Printed letters, March 1, 2013

In an effort to answer David Cook’s thoughtful questions regarding the Second Amendment in his Feb. 26 letter to the editor, I offer the following:

✓ Contrary to “logic,” the incidents of firearms injuries, including death, have actually dropped significantly over the past several decades while the number of firearms privately owned has doubled. I regret that I don’t have the precise figures at my fingertips.

✓ A visible weapon warns the evildoer that you are armed, thus causing him to plan a more careful strategy to disarm you. Carrying a gun concealed provides no warning, so the criminal can’t disarm you. When he asks for your wallet, the next thing he sees is your concealed weapon pointed at him, giving you the advantage. You may not even have to use it. But the criminal is the one surprised, not you.

✓ Explaining our founders’ intent about the militia requires a brief history lesson. The militia is not the National Guard, U.S. Army or Army reserve, which are under the direction of the state governor and/or the president.

The original militia known to our founders was totally a self-organized body of local citizens supplying their own firearms for the purpose of protecting their community and themselves from criminals and other threats. They elected their own officers and answered only to their community and themselves. Self-organized militia with their firearms fought the battles of Concord and Lexington because the British intended to disarm them by confiscating their black powder.

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that the police have no obligation to protect individual citizens but are responsible for the community at large. Therefore, we as individuals are responsible for our own protection.


Grand Junction


Catholic sisters respectfully 
question Vatican assessment

I am one of the many Catholic women (sisters) in the United States who belong to the Leadership Council of Religious Women and one of the few who live in this beautiful valley. I was surprised at a recent letter to the editor that invited us to leave the Catholic Church if we “don’t like it.”

Any response from the Leadership Council to the Vatican Assessment of us has been thoughtful, reflective and respectful. It has been transparent and honest. If there have been critical, demeaning or uncaring responses, please bring them to our attention and an instant apology will be forthcoming. No one needs to be turned into a scapegoat or excluded in this world.

Sister Pat Farrell, president of LCWR, spoke publically at our annual meeting last summer. She asked, “What would a prophetic response to the doctrinal assessment look like?”

Her answer: “I think it would be humble, but not submissive, rooted in a solid sense of ourselves, but not self-righteous; truthful, but gentle and absolutely fearless.”

What about this answer contradicts Gospel values?

Ecumenical, catholic programs, services and ministries in this valley are run or were started by sisters. These programs do not address sin. They address human suffering and participate in the transformation of that suffering.

We need each other in this community. We need to reflect the face of the Christ through love and acceptance.

I invite all of us to find this common ground and, in this valley, to support each other in our “Staying Power.”


Grand Junction

National park status will 
erode local quality of life

John Otto may well have hoped for park status for his monument 100 years ago. That was then; this is now. If he could see how his name and namesake are being exploited for the almighty dollar, he’d roll over in his grave.

Every story supporting this unnecessary name change centers on the money “boon” people hope to see. Be careful what you wish for; you may get it.

This “progressive, forward thinking,” referred to by Abraham Lincoln as “simple greed,” always comes with a high price tag.The greed that is gripping the Grand Valley now will, as well.

We’ve just come through a winter with the inversion problems that last for days, with air quality becoming severe. We’re asked to cut back, not to burn, not to drive, etc. We suffered a drought last summer and could be facing another one this year — with burning lawns, dying gardens and fistfights over water. Yet from many of the same mouths that warn of these problems come the cries to bang the gong of growth and fan the flames of progress.

Another truly unnecessary name and status change offers more notoriety and, consequently, more people with their problems, pollution and ideals — the price of greed.

There are certain necessities in life: clean air, clean water, strong infrastructure, good schools and even a small-town atmosphere. This monument-to-park name change is not a burning necessity. It benefits mostly a group of well-meaning folks, who wear spandex britches and plastic helmets.

Stop hiding behind the facade of fulfilling Otto’s dream, when it’s really about your own and money. John Otto may have envisioned a park, but he didn’t envision it being exploited to this extent.

Perhaps some money from their “big boon” kitty can be used to buy back the quality of life that will be sacrificed.


Grand Junction


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