Email letters, January 22, 2013

Teaching realities of U.S. history can be a tricky balancing act

In the article by Emily Shockley, “Teaching American History,” I am once again confronted with a disregard for what I am teaching in our middle schools, although it might be unintentional. My curriculum covers early American history that certainly covers the development of our government and the foundations of our Constitution! We spend 25 percent of 8th grade specifically teaching how and why our Constitution and government developed.

In fact, many of our students across the district just completed a lengthy research project that delved into Supreme Court cases that involved young people around our country who used their Constitutional rights to pursue justice. While some students might have been disappointed with the rulings, most students came away with a sense that our country lets everyone’s voice be heard, even children,

“Every citizen, child or adult, student or teacher, has a right to everything under the Bill of Rights. Every citizen, child or adult, should not be punished for speaking his/her mind, for expressing his/herself,” one 8th grade student noted.

At every grade level we include a unit on the importance of civic participation, many of us using curriculum developed by Kids Voting, along with nationally recognized information gathered by groups such as the League of Women Voters, to give the students an informative, unbiased and rhetoric-free look at the issues and candidates that adults vote on every year, not just presidential election years. I believe that many of our students are more informed than adults because they study these issues and the candidates rather than go to the polls using polarized political commercials to guide their thinking.

We use many resources to teach history, and textbooks are one of those. As a resource, they reflect a reading level that students can access content through. The history textbooks represent the history of the readers. Our history texts are often filled with great accomplishments and unjust heartbreaks.

Teaching often difficult and unpopular themes of American history is tricky. We certainly want our students to learn that their country has overcome great odds so they can be proud of their heritage. At the same time, we have to balance that with the wrongs that their country has participated in, too.

I believe that if it is taught correctly, which includes showing our students that America has had its fair share of getting it wrong and should be included, it teaches them that we can learn from our mistakes so we can correct it and do better when the next challenge presents itself.

I do not see presenting America’s harsh realities as being unpatriotic, rather it shows America uses history to stop repeating the same mistakes because people, and by that I include students, are informed and have learned compassion through accurate information.

I believe that the some of the problem lies in the message that Social Studies, which includes early American history taught in 8th grade in Colorado, is not as important as reading, writing, arithmetic, and science because of testing.

Even the new Colorado statewide summative assessment of history seems to neglect this important content too. It seems to have little depth of knowledge on early American history, opting instead for questions geared more for history of the twentieth century through today. It also seems to neglect much of the civic education that deals with the creation of our government through the Constitution that we teach in 8th grade, with the idea that students do not learn about our government until they are in 12th grade.

History teachers are here, and we are teaching your students about early American history, good and bad. We are also helping them to be more informed citizens of their country so that they can become active participants, too.

CATHY COLEMAN

Grand Junction

Conducting thorough research on oil shale development a prudent idea

The recent column, “Denver and West Slope share oil shale-water concerns,” made a compelling case for protecting our water and fostering responsible business growth when it comes to oil shale. In other words an approach that’s good for the West Slope and all of Colorado.

Given that no one knows how much water would be required or what the impacts would be of commercial oil shale development, it makes sense to follow a “research first” approach. The recent drought and wildfires and our growing population are stark reminders that water is a precious resource in Colorado and the West.

Asking those who hope to develop commercially successful technology for oil shale extraction to prove that their technology works and won’t overburden or pollute our water is the right thing to do.

ERIC RECHEL
Grand Junction

Good textbooks can teach students to be proud of America

I applaud D51 School Board member Jeff Leany for recognizing the failure of some texts used by educators in the district to accurately and comprehensively teach American history and the principles upon which the United States of America is founded.

Our children, beginning in kindergarten, will benefit from being taught about the unique and revolutionary history of our country. The United States was the first nation founded, not through conquest or inheritance, but through the idea of liberty. People came to America seeking the freedom of the individual. Our founding documents and American identity are based on the ideas that we are born free, that our liberty, life, and rights are given to us by God and cannot be arbitrarily taken away by the government, and that the Law is an impartial judge which weighs guilt and innocence, not according to status or heritage, but according to the standards of the law itself.

American identity is a good thing. Our history is terribly flawed, but America was the first country to outlaw slavery. Slavery persisted around the world for years and decades after our Civil War. Women long ago gained full equality under the law. Those with disabilities are protected and supported, and minorities are often given special consideration as redress to past injustices. Any and all religions are welcomed and allowed to worship in their own fashion in this country. There has never been a more compassionate nation in the history of the world that is so large, diverse and complex than the United States. Children can be proud of their American identity.

