Letters: Old enough for war, but not a gun

Letters: Old enough for war, but not a gun

Old enough for war, but not a gun

You can go to work for the government at age 17 and work in the Army. The government will send you to a camp and sharpen your mental and physical skills. The government will issue you an automatic weapon and teach you how to use it to kill people. The government will send you somewhere in the world and order you to kill people in the name of the government, and the more you kill, the more rewards you get, including medals to pin on your clothes.

You fulfill your two-year contract with the government and return home, where you find the violent crime rate in your hometown has risen significantly. You believe it best to purchase a firearm to have in your home for protection. With your combat experience, you are comfortable with a semi-automatic weapon. At the gun store, you produce your identification for the background check only to be told you are not old enough to make the purchase. The government does not believe you are mature enough to be trusted with a semi-automatic weapon for protection.

That, my fellow citizens, is government think.

Llewellyn Haden, Denver

Civilians don’t need AR-15s

Recently, I saw your Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican, state on national television:

“An AR-15 is a gun of choice for killing raccoons before they get to our chickens.”

How lame can one get? Are chickens more important than our children? What we need in America? New leaders! Now! Thanks for listening.

Pamela Hairston Chisholm, Martinsville, Va.

Along with thoughts and prayers and flower memorials, everyone also needs to see the bloodied, gruesome, and torn apart bodies after an AR-15 attack! Many people would cry and puke.

In 1968, as a 21-year-old in the Air Force, I saw a friend in a violent accident with his face unrecognizable, arm hanging by a shred of skin, and blood everywhere, with the windshield smashed on his blood-drenched uniform on his dead body. Now at age 75, anytime I see any car accident, I still vividly see him again!

If all newspapers, and every TV news station showed the bloody, mutilated body parts left by mass murders, looking like an animal in a slaughterhouse, a face often unidentifiable, and show it every hour, day after day, I am sure out State legislators and U.S. Congress would do something.

Prayers and memorials are important. So, too, is graphically seeing what actually happened, and the result of how an AR-15 causes a savage military battlefield-like massacre, just the same as I know what a military issued M16 does. No teenager, no civilian, no one should ever have an AR-15!

Everyone needs to see the result of the horrid, gory, blood-splattered body parts mess everywhere and remember it, as I do with that accident. Maybe then, maybe after they cry and puke, the politicians that we elect will do the right thing.

Rich Parker, Aurora

Just let us live without facing hate, discrimination

Re: “Politics, not doctors, place transgender children at risk” and “The freedom to love my trans kid as he is,” June 5 commentaries

I was pleased to see two relevant and thoughtful pieces about transgender youth on the front page of the Perspective section Sunday.

Jamey Gallagher’s piece was especially moving for me. As a transwoman who transitioned late in life, I can appreciate the struggles of parents and trans kids today.

Moreover, both the Gallagher piece and the piece by Warren Binford and Mary Kelly Persyn pointed out the absurdity of the recent political backlash.

As I have experienced frequently, myth, superstition and plain ignorance lead to discrimination, hate, and violence. These uninformed legislators and political actors then make foolish policy decisions on matters over medical treatment, having serious effects on the physical and mental health of transpersons.

Even within the medical community, there is rampant discrimination and misinformation. Transyouth and transpersons just want to live their lives, be treated as human beings, and love their family, friends and partners without judgment. This includes going to the bathroom of their chosen gender, living and working in their communities, and, yes, playing sports.

These pieces show why politics has to stay out of medical and parental matters.️‍

Let them live.

K. Jamie Buechler, Westminster

Should lawmakers refrain from Communion?

Re: “Bishops speak out against pro-choice lawmakers,” June 9 news story

As voters we vote for lawmakers to represent us, their constituency, in Congress, not the Catholic Church or their own personal beliefs or religions.

