Printed letters, December 23, 2012

Since I served in the U.S. armed forces for 34 years, one would think I would be for possessing personal weapons, including individual assault rifles. However, my beliefs are to the contrary with the recent events in Newtown, Conn.

I have also worked several years as a therapist in the mental health field and felt it was time to express my views. First, it is not weapons that kill people, but people with evil intent. In the U.S. almost 67 percent of all homicides are committed with guns. Other societies have much lower gun homicide rates.

Second, as a society we must take steps to influence change for good. The family structure must be strengthened and supported. Mental health services and facilities must be strengthened and expanded where possible.

Assault rifles should only be available to the military and law enforcement agencies and not the general public. The entertainment industry must accept some responsibility to restrict or limit the amount of violence that is published for impressionable customers. We must all do our part for the right reason and not for the dollar.

When will we say enough is enough for these mass killings? Let this be a wake-up call for all of us to do what we must to make our country safer.

COL. LOU BRACKETT

U.S. Army (retired)

Fruita

Weapons used by attackers 
do make a crucial difference

A Dec. 19 letter from Phyllis Hunsinger said guns “could certainly provide much-needed protection for children in the schools, should the occasion arise.” What is she suggesting?

Does she want our teachers (or our kids) packing guns? Does she want the extra expense of sending armed guards to every school, all day?

She also spoke earlier about it making no difference how perpetrators of mass killings are armed. I beg to differ, since all the statistics show that it makes a big difference. For example, that man in China who attacked 27 school kids was only armed with a knife, and all his victims lived.

I know. “Guns don’t kill,” but they sure do kill in the hands of deranged people, especially when those people are packing semi-automatic guns.

SALLY MATCHETT

Grand Junction

 

Put firearms in all schools 
to prevent horrific attacks

Yes, it is time to change some rules concerning firearms. It is time to allow them in every building. At the discretion of the individuals, school staff should be allowed to carry a weapon.

In Connecticut   the accused would have found some way to cause harm. Remember, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Look to the character of our society for the reasons such horrific acts occur.

DAVID DASHNER

Grand Junction

 

ACLU partly responsible 
for recent acts of gun violence

It is rare that I would defend a Democrat from an attack by one of his own liberal-thinking constituents. For Bill Grant to do anything but praise Gov. Hickenlooper for what amounted to a very clear and sensible approach to the “gun problem” in this country demonstrates either a complete lack of a true understanding of the problem or just a blatant attempt to make a political issue out of a real problem.

If Grant were to take the time to research a topic for facts before stating what is little more than a half-thought-through opinion, he would find that, indeed, the greatest factors to consider when discussing the gun problems in the United States are directly a result of the mental state of the people who go out and commit mass killings.

Furthermore, if Grant wants to learn more, he should take the time to research the direct connection of our gun problems with the ACLU. He will need to go back far enough to when the ACLU deemed that a certain level of emotionally unbalanced people had the right to remain in mainstream society.

So what if they might be homeless, undereducated, cared for by the state, filled with diseases, on drugs, unable to function within a structured society — they have the right to be free and mingle within our social structure.

Grant will find that about the time the ACLU opened societal access to so many of these individuals, mass shootings and killings started to occur with greater frequency.

I know Grant can do better than this petty sniveling about. Hickenlooper’s spot-on approach to the problem.  If the Sentinel pays for this kind of blind, opinionated, unprofessional approach to a real problem, it needs to put its money to better use.

DAVID SHRUM

Grand Junction

 

Easy gun access is not 
only reason for violence

Our nation has again been shocked by an act of evil, this time in Connecticut. The tragedy has left us grieving and seeking answers on why such violence is becoming commonplace.

Fewer than 48 hours after the massacre, the powers to be, from the president on down, were resurrecting the need for more gun control legislation.

So be it, but let us factor in several other components that need to be addressed. Specifically, for starters, are violent Hollywood films, violent video games and gangsta’ rap.

A mere two weeks ago, the president invited a Korean gangsta’ rapper to entertain him, his family and friends at the White House. The same gangsta’ who rapped about killing American military members. What hypocrisy!

Sad to say that Hollywood movie moguls, video game makers and gangsta’ rap music producers are untouchable. All one needs to do is follow the money. We know who they primarily donate their money to politically, and thus they draw a pass when legislative attempts to curb their violent products are proposed. Yes, these groups are subject to “ratings,” but only a fool would believe that these ratings work.

If you really want to help our country on the road to preventing further tragedies that have all too frequently occurred in schools, malls, theaters and the workplace, focus on all the factors, not just gun control.

WAYNE C. TELFORD

Grand Junction



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