Feeling proud of their country gives children hope and a sense of security. Textbooks should use great figures from history to teach character and honor. The courage and leadership of George Washington, the wisdom and genius of Benjamin Franklin, the persistence and determination of Susan B. Anthony—these are some of the traits to which our children should aspire.

After the inception of the American Constitution, most nations in the Western world followed suit by creating their own charters of laws which over the years cast the oppressive monarchies and kingdoms of old into the dust of history and gave the individual the right to determine his own destiny, and mold and change the government according to the voice of the people.

Kudos to Jeff Leany for his efforts. Bringing high quality civics and history text books into the classroom is a significant step toward teaching students to appreciate their country and to have hope that they, as individuals, have limitless worth and potential and can have a say in the future of America.

MARJORIE HAUN
Grand Junction
 
Leany out of line in proposing history books

Jeff Leany is completely out of line. Board members do not dictate curriculum. The “Leany Agenda” to take over the history curriculum in District 51 is ludicrous at best. It is not the role of board members to bring their personal beliefs to educational professionals who work tirelessly on committees to ensure there is collaboration to meet state standards.

The process in these committees also protects any curriculum from personal bias, even from professionals, before implementation. These protections are there so the whims of any individual do not go unchecked. That includes board member agendas.

It is particularly disturbing that an individual with no background in education is trying to dictate a curriculum to an entire district based on what he thinks is relevant.

If the curriculum needs revision, then let the curriculum director do his/her job, form the committees, come to consensus and make recommendations to the board for approval. Board members can then do their job by finding the funding to implement the new curriculum.

STEVE PHILLIPS
Grand Junction

Headline shows irresponsible editing

Your front-page headline for Thursday, “Sex while sons roasted” was indecent. William and Tyler Jensen’s deaths are tragic, unbelievably sad and enraging, but NOT an opportunity for your paper to engage in more sensationalism.

Covering the news is your business. How about more responsible editing?

KATE FISCHER
Grand Junction

Putting “Fiscal Cliff” into plain English

Lesson #1:

* U.S. Tax revenue:  $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget:        $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt:          $1,650,000,000,000
* National debt:    $16,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts:    $38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove eight zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $162,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $385

Got it?

OK now -

Lesson #2:

Here’s another way to look at the debt ceiling:

Let’s say, you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood .... and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do? Raise the ceilings, or remove the sewage?

STEVE HAGERMAN
Grand Junction
 
Headline sensationalizes tragedy

I want to express my disappointment in your headline on Thursday.  I do not know what there is to be gained by sensationalizing such a tragic situation. As a community, we have a responsibility to protect our children, and in this case we failed. 

ELAINE TAYLOR, RN

Grand Junction

Where’s a good militia in Colorado?

I need some help that I am sure can be provided by local NRA members.  I want to join a militia and purchase the appropriate firearms needed to be an effective member of the militia.  Firearms appear to be no problem, there are even ads in the newspaper for what I perceive to be the proper weapons.  But I’m getting nowhere on finding a militia.


I thought first that this would be something organized at the state level because of the wording of the Constitution: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.”  But no one in Colorado’s state government thought that a state militia exists.  So now I am asking for help.


I really need to join a militia so that I can receive the proper training to fight the despots that will try to take away our freedoms.  I’ve had a small amount of training in ROTC, but that was mainly how to march and take care of a uniform.  I’m familiar with guns, having been an avid hunter when young and having learned to field break down a Garand in the aforementioned ROTC.  But all of this seems woefully inadequate to meet today’s challenges presented by modern weapons.


I know that I am quite old for strenuous combat, but I can be useful.  When the younger and more fit in our militia are doing the hard work of combating the tanks, thwarting the F1 fighters, bringing down the Blackhawk helicopters and enduring the barrage of Cruise missiles, we older members can keep supply routes open, prevent the retaking of gained ground and fill occasional gaps in our lines.  If the British try to retake the Colonies, we shall stop them.  If the federal government tries to take away our freedoms, we shall stop them.


I just need to know how to join a militia.  I’m sure there are other patriots like me who want to join, so please send a letter to this newspaper to help us do that.


