Printed letters, February 28, 2013
Though I respect Dr. James Schroeder’s opinion expressed in his Feb. 22 letter to the editor titled, “Adults should be armed to protect kids in school,” his views do not reflect the views of all pediatricians.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ statement before the Senate Judiciary committee Feb. 22 supports the Second Amendment while advocating for the prevention of all childhood firearm injuries and deaths.
In 2008 and 2009, an average of 55 children died per week in the United States. The AAP supports “policies aimed at protecting children and adolescents from the destructive effect of guns through strong gun safety legislation that bans assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requires universal background checks and mandates safe firearm storage.”
In addition, the AAP supports increased access to mental health for both prevention and to help children exposed to violence.
These policies support our rights to be responsible gun owners while protecting our children from harm as best we can.
BARBARA ZIND, MD
Motorists have plenty of access to public lands
Recently the Colorado Mule Deer Association hosted a sportsmen’s presentation in Grand Junction on BLM roads and trails. Its members are apparently of the opinion that, “Being able to drive into an area that has had a … road or ATV trail is critical for hunters and anglers.”
We should all endeavor to remind our fellow hunters that motorized overuse and abuse is one of the biggest threats to public lands habitat and hunting in Colorado and nationwide.
In fact, today only 8 percent of the national forest acreage in Colorado lies beyond one mile of a road (only 4 percent for BLM lands) and there are enough Forest Service roads in the state to go from the Kansas border to Utah and back 17 times.
As Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Ranger Derek Padilla recently pointed out, “There are too many roads and not enough secluded spaces to separate themselves from human presence. Without (those spaces), the elk move elsewhere, which nobody wants.”
As hunters know from boots-on-the-ground experience, more roads and OHV trails mean elk migrations are hindered, mule deer populations suffer and trout-spawning habitat is negatively impacted. That means fewer hunting and fishing opportunities. Consequently, public lands agencies should err on the side of closing more roads and trails, and ban motorized game retrieval.
If you are unable to figure out how to get an elk or deer out of the woods without putting it on a vehicle, then you have no business hunting for one. Most forests in Colorado, appropriately, disallow off-route motorized game retrieval.
Traditional Bowhunter magazine editor T.J. Conrads said, “The use of ATV/ORVs on federal lands is not a right: it is a privilege, one that has been abused … causing detrimental effects on the land, wildlife habitat, and other users of the land.”
DAVID LIEN, Co-chair
Colo. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Insults in ‘Fracking Nation’ failed to convert viewer
Recently I went to the Avalon Theatre to see the movie “Fracking Nation” with my two teenage kids. Their science teacher had emailed us about it and said that the kids would get extra credit for going.
I don’t know a lot about hydraulic fracturing and thought it might be good to see what the documentary had to say.
However, I did not get a chance to learn more, because in the first 10 minutes of introducing her movie, co-producer Ann McElhinney was so insulting that my kids asked to leave. By calling people who drive Priuses “stupid” or people who care about the environment “idiots,” she missed her chance to educate my family and me about her movie and possibly win an ally to that method of drilling.
I label people such as McElhinney “Squealer,” after the big-mouthed, runty pig in “Animal Farm,” whose role was to spread falsehoods to the sheep and other animals on the farm.
McElhinney comes from Ireland, which is famous for its sheep, but also has a law that requires 20 percent of the country’s energy be derived from clean renewable resources. Which is she more proud of, I wonder?
HEIDI VAN CALCAR
Voters must elect those who actually wish to govern
An article in the Feb. 23 Wall Street Journal (“Lengthy Impass Looms on Cuts”) refers to “political risks” of our politicians in the sequestration issue.
We need to elect individuals who will govern and not expect to make a career as a politician. These folk are expected to take risks and to enact legislation to move the country forward instead of into stagnation.
The president is out campaigning for his position: more taxes. The Republicans say they’ve raised taxes and now want spending cuts. The Democrats are worried that the “sequestration” will not hurt the citizenry as much as they, the Dems, have been telling us.
Who is running this country?
Will no one stand up and propose legislation that reduces our growing debt by both reducing spending and raising taxes?
Maybe we citizens are getting what we have created — monsters in Washington, D.C.