Wrong to expect young gun owners to be as trained, responsible as we expect from our military members

How weapons are treated in the military

Re: “Old enough for war, but not a gun,” June 12 letter to the editor

The letter writer mentioned what he calls “government think” when training military young people (under age 21) with the use of a semiautomatic weapon, but not letting them buy one until age 21.

This is comparing apples and oranges. A military recruit practices sighting and dry firing their weapon over several days before they can actually live fire with it. They are given hours of instruction and are heavily monitored on the firing range while gaining proficiency. Recruits pay attention and learn these lessons well; they do not want to bring dishonor to their platoon or service by having a careless accident.

Recruits are sternly taught to manage the muzzle of the weapon at all times and are only permitted to lock in a magazine and load the chamber when they are deemed ready, when the weapon is pointing downrange where no human is in sight, and then only when they are ordered to do so.

Recruits can’t keep this weapon and ammo in their barracks at night; the weapon has to be checked into the armory each night and checked out each morning.

This is far different than an 18-year-old buying a weapon and ammo of war without any training. Big difference!

If we have to live and die by guns, we need an age 21 federal minimum for purchasing any semiautomatic weapon.

Truman Sager, Windsor

The author argues that anyone over age 18, who has served in the military and has been trained in the use of an assault weapon, should be able to buy one upon return to civilian life.

Although I would rather ban all assault weapons, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. So, I would agree with the author’s premise if the author would agree that everyone, of any age, is required to take training equivalent to the military’s before being allowed to buy an assault weapon.

Bill DeGroot, Denver

Red-states’ homicide rates undermine Brauchler

Re: “San Francisco is safer than Denver, let that sink in,” June 12 commentary

George Brauchler’s contention that progressive prosecutors are responsible for Colorado’s rising crime is a little short of ridiculous.

Crime is rising throughout the country — in red states, blue states, cities large and small, and in rural counties. The seven states with the highest homicide rates are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee [CDC’S National Center for Health Statistics]. They are all reliably red, voted for Trump twice, and consistently elect conservative prosecutors.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s home of Bakersfield, Calif. has a conservative DA, votes Republican, and has a homicide rate significantly higher than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s liberal San Francisco. If tough-on-crime prosecutors were the answer, these conservative jurisdictions (and many others) would have low crime rates, but they do not. As a former DA, Brauchler surely has studied the root causes of crime. A recent Brookings Institution paper correlates the current high rates of gun violence to “disinvested and structurally disadvantaged neighborhoods” that are segregated, poor, and already have a history of gun violence.

Brauchler must know that preventing crime requires more than after-the-crime policing. Preventing crime requires addressing income inequality and poverty, opportunity, racism, gun availability, homelessness, drugs, inadequate health care, housing, education, and more. But for Brauchler, scapegoating progressive prosecutors is much more simple and easy to communicate, with the bonus that it can scare his readers. Conservative DAs are not the solution simply because progressive DAs are not the problem.

Daniel Chilcoat, Lakewood

Your column comparing crime in the city of San Francisco with the city of Denver is misleading. Tell me the crime statistics for the San Francisco Bay area with the Denver metro area instead. Then I can decide whether to be concerned or not!

Nina Snyder, Centennial

Lack of law enforcement and communication in Denver

In the not-too-distant past, when I phoned the District 2 nonemergency line, I spoke with a police officer. Now calling the same number sends me through a series of recorded messages directing me to other recorded messages or an online site. There are no options for actually speaking to an officer.

There is an abandoned, wrecked, probably stolen car that has been parked on our block for a month. I’ve reported this to the sheriff’s office, through a voice message, of course, as well as the 311 number. And as far as I can tell, there has been no follow-up.

My wife was recently at a Walgreens on Colfax. She witnessed a young gentleman carrying an armload of root beer, ice cream and other sweets, I believe this would suggest meth use. I say armload because there were no grocery carts in the store; they all had been stolen. He walked out of the store without paying for anything. When my wife asked the store manager about the incident, she was told there was no reason to contact the police because “they won’t respond to shoplifting.”

I understand there are staffing shortages, but this doesn’t represent even a minimum standard of communication and enforcement.

William Beaver, Denver

Look to Israel for school safety

Amid the unrelenting and futile political debate over school shootings, why don’t we save our brain cells and take a page out of the Israeli playbook to stop domestic terrorism? There have been only six school shooting events since one on May 15, 1974, in Ma’alot, where 25 hostages died, including 22 children.

What’s the secret formula for keeping kids safe? (Hint: The most effective protocols are guaranteed to offend liberals and conservatives.) Israeli schools have only one unlocked entrance staffed by an armed guard. Security patrols monitor educational institutions throughout the school day. Fences and cameras are ubiquitous.