Shouldn’t the Catholic Church leaders be spending their time and effort looking into their own hearts and cleaning up their own scandals? Shouldn’t they be asking forgiveness of the countless numbers of people they have harmed? How can the Church call the lawmakers’ actions sinful when they are guilty themselves?

Those lawmakers are doing their job by voting the way their constituents have charged them to do.

This country was founded on the separation of Church and state. Let’s keep it that way.

Rochelle Padzensky, Denver

In an open letter, Catholic bishops in Colorado have spoken out against House Bill 1279, the so-called Reproductive Health Equity Act. “Voting for RHEA was participating in a gravely sinful action because it facilitates the killing of innocent unborn babies,” according to the letter. But the Catholic Church is not alone in its opposition to abortion.

According to The Denver Post, polls indicate that not all Catholics go along with the Church on abortion. But the standard of right and wrong is not found in the polls; it is found in Holy Scripture.

The bishops have rightfully called out Catholic lawmakers who voted in favor of this shameful piece of legislation.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.”

Brian Stuckey, Denver

As a cradle Catholic active in my faith, the Colorado Catholic bishops have once again embarrassed me with their public statement seeking to withhold sacrament to those who they feel aren’t worthy.

The sacrament of Communion is not a prize at the end of a long race but is more of a refreshment stop along the way to help the runner finish the race.

That they have singled out lawmakers only because of their stand on abortion is a clear indicator that the bishops’ move is political rather than religious. While the bishops have moved significantly to the right in an effort to keep their power over people, that power continues over fewer people, as many of the once-faithful leave.

Daniel Krygowski, Golden

Bitter decision

Re: “U.S. Space Command belongs in Colorado,” June 5 editorial

Of course it was politically motivated, as you conjectured. While campaigning for the 2020 election, Donald Trump showed a preference for Colorado for the Space Command.

After losing the presidential election in Colorado by 13%, Trump abruptly changed his mind and chose heavily Republican Alabama over Democratic Colorado. No basis in fact has ever bothered Trump.

Gene Sabatka, Arvada

Alien visits? Doubtful

Re: “Unknown universe — What are the chances we’ve been visited by aliens?” June 5 commentary

One thing Tyler Cowen should consider while he’s pondering alien visitation is that for aliens to visit, they have to know of our existence.

Earth is just a minuscule speck on the scale of the universe, so they most certainly wouldn’t have observed us. The only way they would know we’re here is by receiving our radio transmissions. But those have only occurred for just over 100 years since radio was invented, so any eavesdropping alien civilization would have to be on an inhabitable planet within about 100 light-years of Earth, an unlikely event.

Even if one existed, it would take an expeditionary force thousands of years to travel that distance here at achievable sub-light speeds. Given the size of the universe, I think it’s very likely that other lifeforms exist, but the travel difficulties in our immense universe make me doubt we’ll ever meet them.

Tony Miller, Castle Rock

Not that optimistic

Re: “Your children are not doomed,” June 6 commentary

When I saw the headline and read — “Should I have kids?” — I made the assumption that the writer was going to allay increasing fears about children being targeted by gun crazies in schools.

Nope. He wants us to continue to reproduce despite looming climate change.

His editorial could have been about school shootings, the possibilities of future pandemics or, heck, even a third World War. What am I leaving out?

Having a kid these days is a sign of optimism. Or obliviousness.

I’m sticking with dachshunds.

Craig Marshall Smith, Highlands Ranch

Shrinkflation’s other problem

Re: “No, you’re not imagining it: Package sizes are shrinking,” June 9 news story

The problem with decreasing the volume of an individual product unit is that the total amount of packaging material that is required to ship the same total volume of product increases.

So the total amount of solid waste that is generated increases to contain the same total volume of product as you decrease individual product volumes. Is that a good net outcome? I don’t believe it is.

This has been going on even before the start of the current spate of inflation. Orange juice hasn’t been in half-gallon sizes for many years now, and good luck finding a half-gallon of any major brand of ice cream.