GERALD R. TERWILLIGER
Basalt

Headline writer should have thought of grandparents

I found the story title from Thursday’s top story very offensive. You could have found a better way to phrase that than mom having sex while kids roasted. There are other family members to think of and I found that very tacky and in poor taste.

Yeah, the mom deserved it, but think of the grandparents, if nothing else. They not only lost those two little boys, but they had just lost their son. I hope in the future you choose your words more carefully.

L. BERTRAND
Grand Junction

Societal ills lie behind growing gun violence

I grew up in a home where we kept guns-in communities where our neighbors generally kept guns. I enlisted in the U.S. Army as a medic. After eight years I was honorably discharged. The Army trained us to understand the gun is just a tool. Now, It would seem lazy and irresponsible of me to claim guns are the problem.

When I was honorably discharged, I understood that guns plus drugs or alcohol were generally a bad mix. It is easier to understand when you can see it in a list…..Rx… not guns—as posted by Don Sipes’ Patriot Action Network.

Jan.16 might help someone understand WHY I say to Sens. Udall and Bennet and the mere politicians who support Obama in infringement upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms…when Congress spends as much energy discussing the need to regulate the drug pushers in the mental health care industry.

When Congress gets serious about our national sin of drug addiction, these violent crimes will diminish. Then we can talk reasonably about gun control. When the government once again begins to encourage Christianity and a Christian morality instead of the psychobabble that it is dangerous to allow public schools display the Ten Commandments lest a youth read them and try to obey “Thou shalt not kill”, then the violence will diminish. Secularism has led to the violence. When the authorities get serious about the motivation, then we can talk about guns.

ROBERT JAMES BURKHOLDER
Fruita

Has our president read the Constitution?

I am proud to call myself a Coloradan. I met my Marine 25 years ago in California and spent 11 years trying to convince him the weather/beaches were worth staying for. He moved me here and I cried half the trip.

Finding a job was impossible because everybody hated Californians and Texans at that time. I would never go back. My father taught all of our six siblings how to shoot at a friends ranch in California when I was about 5 or 6. I never held a gun again until my husband “carefully” taught me how to shoot one, a handgun for protection. I do not carry, although he’s licensed.

The second is an AR-15 that I would like to learn to shoot as well as he can for target shooting at the range. Guns are for protection, sport shooting and hunting….and, yes, my 15 yr old son filled our freezer this year with elk after two hard years. We depend on hunting for our meat each year.

Take our guns away. Screw the Constitution….right.. Has the president ever read our Constitution or Bill of Rights, for that matter?

FRANCES GREEN
Grand Junction

BLM plan would restrict freedom to explore

The Grand Junction BLM office released its new Resource Management Plan on Jan. 13.  My initial review quickly confirmed the numbers in the Daily Sentinel on January 15.  Of the 1.2 million acres the Grand Junction BLM manages in this RMP, 868,100 acres will still be open to motorized use on designated routes. 

That sounds pretty good, until you look at the details.  One small detail not in the paper is nearly half of the 868,100 acres are only open for administrative use, which means it is NOT open to the public.  Only permitted gas companies, cattle ranchers, hunting guides, and law enforcement will be able to access these routes. 
Here are the facts I derived from Appendix M in the RMP, in regards to the preferred Alternative “B” that the BLM hopes to implement. 
1.    Currently you and I have 3,322 miles of public motorized routes to enjoy in the Grand Junction BLM District (this does not include county roads).  Alternative “B” would reduce it to 1,111 miles of designated motorized routes.  That is a loss of 2,211 miles or a 67 percent loss of access.
2.    Currently we enjoy 445,400 acres of cross-country travel in the area.  Alt. “B” would reduce this to 0 acres.  100 percent loss.
3.    Currently our kids and families enjoy 12,500 acres of intensive motorized use areas in the Grand Junction, Fruita, Orchard Mesa and Whitewater desert.  This would be reduced to 5,400 miles in Alternative “B”.  This is a reduction of 57 percent.  Whitewater Hill OHV area would be closed to intensive use.


I think the impacts to our local economy, elderly, handicapped, recreationalists and families in the area will be enormous.  They are closing down our freedom to explore, which is one of the reasons many of us live in the Grand Valley. 
BRANDON SIEGFRIED
Grand Junction

We must banish the stigma surrounding mental illness

With the start of a new year, let us redouble our efforts to address the lessons of 2012.  The pain is still fresh and we at Colorado West join the rest of the nation in mourning the tragic loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. This is yet another tragedy in a country that has recently experience too many.

