Menger not miffed about Club 20 exclusion
I am writing this letter in response to the statement that the Libertarian party is totally upset because we were not invited to the upcoming Club 20 political debate/gathering.
I am the Libertarian candidate for District 54 State House seat that is open for election. I want to make it very clear that I am not very upset at not being invited.
Club 20 is a collection of business people and other notable persons who all hail from different parts of the Western Slope. It is a club. It is a nonprofit club. Club 20 members have every right in the world to invite or not invite whomever they please.
As a Libertarian, I stand up for these rights. As a Libertarian, I would be hypocritical to denounce their right to choose who enters their clubhouse doors.
When I was a boy, my friends and I had a clubhouse with a sign on it that said “no girls allowed. ” It was our right to do so; however, now I can’t for the life of me understand why we did that. It was a club thing. But it’s all the same thing, not any less childish, but the same thing.
The Club 20 debates appear to me to be an institution celebrating the tradition of the old two-party system. I don’t know why they ignore the entire political spectrum, but I’m sure they have their reasons. It’s up to them.
I don’t think, however, Club 20 can advertise truthfully that they are “The voice of the Western Slope” any longer. To be accurate, they should change their mantra to “The voice of the part of the Western Slope that we recognize.”
When I am elected as District 54 House Representative, I will certainly listen to what Club 20 members agree to say. Maybe as time goes on, we can hope that they, in return, learn to listen to what the entire Western Slope has to say.
Nisley Elementary Bears also deserve kudos
A recent editorial praised Scenic Elementary for scoring the best reading gains in the state. It also mentioned that the program costs more and that Scenic students have access to assistance that other schools may not provide and that students come from families with two parents and stable incomes.
Unfortunately, no mention was made of Nisley Elementary; its math scores improved more than any school in the state, without special programs. Nisley students consistently shine, even though 90 percent of them qualify for free lunches and most live at or below the poverty line.
Their teachers and they strive for excellence in spite of the burdens of single-parent families, incarcerated or absent parents and little discretionary income for tutors or other programs.
Good job, Bears! I’m proud of your teachers and you.
Police insufficiently trained for Empire State shooting
Gail Collins’ column of Aug. 30 decried the accuracy of New York police officers at the recent shooting at the Empire State Building. All nine wounded civilians were struck by bullets or fragments fired from police weapons. She quoted Al Baker of the New York Times as stating the NYPD shooting accuracy was 34 percent, and “these are people trained for this kind of crisis,” she added.
Unfortunately, these officers are not trained enough. According to a Rand Center for Quality Policing study in 2008, after recruit training the NYPD requires an officer to qualify with his/her weapon only twice a year. The officer must hit 39 static targets out of 50. The study indicates that this is the minimal requirement for proficiency with a firearm and the department requires no individual practice on a more frequent basis. The study concludes this is inadequate.
Indeed it is. I have a number of friends who carry concealed. Of course, I can’t speak for all concealed carry holders, but based on conversations with my friends and on my own experience, we practice marksmanship much more frequently than does the NYPD — on the order of twice monthly, if not more. Collins’ implication that the NYPD adequately trains its officers, and that armed civilians would be more inaccurate than “trained” NYPD officers is not borne out by my experience.
Interestingly, the Aurora theater where a previous mass murder occurred was a self-proclaimed “gun-free zone.” As a result, if there were any concealed carry holders (who respect the rule of law), they did not enter the theater armed, so were unable to respond to the attack. That policy sure worked, didn’t it?
Clamp down on spending
I hope your readers will debate whether the following wording should be adopted by our state legislature and perhaps even be included in our state constitution:
“Unfunded spending mandates by state or local governments may not be imposed unless first approved by a vote of the affected publics or their elected representatives.”