Stanley Young, Fort Collins

The root cause of mass death may be indifference

Re: “Is mass death now tolerated in U.S.?” May 22 news story

In her article on American tolerance of mass death, Michelle Smith quotes Elizabeth Wrigley-Field: “There are profound racial and class inequalities in the United States, and our tolerance of death is partly based on who is at risk.”

While medical science and gun control can address two major causes of mass death: disease and guns, solving the problem of social and economic inequality would do even more. Only the federal government can address that problem on a uniform, national scale.

Europeans trust their governments to ensure that all citizens have health care, child care, education and a social safety net. They agree as a society to pay taxes to enable their governments to provide these services to everyone because they understand the social benefit that accrues.

The real problem in America is that the people of “the richest country in the world” are unwilling to finance programs that could address the root cause of mass death and many other social ills: inequality in these same social services that are problematic for the poor to afford.

We would rather create a boogeyman out of the word “socialism.”

David Wolf, Lakewood

Family making strides

Re: “ ‘Now it’s not just dreams,’” June 5 news story

When I read in Sunday’s Post about Maria Bocanegra Tejeda being the first in her family to graduate from high school and the first to go to college, I thought what a splendid and undoubtedly not easy achievement.

Then when I saw that her sister, Herminia, would be attending Colorado School of Mines this fall on a Boettcher Scholarship, my eyes watered up and I burst into joyful laughter, thinking that in spite of the turmoil this country is going through, there is hope.

James D. Lowell, Denver

Teachers’ stark reality

Re: “Teacher prepares her kindergartners for the unthinkable,” June 7 commentary

School rehearsals of how not to be killed. Mass shootings. Watching your friends and classmates die.

The physical and emotional horror and fear that we, as a nation, are inflicting on our children is child abuse, plain and simple. Shame on all of us.

Mary E. Davis, Aurora

Megan Hart is the ideal kindergarten teacher. Teach the young children to live, respect others and listen.

Seventy-seven years ago, I had a similar teacher and survived a small school fire because she insisted on us learning the fire drill properly. The class was prepared, thanks to our ideal teacher.

Way to go, Megan!

Warren Mitchelll, Greeley

Voting to get tough on crime

Re: “Dems in civil war over crime,” June 6 news story

On Tuesday, the voters of Los Angeles and San Francisco, two bastions of progressive Democratic politics, sent a loud and clear message that should be heard and heeded by all of those planning to run for Denver mayor or City Council in next year’s local election: Local officials must prioritize restoring order in our cities.

In San Francisco, District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled by a landslide and stripped of his position for being too lenient in prosecuting and seeking to incarcerate criminals. In Los Angeles, a billionaire developer, Rick Caruso, a Republican who switched his registration to Democratic, surged in the mayoral race, having run as a crime fighter who would restore order to the city’s streets. His pledge to address rising crime and rampant homelessness resonated with voters.

The people of Denver demand the same of those seeking office: zero tolerance for crime and tough love for illegal homeless encampments.

Joseph Halpern, Denver

Use our waters sparingly

Lake Dillon is beautiful. It is host to oodles of fun activities such as paddleboarding, sailing, skipping rocks, etc. It’s not a surprise that a lot of you tolerate the traffic on Interstate 70 so you can dip your toes into Lake Dillon and skip a few rocks.

But Lake Dillon isn’t just Lake Dillon. It is the Dillon Reservoir. The water is reserved for you. It is your water supply. Twenty-four hours a day, you use its water for all of your water needs.

I’ve driven along Lake Dillon on my way to work every day for the past 24 years, and this year I noticed the many new “islands” of rocks and dirt popping up as the water receded. I am worried. We all should be.

Even though the water in the reservoir is filling up and people are returning to Lake Dillon’s shores, the fact that there is a finite amount of clean water available is a big deal.

So, Denver, while there’s not much you can do to affect the whole Western United States’ drought situation, you can use less water. You’ve heard it all before, and there’s no better time to start than right now.