There has been much speculation regarding exactly what needs to happen within our society, from calls for gun control and reducing violence in games and media, to increasing armed security in public places.  As an organization immersed in the mission of improving individual and community life, we must draw attention to the call to attend to mental health.  A stronger commitment to vital mental health services is long overdue.

Several of the recent mass shootings have common elements. The shooter is reported to have been isolated, and disconnected from neighbors and community.  Several of them experienced mental health concerns. 

How do we create healthy communities where people, even those with a mental illness, are connected and have supports?  To achieve any kind of success, stigma must be addressed.  We know that in this country one in five people experience mental illness. Statistically, people with mental illnesses are no more violent than people without.  Unfortunately these kind of tragic events unfairly and harmfully tar people with mental illnesses as inherently dangerous. In fact, these Americans not only share the nation’s horror at these events but also bear the additional weight of false stereotypes and discrimination needlessly reinforced by these perceptions.

Stigma not only contributes to incorrect assumptions about people with a mental illness, it also contributes to the real problem of community-based mental health services being grossly underfunded——not just traditional therapy and psychiatric services, but the full continuum of mobile crisis services, assertive community treatment, peer supports and long-term housing. 

Can we face stigma and create natural supports in the community for people with a mental illness?  Can mental illness be recognized as an illness like other conditions such as cancer or diabetes?  Another step in the right direction is development of an integrated care system so that mental health services are available in a primary care setting, thus decreasing stigma and offering early intervention and prevention.

We challenge every individual to face and eradicate the self-defeating stigma of mental illness and to advocate for a universal inclusion of behavioral health services in the Patient Centered Medical Home and the Accountable Care Organizations under development.  Existing regulatory and accreditation standards for ACOs and PCMHs are inadequate to ensure meaningful inclusion of behavioral health services in those emerging settings.  Is this also a result of stigma?

People with mental illness can be and are a part of a healthy community.  This tragedy and the many tragedies before it call for all of us to work as one to create lasting solutions and support those with mental illness. 

Often, when speaking to the public, I ask how many people know a family member, friend or neighbor who lives with a mental illness.  Typically every hand in the room is raised.  Please do your part and change perception.  Please address stigma and befriend a person who has a mental illness.  Together we can create healthy communities.

SHARON RAGGIO LMFT, LPC, MBA

President & CEO, Colorado West, Inc.
Grand Junction

 
All things western

What says West?  Cowboy.  Horse.  Cattle.  Cactus.  Red rock butte against big Montana skies?  What power lives in this guise?

An old ranchman once told me about how much one of his bulls loved a cow.  Even with a broken leg, the bull traversed serious ground to keep her company.  “Ya wouldn’t think they’d do all that, but I’ve seen it.  Lot more to ‘em then we like to think.”

Independence.

We see the romance; beyond, we see the pains of isolation and pioneering and being the one to take that bullet so the church can come up on the plains made safe.  Soon, children are gigging and playing in joy – but, someone needed to go out and absorb the savage crushing forces.

In Thailand, a sea of smaller people rising only to my ribs stared at my hat.  They smiled.  Some called over, “Cowboy!  American!”

There will never be a greater symbol for the essence of our composition. 

Real cowboys and cowgirls are around.  Here and there.  It doesn’t take too many to keep the spirit represented and the iron in the fire.  Part-cowboys like me depend upon the full articles to hold the fort.

If the code of the west is boiled down to one virtue, it is compassion; sacrifice born of compassion.  “Engage the pain and the harm so that life may come up.”
Someone’s gotta’ do it. 

The spirit of the West must press on, even drifting to some extent, until it resolves in the protection of justice.  There is a purity of heart in the dryness of the desert.  Clean simplicity of spirit.  Ashes come back to ashes here, and are blown by a soft wind into eternity.  The Lord is God of the desert.

Where there is a snake on his belly, yonder a mite, just in case, there is a cowboy on his horse.

GUY MASTERSON
Grand Junction

How gullible are U.S. taxpayers?

In a letter to The Daily Sentinel on Jan. 18, Jim Crittenden says there is a common misperception that a vote to raise the debt limit is a vote to increase government spending. Instead, Crittenden says, raising the debt limit merely allows the U.S. Treasury to borrow money to pay for spending that Congress has already approved. Seriously?


