Printed letters, March 3, 2011

Constitutional carry will make Colorado safer

A big congratulations to our legislators here in Colorado. Nice work. Constitutional carry, or bill number HB1205, passed out of its committee and moved to the House floor.

State Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker, did a fantastic job of presenting the bill and framing the debate before the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Holbert told the committee that open carry in public areas is legal in Colorado and requires no permit, no fees, no training and no lists, but the second you cover the handgun with a coat or sweater you are required to obtain a permit.

In essence, he said, it’s a coat tax. Put your coat on, and you have to pay the tax. This bill would make that a voluntary tax, since there would be no need to pay the tax (acquire a permit) if HB1205 becomes law. Many people will still get a permit because it is a way to network with local law enforcement so they know that we are carrying. And they can count on our help in case of deadly violence.

There is a movement of states allowing permitless carry, and many more which are considering passing just such a law. Reducing crime depends on each of us having the ability to protect ourselves and this is something we should encourage. The belief that the current conceal-carry course is sufficient to guarantee competent use and decision making is silly. People must practice with their firearm regularly if they expect to protect themselves with it and shooting a couple boxes of shells is just not enough. Recognizing that people’s decisions are up to them is just about as basic as it gets and we are recognizing this as a state by taking action.

The idea resonates with members of the committee, and the bill passed with the votes of every Republican and two Democrats. Now it’s headed for the House floor, where we really have to turn up the heat. If you and I want constitutional carry in Colorado, we must thank our local politicians, Laura Bradford, Steve King and Ray Scott for taking action on this by cosponsoring. We should thank them and encourage them to keep up the good work and continue to support this important bill.

So what should you do? Call your representative.


Grand Junction

Head Start deserves federal budget monies

On Jan. 26, Rocky Mountain SER staff participated in a Head Start advocacy day in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill, in an effort to build awareness for Head Start programs in Colorado. We had terrific stories to tell about children and families in Colorado, and the importance of the federal budget investments for Head Start that have allowed us to achieve, and continue to achieve, great successes in our communities.

Head Start is a truly wise investment. For every $1 invested in Head Start, our nation receives $7 back in increased earnings, employment and family stability and decreased welfare dependency, crime costs, grade repetition and special education.

We met with Sens. Udall and Bennet and Congressional Reps. Polis, DeGette, Perlmutter, Coffman, Gardner, Tipton and Lamborn to discuss the countless positive impacts that Head Start programs have had on children and families in the Denver/Boulder metropolitan areas and across Colorado. Rocky Mountain SER serves over 2,270 Head Start children and families in over 18 communities throughout Colorado.

We are grateful that we had the opportunity to share such important information with Colorado’s congressional delegation, and they all welcomed our visits and are working to maintain funding for Head Start’s critical services that protect and assist Colorado’s most vulnerable children and families.


Director, Head Start

Rocky Mountain SER

Grand Junction

Fruita students showed compassion, maturity

Hats off to Milena Johnson and the other students at Fruita Monument High School who nominated two students with special needs to the royalty court for the White Night dance and then promoted their nominees, resulting in the two being crowned king and queen of the dance.

Too often, kids can be cruel to those who are not the epitome of popularity or different in any way. FMHS students demonstrated great compassion and maturity by honoring these two special education students for their personalities rather than their popularity.

Courage is certainly a part of their personalities. Queen Suzi and King Charlie probably face more challenges on a daily basis than most young people will ever know. This story warmed my heart and sent a beautiful message of acceptance and inclusion for all.

MARILEE LANGFITT Mesa Developmental Services Grand Junction


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