Until the day when we all get our own planet, we have to share this one. We have to think differently. We can all be better. For the sake of your own water supply, Lake Dillon, we can all do better.

Shelley R. Flavell, Dillon

Lack of charges infuriating

Re: “DA: No criminal charges,” June 3 news story

While I read The Denver Post article, I was seeing red. How in the world could former Colorado Judicial Department employees who had allegedly committed fraud and misused public funds walk away free.

While the timing on the statute of limitations was at play, why wasn’t the investigation and bringing criminal charges accelerated, knowing the time was shortly to expire? This sounds and looks like the prosecution was “playing favorites” toward these judicial employees.

A simpler way to state it would be it was a “cover-up” by the prosecution.

No wonder the public doesn’t trust government with actions or inactions as described in your newspaper. All three branches of government have their “bad apples” and must be punished. The outcome of this set of seedy deeds is unacceptable and has tarnished the Colorado judiciary.

Bill Christopher, Westminster

Our wild mustang problem

Re: “Death toll reaches 142 wild horses,” May 13 news story

Most of us have only seen a wild stallion with its mares, colts and fillies galloping across the Western desert in photos and moving pictures. It is truly a stirring sight.

But the image of hundreds of mustangs milling around in a filthy corral is shocking and sad. Recently almost 150 captured horses, penned up in a corral in Colorado with more than 1,000 others, died of a viral illness. It was predictable.

Our Washington elected officials have been paralyzed for decades and unable to craft a viable policy to care for the wild horses. We don’t sell the horses to meat packers for dog food or human consumption anymore. That is too inhumane. Our adoption program is a flop. The sterilization program does not work sufficiently to control the herds in the wild.

So we hold them in pens for years, innocent victims of bad policies.

Here are two policy ideas that might help: Revise the adoption program to include a $2,000 annual tax credit; invest in a sterilization program that works. We can do better with the treatment of our wild mustangs.

Al Ramirez, Fort Garland

Leaker is a red herring

Re: “Supreme Court’s leak investigation is self-destructive,” June 6 commentary

Stephen L. Carter neglects the recent history of “admired” institutions. The spotlight was shown on horrendous abuses within Catholic churches, Southern Baptist churches and the Boy Scouts of America.

This leak has exposed what may become another tragedy. If the right to abortion afforded in the Roe vs. Wade decision is overturned, as the leaked material implies, the number of women eventually harmed will exceed the other three institutions’ cases of abuse combined. As was consistently tried in these other institutions, we do not need to hound the messengers. Society needs a spotlight on this Supreme Court.

Blake Clark, Denver

The next generation

Re: “Here’s what is really going on in Colorado’s public schools,” June 2 commentary

Thank you, Hank Lamport, for your articulate and inspiring commentary.

When leading field trips at Staunton State Park, I find the students friendly, willing to learn and share, and often more knowledgeable than me. Interactions with the neighborhood children give me faith in the next generation. My grandchildren are empathetic, tolerant and ready for the next chapter of their lives.

Their teachers helped make this possible. My gratitude goes out to all educators who often work under intense pressure and unrelenting public scrutiny. Your labors are bearing fruit.

Randie Boldra, Pine

If overturning decisions, start with Citizens United

Re: “Everyone’s a fat cat in U.S. politics,” May 24 news story

Obviously campaign financing is out of control and so wasteful. I see this and think of it in the context of our current U.S. Supreme Court, which, unlike previous courts, is less likely to follow the standard of legal precedent referred to as “stare decisis.” They seem to be in the process of overturning long-established legal precedent by claiming that previous Supreme Court decisions should be overturned because they were “wrongly decided.”

If this is their thinking, then they should look at their decision in “Citizens United,” which has made a wasteful travesty of campaign financing. If any Supreme Court decision was “wrongly decided,” I don’t think you could find a better example.