Let’s say someone acquires a mortgage much larger than they can possibly afford. And, of course, one can’t have a great big house without a brand-new car so they go back to the banker. Then, after committing loads of money for loads of things that are very important to them, they realize they need health insurance that covers everything and has a zero deductible. So, they sign off on that as well.


One month into their spending spree, the bills begin to arrive after all the money has departed.  So, they go to their banker to request a debt limit increase. They explain to the banker that they’re not planning to increase their spending; they simply want to pay their bill after running up the tab.


Will the taxpayer—I mean, banker—fall for it? Possibly. It all depends on how gullible the banker is.


GARY YEAGER
Grand Junction

Leany ought to ponder difference between education and indoctrination

Even though Jeff Leany promised the electorate his expertise in choosing American history textbooks in his election to the District 51 School Board, I was still shocked by his selection, Just the cover on “What Would the Founding Fathers think?” was enough to make me wonder about his judgment.

There is a world of difference between indoctrination and education, and I feel he needs to ponder this difference. If we have to convince students of this country’s greatness with propaganda, then the students are a whole lot less perceptive than I give them credit for.

We often forget that the very basis of education is to hire the very best teachers that we can find, provide them with the best textbooks and materials, and then stand back and watch learning happen. When we forget those facts we do a disservice to the very idea of education. We do not need micro managers on the school board; we need people of vision who know what the process is about.

MARY ANN MORTON
Grand Junction

Debt limit increases cannot be sustained

In his letter complaining about The Daily Sentinel misleading its readers with a cartoon Jim Crittenden takes the opportunity of his letter to mislead the readers himself.  Crittenden is correct that the vote to raise the debt limit is not a vote to increase government spending, it is simply to allow the Treasury to borrow money for past spending.

But, where he misleads is his implication that since President Reagan’s term produced 18 debt limit increases, President George W. Bush seven increases, and President Obama only three increases that Obama is more fiscally responsible than the other two because he has had fewer debt increases. 

Nonsense.  It’s not the number of increases that is important but the amount of money involved.  So, Crittenden’s deception continues when he fails to mention that the increases during Reagan’s 8-year presidency totaled $2.7 trillion or $.15 trillion per increase. 

Bush’s eight-year increases totaled $5.3 trillion, or $.76 trillion per increase and Obama’s four-year increases totaled $3.0 trillion, $1.0 trillion per increase. 

And, in a couple of months, Obama is looking at another one that will be probably exceed a trillion dollars.  Anyone want to bet that he can avoid one debt increase a year for eight years for a whopping $8 trillion total?  And, are we even sure that Obama’s increases only amount to $1 trillion each time as the Senate Democrats have failed to produce a budget for the last three years?  How can you know how much to increase a debt ceiling when you have no starting point? 

It reminds me of a young lady I once knew who couldn’t balance her checkbook. Whether her account had any money or not, as long as she had checks she had money to spend.

Regardless of any deception by The Daily Sentinel or Crittenden, the real issue is that what is being done with debt limit increases and spending can’t be sustained.  Washington’s spending is hurting this 61-year-old retiree financially; however, that irresponsible spending is ruining young people financially.

RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction

“Chicken Littles’ should pack up guns, move to Texas

After reading Sunday’s front section article about all the “Chicken Littles” meeting up in Grand Junction to protest any and all gun controls proposed by their president, I can’t help but laugh at their ignorance and lack of any responsible reasoning. And to go even farther in their craziness they have Jared Wright speaking for them—yikes! That in itself speaks volumes.

The sky is not falling. Folks; the United Natons is not taking over Oregon; no black helicopters are swarming around the Western slope looking for your guns; no Obama storm troopers are waiting at the Utah border ready to take away your freedoms. Just how far can ignorance and complete nonsense prevail in this wonderful part of the state (that by the way is part of the union).?

What’s next for you? Everyone carry a LAWs rocket (light anti-tank weapon)? A RPG (rocket propelled grenade launcher) for everyone? M50 machine guns on your rooftops?  Claymore mines in your front yards?

Please, just pack up your guns and move on down to Texas where there are plenty of nut jobs that will welcome you with open arms. See ya—don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

JOHN PANEK
Cedaredge

Headline writers should take ‘road less traveled’

I, too, am appalled by the sensationalistic headline in Thursday’s Sentinel referring to the tragic deaths of the two young boys near Powderhorn. This seems to be a growing trend with this paper, and I don’t like it.

