Printed letters, January 2, 2014

Kiana O’Neil, an innocent 14-year-old girl, is shot to death with multiple gunshots by her stepfather, Daniel Meade, as she tries to enter her own home through a window.

My question is: Does one not attempt to identify the person entering the home before one starts shooting? Apparently, since Colorado has a Make My Day law, people with guns in their own homes feel as if they can just shoot anybody and not have to suffer any consequences. And, the fact that Meade has yet to be charged with a crime means that no one may have to pay any price for this tragic death, except, of course, the girl’s biological family.

We have a sick gun culture in this country. It’s “shoot first and ask questions later.” How many people actually have to defend themselves in their own homes from a real intruder each year? You can bet that the gun nuts and the NRA would report such stories if they existed, but they are so rare that one hardly hears about them. However, the statistics are clear on the tens of thousands killed by guns each year.

The only reason so many Americans have guns is nothing more than twisted paranoia about being in fear of their lives and their loss of liberty, which is not warranted by any known statistics. Yet with so many people in this country having guns, it is not a surprise that we continue to have one senseless shooting after another.

JIM CIHA

Grand Junction

Grand Junction should also 
allow hunters to bag drones

Normally, if you shoot down an aircraft owned by the federal government, you’d be in trouble.

Not so in Deer Trail and Deer Park.

In 2014, Grand Junction should join these other small Colorado towns in proposing a $100 bounty to any hunters who shoot down unmanned drones that appear to be owned or operated by the United States government.

The ordinances would also require a drone-hunting license, issued after a background check and a $25 fee.

History teaches us the bigger the government, the less the liberty. The ancients warned the Athenians that the tyranny Athens imposed abroad would return to haunt them at home. It did.

LEE MULCAHY

Aspen

 

Ryan abandoned conservatives 
in co-authoring budget deal

All politicians are snakes, ready on a moment’s notice to strike, taking out even the most ardent supporter. As proof, there’s Congressman Paul Ryan.

Although Ryan was once believed a staunch ally of conservatism, his budget deal reveals whom he really is and the stench of betrayal is too strong to ignore. The deal he brokered with Democrats was praised as a great bipartisan breakthrough and a necessary compromise. But then it came to light that cuts included military pension benefits, and the nation’s veterans see it another way.

A better description of this can’t be written than that of retired Master Sgt. Chuck Wooten in an Arizona newspaper. I urge all who are able to do so to go to the website, http://www.arizonadailyindependent.com, and read his Dec. 24 post.

AL CARLEY

Grand Junction

 

Community must work harder 
to end the plague of smoking

Every year in the United States, more than 392,000 people die of tobacco-caused diseases. Smoking affects not only smokers, but also the people around them.

One reason we need regulation of public smoking is because it puts those with asthma at risk. When cigarettes and other tobacco products are used, the smoke inhaled irritates the lining of the airways. The lining keeps dirt and bacteria from getting to the lungs, but when it’s irritated, it releases mucus, preventing air from getting to the lungs. Also, it can cause it to start filtering out the dust, causing an asthma attack.

Secondhand smoke is more harmful than regular smoking because it’s from the end of the cigarette that contains carbon monoxide, tar, nicotine and much more.  According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke causes nearly 50,000 deaths each year.

The second reason smoking should be controlled is how badly it can affect children. Children with asthma are at an increased risk of an attack around secondhand smoke. This could cause hospitalization or even death. When children are exposed to tobacco smoke, their lungs become irritated and produce more mucus. Since children’s airways are smaller, smoke affects them faster. Breathing secondhand smoke could also lead to a risk of cancer and emphysema later in life.

Last but not least, people shouldn’t smoke because their habit affects both others and themselves. Cigarettes have approximately 600 ingredients. When burned, they turn out about 4,000 harmful chemicals, which can cause lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, asthma and much more. I am sure most people don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night wheezing and unable to breathe.

We need to find a way to handle the big problem of smoking. I hope you can help make Grand Junction a healthy, happy place.

LAILA WATCHMAN

Grand Junction



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