Email letters, January 9, 2014

Rural volunteer firefighters are competent, well-trained  

On Dec. 31, the Sentinel published an op-ed piece from Sen. Steve King that left me with my mouth hanging open in insulted disbelief. As a volunteer firefighter for five years, I would like to respond in defense.

King more than implied that “rural residents” are not the professional, coordinated first responders that he envisions fighting fires in western Colorado — as if we’re a bunch of buffoons out there performing a Chinese fire drill. Apparently he doesn’t understand that approximately 75 percent of all firefighters in the nation are volunteers — a tradition started by Benjamin Franklin. Just because we don’t receive government paychecks for our service to the community, which we choose to do for free, does not mean we are not competent and professionally trained.

I have only been a volunteer firefighter for five years, yet I have been trained as a first responder (EMT), swift-water rescuer, HazMat technician and certified wildlands firefighter. Not to mention countless hours of training for both urban and forest fires, car wrecks/extrication, HazMat and decon situations, rescue — you name the emergency situation and your local volunteer firefighters have trained for it. Our training meets or exceeds that of “professionally trained” paid firefighters.

If King wants to plead for air support for firefighting, that’s one thing. But demeaning local firefighters as rural rubes is another. He, of all people, should get off the tired bandwagon of pretense that local firefighters are “only” volunteers, and that our training and experience doesn’t count simply because we don’t get paid tax dollars to wait for the next fire call.

So, what’s this guy going to do and say if elected as sheriff?


Opponent of legalized pot may wish to try banning wine fest

Apparently, Diane Cox is incensed about this newspaper’s comments and questions regarding the democratically passed legalization of pot in our state.

Her letter, as with past letters, always uses derogatory terms in describing users or potential users. I’m guessing that “druggie” and “addict” are some of her favorite words.

She even uses statistics from studies about problems with alcohol and tobacco to support her case. Perhaps she should be protesting those products with the same vigor as she does the rights of others who want to use marijuana. After all, alcohol and tobacco kill hundreds of thousands of people each year in this country.

She could start by becoming active in shutting down the wine festival that annually occurs in her very hometown. This event no doubt provides a gateway and gathering of “addicts.” She should help stop it. You know, for the kids.

Grand Junction

Tipton survey raises questions that are challenging to answer

I want to thank Rep. Scott Tipton for sending me a survey and asking me about my opinions.  I’m not sure how to answer some questions.  In giving me a list of things he should focus on, if I check energy will he push for long-term renewable energy or push for more coal, oil and gas?  If I check health care, will he continue to posture against Obamacare, or would he actually look for ways to keep costs down and get more people covered?

In another question he seems to be supplying the answer:  “…include amnesty for those who broke the law to get here?”  He might get a different response if he asked, “…include amnesty for those struggling to feed their family or escaping persecution?” Or, he could ask the question neutrally, “include amnesty for those currently here.”

Regarding gun control, I wish he had asked how I feel about background checks for criminals instead of asking about the Second Amendment.  I actually believe we could keep guns away from mentally unstable people without threatening the Second Amendment.  I’m not sure I’m giving him that message as I check that I support the Second Amendment.

I wish Tipton had asked about his performance, instead of asking about the president’s, especially since this is a 3rd District survey.  I would have liked to give him this advice:  “Quit voting to shut down the government.  Quit opposing things just because the president supports them.  Quit voting along with the tea party Republicans.  Take a stand on Thompson Divide (and support your constituents in the area instead of the industry that writes you campaign checks).”

Statistics do not support efficacy of gun control laws

“Facts are stubborn things,” John Adams once said. The obligatory weekly letter to the editor touting more gun control is disturbing because of purely emotional distortions.

A few facts:

√ In 2011 323 U.S. citizens were killed with rifles. There were 496 U.S. citizens killed with clubs and knives.

√ Since North Carolina passed “concealed carry” laws, violent crime has dropped 30 percent.

√ Since Oklahoma passed the “Make My Day” law, property crime has dropped 50 percent

√ During the ban of assault weapons (1994-2004), murder rates were 19.32 percent higher.

√ Chicago and Washington D.C. have the most restrictive gun laws in the nation and the highest murder rates.

√ Northern European countries with high gun-ownership rates have very low murder rates.

√ Every recent mass murder in the U.S. has happened in a gun-free zone.

Grand Junction

Colorado’s gun control laws violate Second Amendment

In his column Wednesday Bill Grant continued to advocate for violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Grant cited numbers to show that many Coloradans support the feel-good but useless restrictions to ownership of firearms passed by the Democrats in the General Assembly
last year. This means only that they, like Grant, either do not understand the amendment (look up “infringe” in any dictionary) or just don’t care if it’s violated.

I applaud those in the General Assembly who intend to repeal Colorado’s affront to the Constitution of the United States of America, and I will oppose re-election of those who committed it.

Grand Junction

Justice Center ‘tray handler’ could have been more civil

Wow. The “tray handler” at the security checkpoint in the Mesa County Justice Center must have been having a bad day. He was terse, curt, short, blunt and unkind to those who were sending their possessions through the scanners.

Those people have plenty of stress in their lives. I don’t imagine that they need unkindness on top of the stress.

Grand Junction

Domestic violence has many forms, and emotional abuse is among them
Marilyn Charlesworth continues to be of disservice and to disseminate ignorance to domestic violence victims, the courts, the City Council, The Daily Sentinel and the general public with her comments that she was only emotionally abused and was never hit. Emotional abuse is domestic violence.

Domestic violence has many forms besides physical violence: cursing; denigrating someone (stupid cow, stupid man); financial; spiritual; withholding love, affection and sex; isolation; and control. Domestic violence damages not only the individual but also children, the family, the community and society as a whole.

Lying to the courts is called perjury, lying to City Council to make a point is reprehensible, and lying to The Daily Sentinel and one’s self is called denial.


Grand Junction


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