What has happened to decency and integrity often viewed in newspapers long gone by the wayside and replaced by the trend that the Sentinel sank to in this headline? Please take the upper road “the road less traveled” today.

CAROL ANN KISSINGER

Grand Junction

Headline shows lack of good judgment

I’m pretty sure that everyone in this valley is aching over William and Tyler Jensen, and would like to remember them from those sweet faces in the newspaper’s photos rather than from your headline’s conjured up image of “roasted” children.

Have you been out of touch or just letting a newbie practice Journalism 101 skills?

The headline is beneath you.

ELAINE RAU

Grand Junction

Bowman’s history book belongs in fantasy genre

“What Would the Founding Fathers Think?” by David Bowman in Friday’s Daily Sentinel lacks so many facts it must be in the fantasy genre.  Was it self-published?

At the time of our founding all governments were monarchies.  Communism and socialism did not exist.  Capitalism wasn’t a government concept.

When Columbus discovered America in 1492, the Spaniards, barely out from under Muslim rule by the Moors, were actively beginning the inquisition of Jews.  At that time in central Europe all the monarchies were Roman Catholic.

Protestants did not exist.  During the 1500s Protestant Reformation began. Catholic monarchies fought with Protestant monarchies.  Newly formed Protestant churches split into newer Protestant churches.

Whatever faith any monarchy followed, the country followed—no exceptions.  Jews simply did the best they could among all the warring factions.  People of all faiths came to America to escape the killing, but it didn’t stop their hatred of each other’s religions.

Democracy was not a Christian concept. It began with Socrates in ancient Greece, which was pagan. Christians and Muslims didn’t exist.  Our founders, many of whom could read both Latin and Greek, studied these concepts.  They settled for a republic in the concept of democracy with law being the ruler because the public vote was too easy to bribe into tyranny. 

Our founders worried about monarchs and religious wars.  Religion in America was already so diverse and so hated by each faction that religion had to be separated from government just as religion was generally separated in the colonies.

Jeff Leany might try reading the “Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” and “Plato’s Republic.” For lighter reading with heavy impact, try any and all of James Michener, who was meticulous about accurate research.

EILEEN O’TOOLE

Grand Junction

Stop using county line pullout

Looks like the tragic accident that happened at county line hasn’t deterred very many people from using the pullout. The tragic accident was caused by someone making a U-turn in the highway and causing another driver to swerve to miss him. This person was probably trying to get back to the pullout, so why do people insist on using this pullout when they know that it is so dangerous but think other people need to fix it to make it safer?

Stop using county line pullout and find another trail that has safer parking, or park down the road and walk, ski or snowshoe farther to get to this special trail

CURT CLAUSSEN

Grand Junction

Controlling guns means controlling lives

I keep coming back to the same question. Are they working on gun control or people control? They keep saying that guns are the problem. What they really want is the American people to give up their rights to own guns so the government can control them.

If they truly want to protect children, then why do we still have Roe versus Wade? This law has legally killed 55 million children in 40 years, and no one seems to care. If one divides 55 million children by 40 years (this month is the anniversary of Roe v, Wade), that is 1.38 million children a year. Now divide that by 365 days in a year, and it is about 3,765 children per day.

Now tell me how many mass murderers have killed that many children in one day with a gun. Putting gun control on law-biding citizens will only put them in greater danger, as the bad guys will not hold to any gun laws at all.  I believe that anyone who commits murder with any weapon and is convicted should get the death penalty no matter what.

Knowing this may have some bearing on what they do if they know that they will die also. Do not let them control our guns or any part of the them including shells and number of rounds they can hold, because then they will control our lives.
 
LARRY SCHULZ
Grand Junction

Governor must protect Coloradans, since COGCC will not

I attended the Rulemaking Hearing of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on setbacks from houses and buildings. I testified representing The NFRIA-WSERC Conservation Center in my position as a volunteer director, introducing the Western Slope environmental community.

Gov. Hickenlooper needs to protect the people of Colorado from the impacts of gas drilling by passing legislation with adequate setbacks, because the COGCC isn’t going to do it.

After the testimony was over, we thought we had a mediocre deal from COGCC with new setback requirements. However, illegal lobbying by the gas industry after the rulemaking hearing was closed could further restrict the power for local governments to empower neighbors within 500 feet of a proposed drill rig. And on top of that, the new setback rules would only apply to NEW leases. Colorado is almost all leased already, so this loophole is big enough to render bigger setback rules almost worthless.