By the way, such conspicuous security measures haven’t impaired students’ psychological or social development, an apprehension typically shared by American critics. Israeli children become well-adjusted adults who’ve made Israel a global leader of high-tech entrepreneurship.

Only 3.5% of the civilian population has a permit to carry firearms. You must be over 27 years old to qualify, and all candidates must submit to an extensive background investigation.

As a result, Israel ranks 81st in the world for per-capita gun ownership, compared with first place for the U.S.

Mark David Travis, Lakewood

Could restrictions on guns help stop mass shootings?

If an 18-, 19- or 20-year-old wants to have an assault weapon, all they have to do is enlist in the Army or Marines.

But, as a gun-owning 25-year active-duty veteran, that’s the only way they, or anyone, should be able to own an assault weapon.

The U.S. Supreme Court has made more than a few mistakes, but ignoring “a well regulated militia” in the Second Amendment was one of the most deadly.

Larry McLaughlin, Aurora

I have asked many people to name just one item that is banned that cannot be obtained easily. I have yet to get an answer. We banned cocaine, meth and child porn years ago. All are obtained easily.

It makes no sense to me to think that a gun ban will work any better than all the other bans. We need to focus on why someone wants to kill rather than on how.

The Boston Marathon killers killed and maimed many people using items that can be purchased at any department store.

Thinking that a ban will work is simply kicking the can down the road and ignoring the real issue.

Wayne Patton, Salida

Over and over again, I hear gun rights advocates say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people; and that a good person with a gun will protect others from being killed by a bad person with a gun.

I honestly don’t think it matters whether it’s guns or people doing the killing. The question needs to be: Is more people having more guns keeping us safer, or is more people having more guns leading to more of us being killed? The numbers and statistics don’t lie.

I’m seeing next to nothing in the news about how many people are being saved every day by a good person with a gun. What I’m seeing more and more is news about how many
people are killed every day by a bad person with a gun.

If we want to diminish the magnitude of this problem, we have to enact reasonable limits on gun ownership and get the bulk of the hundreds of millions of guns in our country out of the hands of people, period.

Wayne Thrash, Denver

Repetitious propaganda can warp young minds

Re: “Should banning kids from social media be considered?” June 13 commentary

Cynthia Allen’s excellent article about how social media can be harmful to kids brought back a 1966 Army boot-camp memory.

During basic training, we were instructed how to stab a “dummy” with our bayonet attached to our rifle while hollering out, “Kill the Cong! Kill the Cong!”

I noticed that all three of the drafted 18-year-old pacifist Mormon
fellows in our platoon had an aversion to screaming out this hateful phrase.

Weeks later, after being forced to watch hours of erroneous propaganda showing how “evil” the Vietnam populous was, these same young recruits would now gladly join in with our hostile, warlike chants.

So please, social-media CEOs, don’t try and tell this old vet that what kids view — hours upon hours, month after month — does not affect their behavior.

I’m not buying your false psycho-babel, and neither should parents nor Congress.

John P. Cardie, Westminster

Fix the “real cause” of inflation

Every day there are new variations on the root cause of inflation — Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the Ukraine war, the supply chain, etc. The causes are enumerated daily by politicians and the media.

Overlooked, or ignored, is the necessity for energy. Every industry and every product requires energy to produce, transport or process.

The cost of energy began to rise the day President Joe Biden took office and killed a major pipeline along with executive orders restricting drilling and exploration. The cost of energy has been steadily increasing since.

Denying this and placing the inflationary crisis on other issues does nothing to resolve the situation.

The real cause needs to be addressed before the severity of the problem worsens.

Bill Joplin, Elizabeth

Will Saudi Arabia sponsor a women’s golf league?

Re: “PGA suspends players in the rival Saudi league,” June 10 sports story

There has been considerable controversy in the golf world pertaining to the Saudi-funded golf series to which a number of PGA golfers have been lured by the millions of dollars being thrown around.

I am postponing judgment on the situation until I see how much money will be thrown at women to lure them to a similar golf series.

Bill Patterson, Highlands Ranch

Scooters’ positive impacts

Re: “Residents want to make moot the scooter boogie,” June 11 news story

As a LoDo resident and scooter owner, I’d like to offer another perspective on The Post article about scooters “terrorizing” residents, as unfortunately, the article only presented one viewpoint. While I acknowledge that there are some riders that give all riders a bad name, they are by far the minority and should not be the sole focus of the discussion.

When people ride scooters, they are not driving cars downtown, either their own or a rideshare. This means that for every one to two scooters, there is one less car on the road. This is one less car snarling downtown traffic, one less car emitting exhaust contributing to our high ozone levels in Denver, and one less car creating the conditions for an urban heat island.