John Lobitz, Denver

PUC should protect the public, not shareholders

Re: “Xcel Energy’s plan will move away from coal too slowly,” May 17 commentary

I have lived in Colorado long enough to remember when electric customers had to pay off the failed Fort St. Vrain nuclear power plant.

Now Xcel Energy wants its customers to pay off a coal plant mistake, including the big new, troubled Unit 3 in Pueblo — which is still off line.

All told, customers could be responsible for more than $1 billion in closed coal assets with Xcel earning their full level of profits on several of the coal plants — even after they are retired!

These costs will fall disproportionately on low-income families, further exacerbating the serious energy inequities in our system. I sure wish to see our public servants take seriously their duty to protect the public — and not Xcel’s shareholders!

The Public Utilities Commission will decide on Friday, June 10, at 1 p.m. whether Xcel gets to make its customers pay for all of its coal mistakes.

You can hear the PUC deliberate by listening to the webcasts for Hearing Room A on the Colorado PUC website.

Let’s hope that this time our Public Utilities Commission stands up for the public and not for Xcel’s monopoly profits!

Crystal Gray, Boulder

Editor’s note: Gray is a former Boulder City Council member.

“Robustly enforce” our current laws

Re: “Dems in civil war over crime,” “3 dead, 11 wounded in street shooting” and “Police: Shooting leads to 3 dead, 14 injured,” June 6 news stories

When reading Monday’s newspaper, I became mesmerized by page 10: San Francisco, Philadelphia, Tennessee. What has happened to law and order in America? What is going to fix this?

The country is well past “broken windows.” We don’t even blink when we see smash and grab “broken glass.” Are “broken-glass” crimes our new floor for what we will tolerate as a society? When will the level of crime rise to break our nation?

We talk about needing “new gun laws” to protect the innocents but do we enforce existing gun laws? In Philadelphia and Tennessee, how many of the bullets were fired by law-abiding, responsible citizens?

I don’t have any answers, but I have a premise: All crime will continue to rise until it meets resistance from law enforcement.

To protect the innocents, we must robustly enforce the laws we have while analyzing new laws that will improve the protection of innocents. If we are not going to enforce
existing laws, why bother with new laws?

Daniel G. Zang, Lakewood

A nation of targets

Re: “It’s the guns. And voters have the power to stop the next tragedy.” May 31 commentary

The saying goes, “If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.”

For too many now, in a country awash in firearms, if they have a gun, then every problem looks like a target.

Kevin Erickson, Westminster

The “all or none” approach

Re: “GOP’s Christian nationalism rises in primary,” May 30 news story

I am writing to respond to the article by Peter Smith and Deepa Bharath. As a more mainstream protestant Christian, I am very concerned about this opposition to same-sex marriage, transgender rights and mistrust of immigrants and Muslims.

I am also concerned about the position on opposition to abortion, which seems to be moving toward opposition to abortion in all cases, including victims of rape and incest.

Certainly we can come up with more reasonable compromises instead of this “all or none” approach. As a democracy, we need to be open to a variety of opinions and engage in fruitful discussions as to how we can best move toward embracing our diversity.

Certainly the central theme of the Christian gospel is to share the message of God’s love and to love and care for one another, particularly those who are in the margins of our society. God’s love is a “love without limits,” and that encompasses everyone — gay, straight, transgender, immigrant and those of other faiths.

If we fail to fully understand this and embrace the diversity that is such a part of our country, we also fail to understand God’s command to “love your neighbor … no exceptions!”

Jean C. Lindsey, Denver

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

Editorial: Empower Northeast Park Hill residents to demand more at the old golf course Previous post Editorial: Empower Northeast Park Hill residents to demand more at the old golf course
Editorial: Colorado’s Neil Gorsuch corrupts the U.S. Supreme Court by siding with radical abortion ruling Next post Editorial: Colorado’s Neil Gorsuch corrupts the U.S. Supreme Court by siding with radical abortion ruling