Gov. Hickenlooper must make reasonable setbacks to protect the people of Colorado from industrial drilling sites. It’s time for state government to step in.

If you care about Colorado’s future, contact our governor and legislators and pressure them to act.
SAM BROWN
Paonia

Brothers in Arms hunting camp a huge success

As an avid hunter and outdoorsman in Western Colorado, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Outdoors Alive, Inc. this past year. It was an experience that I won’t soon forget.

Outdoors Alive, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that focuses on creating outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone from youth and women to veterans and wounded warriors.

This year Outdoors Alive, Inc. hosted the first annual Brothers in Arms Hunting Camp at Buck Creek Ranch at the base of the Ragged Mountains.  The Bear Ranch deserves huge thanks for everything they provided to this experience.

I also would like to thank Commander and Company Outfitting, Rain for Rent, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Foreign Aid, Wiggys Inc, Batteries Plus, Sportsman’s Warehouse, TK Mining, Cabela’s, Boise Cascade, Callaways, Davis Tent, LDS Consulting, Alliance Energy Services, the VFW and American Legion and many other, including all of the volunteers who worked as guides, cooks and wranglers.

This first annual program was very rewarding. In addition, it offered a tremendous opportunity for both disabled and able-bodied veterans to hunt in a beautiful part of Colorado, in a way that many of them would not have had otherwise and I feel very lucky to have shared this experience with such incredible individuals.

Planning is already underway with Outdoors Alive, The Bear Ranch, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and others on next year’s camp, and I am excited to say that we will continue to serve those who have served their county with the 2013 Brothers in Arms Hunting Camp at Buck Creek Ranch.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support this program and programs like it.

STEVE STEWART
Grand Junction

Brady Trucking unfairly criticized

As you drive along I-70 east from Horizon Drive, in a few miles you start seeing an unorganized home building area and junk building up on the north side. But the county or the city do not seem to care or made any guidelines to not let this get out of hand. When the time comes, taxpayers will be forced to pay to clean it up. There is also junk on the south side.

On the other hand, Brady Trucking Company at 356 27-1/2 Rd cleaned up the area where it is at and it uses it for a good business.  It has received nothing but flak.

RAFAEL A SALAZ
Grand Junction

Hunting camp helps, honors veterans

Over the past several years Outdoors Alive, Inc. has been working on promoting safe enjoyment of outdoors recreation with an emphasis on reaching youth, women, military families, veterans and wounded warriors. With the establishment of the Brothers in Arms - Buck Creek Ranch Hunting Camp this past year, we celebrated our greatest accomplishment to date.

Thanks to major sponsors like The Bear Ranch, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Commander and Company Outfitting Services we were able to provide nine hunts through a Wounded Warrior program for able-bodied and disabled veterans.

Programs such as this go farther to create opportunities for outdoor recreation than many of us can imagine. They help us say thank you and even help to restore dignity to men and women who so rightly deserve it.

We are already starting to work with The Bear Ranch and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on next year’s camp and want to thank all of our other generous supporters (I apologize that there just isn’t room enough to mention them all in this letter).

If you would like to join them in helping us with this project, our upcoming banquet or find out more information, please call Terry at (970) 929-6202.

Thank you for your help and support.

TERRY COMMANDER

Somerset

Those with guns stopped Hitler

I was very taken aback by “Linking gun control to Hitler lacks historical evidence.” How much evidence and death do you have to have to prove something to a person who holds to the left’s position that government can give everything to you that you need and protect you from everyone and everything that may harm you?

We are now to the point that we defend Hitler? You have to be kidding! For those who are interested, there is much out there to prove or show the extent of Hitler’s gun control, and never let it be forgot that it was those with guns who stopped him and his ideology.

Those who registered and had their guns otherwise “gun controlled” were in trouble. “No gun historical evidence’” sure lacks real-life evidence of what really happened. Hitler enacted gun control to the extent he almost won a war, and he did kill unarmed millions. That article would not resonate well with a survivor but the article gets away with it because most people of WWII have passed on.

But I remember my parents of that time frame, and I stand up against such foolish ideas presented as a defense for Hitler. What helped defeat those who lost to Hitler was the gun control and confiscation and letting the “few” have guns.

History, as evidence showed that. Read what Hitler said and read the law he passed. If what happened is not proof, you will not be able to prove anything. Words, writings, laws and lives do mean something no matter how the left ideology twists the story.

