Printed letters, January 4, 2012

I want to clarify something after reading Timothy Brass’ letter published Jan. 1 concerning how new motorized routes will affect big-game hunting in Area 5 of Bangs Canyon Special Recreation Management Area.

I, for one, was encouraged to see the BLM considering the construction on new motorized routes in Mesa County. After all, new motorized routes have not been constructed in decades, as we are generally busy protecting the access we have and often give thanks for things such as Revised Statute 2477.

Brass is with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers in Boulder and, based on misinformation in his letter, it seems he has never actually hunted in Area 5 of Bangs Canyon and probably has never ridden the Tabeguache Trail in the area. If he had, he would realize it’s a perfect area for motorized trail use, as there are no elk and very few deer.

The area is too low and dry and does not hold the proper food or water sources during hunting seasons. You will find a few elk and deer in Area 6, which holds more oak brush and a few springs, but even there you have to largely depend on the animals being pushed off private lands on top to see much. It’s just not a quality area to hunt in Unit 40, but it is a good place for rough and challenging ATV or bike rides.

The new trails being considered by the BLM are strictly for recreational purposes and provide no access for big-game hunters. The Tabeguache Trail provides the hunting access in the area. Area 5 is east of the Tabeguache Trail and Area 6 is west of the trail. The limited winter range will not be affected much, since you can’t drive an ATV back there until the snow melts in April. I know. We tried last March and did not make it to Area 5.

Brass should focus more on his horse trails on the Front Range and leave the Western Slope issues to those more informed. After all, when an area is managed for multi-use, does that not mean that we are all treated equally? I’ve seen plenty of big game spooked by foot, horse, bike and motorized traffic. It should not mean that we close down all access. If we take Brass’ stance, the only new motorized routes to be constructed will be in the sand dunes and deserts — oh wait, we can’t do that either because of the threatened hookless cactus.

BRANDON SIEGFRIED

Grand Junction

Clifton child’s shooting did 
not merit front-page coverage

The Daily Sentinel’s reporting of the accidental shooting of a Clifton seven-year-old was disturbingly over the top. According to the Sentinel, the young lad was injured by the accidental discharge of a single-shot .22 and then treated and released the same day, making the event more appropriate for the blotter instead of a front-page headline.

More disturbing is the manner in which the facts were obtained. From the article, it was evident the reporter acquired information from the evidence report hanging on the front door of the residence at which the accident occurred. I question the judgment of the sheriff’s department in making this report so easily accessible (it probably contained significant personal information) and the ethics of the Sentinel reporter in accessing it.

Understandably, gun stories have taken the spotlight nationwide. However, this one was over-sensationalized.

It is unfortunate the Sentinel chose not to report on the Dec. 17 incident in San Antonio, Texas. There a 19-year-old began shooting in the Mayan 14 Movie Theater but was shot and wounded by an armed female security guard. No one died, a possible massacre was averted and the suspect is in custody. Now that’s a front-page story.

DAN CRABTREE

Grand Junction

 

Consider more statistics 
about guns, violent crimes

Here are a few points on guns and violence you won’t get from Joe Biden:

From 1900 to 2012, the non-accidental violent death rate in Europe was seven times higher than in the U.S. In Asia and Africa it was more than 10 times higher. In the vast majority of these deaths, the victim was killed by his own or a neighboring government. The worst mass murders in history involving guns were committed by government.

Our founders knew that out-of-control governments are massively more destructive than out-of-control individuals. That’s why our Constitution calls for an armed citizenry and a limited government. History has demonstrated repeatedly that our founders were right.

During the 10 years the so-called “assault weapons” ban was in effect, the average annual number of school shootings was higher than since it has expired. It’s so wonderfully symbolic that who cares if it works?

Long guns are rarely used in crimes. Given the total number of “assault weapons” in private hands and the rarity of crimes committed with them, one could easily argue that people who own one are much less likely to commit murder than people who don’t own one.

By the way, members of the NRA are significantly less likely to commit violent crimes than non-members. So, which of those groups include you?

PAUL KELLY

Delta



COMMENTS

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There have been new motorized routes developed and designated in Mesa County and in the Bangs Canyon area within the last decade.  It is also the case that the Western portions of the Bangs area provides important Winter range for both elk and deer.  Winter range is a limiting factor in the health of herds, and although they may usually be higher during the Fall hunt (elk particularly), the herds cannot survive without preservation of their winter range.

And some other statistics that nobody from the NRA or supporters for assault weapons want to report.  Canada has a ban on assault weapons and few incidents occur other than criminal on criminal.  In Ireland, Galway has seen one stabbing death in bout 12 years with no reported assault weapon deaths.  If deaths occur in England or Scotland due to gun violence it is usually criminal on criminal with no great loss.

Let’s look a little deeper than just saying nothing can be done, or all of us need an assault weapon.  If it comes to that I would just as soon employ a drone.

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