ineffectiveness of broad-brush problem solving

Every time I hear a politician ask, “even if it would save one life, wouldn’t it be worth it?” I know to expect to lay another freedom at the altar of government control. The answer is NO! Giving up a freedom for any reason is not worth the price. The broad-brush approach, “one size fits all,” has never solved problems in this country. But caring, compassionate politicians keep at it, feigning concern for our safety while asking the same stale question.

Their idea is to merely appear concerned while actually gaining political strength. Charles de Gaulle was once quoted as saying, “In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.”

So, one by one, freedoms slip away—what to eat or not, such as trans fats and super-sized meals, and what not to drink, such as big sodas. Meanwhile people who choose to smoke are made to feel like second-class citizens. Even light bulbs get attention, and now the world’s finest healthcare system is in the crosshairs. Soon they’ll tell us which doctor to see, and since they think we’re not smart enough to know what’s best for us, we’ll let them.

Now for the latest quest, “gun control.” They say it’s for our own good, and thanks to media feeding-frenzies such as Sandy Hook and Aurora, the debate rages anew. Chicago’s homicide rate exceeds these event totals every day, yet the media and politicians remain silent about it.

But, banning guns is “hot” right now, so look for more media and politician banter. I’ve even heard “executive order” and “confiscate” mentioned, but remember, history records that the first battles of the Revolutionary War were fought over “gun control.”

So, gun grabbers should proceed with caution. America’s gun culture has a long, storied past, and so far the Constitution and the Second Amendment still stand in the way.

AL CARLEY

Grand Junction



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Whether what some third party candidate said 60-years ago is relevant is another matter, according to Snopes.com it is unlikely he every said it.  http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/socialism.asp

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