CHARLES E. ATCHISON
Clifton,

Leany’s choice of books refreshing

It was refreshing to read about Jeff Leany’s choice of books for “Teaching American history” on the front page of Friday’s Daily Sentinel. I have read “The Real George Washington” and “The Real Thomas Jefferson” (http://www.NCCS.net). From the latter I learned that James Thomas Callender, an unscrupulous scandalmonger and disappointed office seeker, circulated false allegations about Thomas Jefferson in 1802 that revisionists have since used to influence the interpretation of American history.

“It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled,” Mark Twain is quoted as saying.

My interest in reading about the American Revolution was piqued while reading my mother-in-law’s family history. I discovered that my husband’s relatives helped hide ammunition to prevent confiscation by British soldiers in April 1775. One of his great-uncles, Abner Hosmer, was killed at North Bridge near Concord.

The details of the events at Concord, Mass., on April 19, 1775, have been largely lost, but with personal stories such as this, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” and the cry of “The Regulars are out!” suddenly made sense to me. I understood why the citizens of the 13 states insisted that a Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution in 1787. The Second Amendment was needed to protect honest citizens from a repeat of tyrannical King George III.

Today our rights as citizens of the Founders’ America are being violated because Socialists and Marxists have increasingly influenced our public education system for more than 200 years. Our hard-working teachers need accurate and unbiased texts. I have discovered that my students love “real” history as opposed to “dates and dead people.”

I urge everyone concerned to order the books mentioned in the article, while we still have freedom of the press.

SHEILA YEAGER

Grand Junction

Leany’s willingness to take a stand on textbooks commendable

I so liked the article about Jeff Leany wanting to replace the history books currently used in District 51 with books that are more accurate in telling our great nation’s story. At a time when our government-run schools are failing to teach our children and grandchildren the truth about our past, our Founding Fathers, our glorious Constitution and Declaration of Independence and the reasons our Republic was founded in the first place, it is refreshing to know that a member of our local school board wants to make a difference.

When my husband and I were growing up in the ‘40s and ‘50s, we received a public education that was far superior to the one that is being offered to the current generation in school. Even our children, who went to District 51 schools in the ‘70s and ‘80s got a better education than what is being taught now.

Too many citizens of this country know nothing about what America is really about. This goes for the voting process, as well. American history and civics need to be required classes taught in all schools. We need more school board members such as Jeff Leany who are willing to change what the students are being taught, because they aren’t being taught the real story of our country. It is a story of which to be very, very proud.

SUSAN BENJAMIN
Grand Junction

All types of guns are fun to shoot

After listening to weeks of anti-gun advocates, I have come to the conclusion that they do not understand guns and the laws that are in effect. The assault rifles they are trying to ban me look like military weapons but they are not. Military assault weapons are fully automatic and can fire all the cartridges in the magazine by holding the trigger down.

It is illegal (ATF) for a U.S. citizen to own a fully automatic weapon or one of the caliber greater than 50 caliber unless it is registered with the ATF and a substantial fee is paid for each weapon. This law was put into effect in the 1930s. Manufacturers have made their standard weapons look like assault weapons, as buyers like the look. You or I can take a standard Ruger 10/22 22 caliber semi-automatic rifle and buy a new stock that makes it look like an assault rifle. It is still a 10/22 rifle.

Trying to restrict mixing capacity is a joke. Changing magazines on a rifle takes fewer than two seconds, so a criminal will carry four 10-round magazines instead of two 20-round magazines and will be four seconds or fewer slower. This would not have made any difference in what happened in Colorado or Connecticut.

Anti-gun advocates don’t understand the fun derived from shooting at targets. They believe that if you have a gun you are ready to kill some animal or someone. Great competitions take place throughout the U.S. every year from cowboy shooting to NRA shooting events.

Assault-type rifles are fun to shoot, and so are all guns. Those of you who have never tried to shoot a gun should take a trip to the range and see for yourself what shooting is all about. Punch a few holes in some paper.

ROBERT KLEIN

Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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America was not the first nation to outlaw slavery.  life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are those ‘endowed by our Creator’ and even they can be limited.  One is NOT free to pursue happiness via illegal means; life and liberty can both be taken away by the govt.  none of the rights in the us constitution ate absolute…ending where they hit my nose, so to speak.

pecked out on my phone…pardon typos.  ate should be are…

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