Scooters provide a way for people to move around an urban center in an efficient manner and allow more people to commute to work, visit a museum, see a show, enjoy dinner at a downtown restaurant, or patronize a bar.

Laureen Trainer, Denver

Many victims in wake of Jan. 6

Re: “In second day of hearings, ex-Attorney General Barr says former president ‘detached from reality’,” June 14 news story

With just two congressional hearings so far regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection, there are definitive issues coming into focus. The first is that no reasonable person would believe that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Testimony from the former president’s inner circle, including his family, drove this home. Consequently, the former president is either psychologically incapable of accepting this fact, or is willfully disregarding it. Either way, he is thus trying to perpetuate a falsehood.

The second issue relates to the victims of the former president’s “big lie.”

One group of victims is the thousands of protesters who stormed the Capitol thinking they were doing so to protect our democracy. Hundreds of them will have criminal records for their actions that day.

Another group of victims is the millions of voters who have been manipulated into believing the election was stolen.

Add to the victims list the donors of $250 million to his “Stop the Steal” group. A fact just disclosed is that there is no “Official Election Defense Fund.” It seems obvious that if someone uses fraudulent claims to solicit donations and misuses the funds, this is a crime. The Jan. 6 committee has done the country a great service in disclosing these troubling facts.

In the final tally, all Americans are victims as well. Our democracy has been seriously challenged. Our country is deeply divided. Future elections are subject to manipulation by the potential election of officials who bought into the big lie. We have to hold the miscreants accountable.

H. Rene Ramirez, Aurora

Enforce the laws we have

Re: “Gun-control goes hyperlocal as restrictions pass in four cities,” June 10 news story

What is wrong with strongly prosecuting and upholding gun laws already on the books? Why pass more laws that criminals will naturally ignore? After all, they are criminals.

Richard D. VanOrsdale, Broomfield

Kiszla makes the case

Re: “Broncos don’t need new stadium,” June 12 sports commentary

What a great column by Mark Kiszla! He makes excellent points for the case not to build a new stadium. Most of all, I deeply appreciate that he can talk about land use and housing issues to make a case for not putting a new stadium near DIA.

Patricia Cronenberger, Littleton

Jan. 6 hearings have revealed Trump’s bigger plan

Re: “Panel blames Trump for ‘attempted coup’,” June 10 news story

I am watching the sessions of the House January 6 Committee. Now, some people are tired of hearing about it, but in my opinion, this is the most important issue of the day. The Jan. 6 insurrection was only the outward sign of the seditious acts orchestrated by Donald Trump. Why this happened is anyone’s guess. Clearly, Trump is incapable of accepting defeat — if he loses, there must be some excuse. In this case, he lost the 2020 election by a substantial margin, but in his mind, there must have been massive fraud. I have no idea if Trump honestly believes the “Big Lie.” I suppose it wouldn’t be a lie if he believed it.

The peaceful transition of power following a presidential election is sacred to our democratic ideals. Trump is the first president in our history to defy that democratic tradition. Shame on him! And he should never be allowed to be in public office again.

It is well past time for the Republican Party to recognize how terrible Jan. 6 was and disown Donald Trump. Until now, most of them seem to be too frightened of Trump to stand up to him. but it is essential for them to grow backbones on behalf of the USA.

James W. Craft, Broomfield

In my attempted optimistic way of thinking, I’m predicting (hoping) that Donald Trump’s endorsement will soon become a liability instead of an asset.

Kathy Derrick, Denver

God bless Congresswoman Liz Cheney! She embodies servant leadership in America. If we could only encourage her to move to Rifle or Greeley, she could represent Coloradans in the same dignified manner.

Gregory Olson, Lakewood

The power of words

Prisoners are now called inmates.

Drunken driving is now called driving under the influence.

Rapists are now called sex offenders.

The slaughtering of children is now called the Second Amendment.

An insurrection is now called a tour of the Capitol.

Words matter. The truth matters.

Maureen Acosta, Arvada

Handshake line for lawmakers

The National Hockey League playoffs are culminating with the Colorado Avalanche facing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup finals. At the end of each of the 15 playoff series, when the winning team heads to the next level and their opponents are done for the season, the teams line up and shake hands.

I suggest that our political parties adopt this practice in the U.S. Congress after every session and every recess.

In the NHL, every player and coaching staff member shakes hands with every member of the other team. Handshakes are sometimes polite, and at other times they are “bro shakes” with back pats and helmet hugs. In the U.S. House, the handshake between the speaker and the minority leader may be perfunctory but may also be warmer, with greetings and inquiries about one another’s families. Senate leaders should lead their party members in a respectful, maybe even friendly, handshake with every member of the opposing party.

Yes, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the entire Democratic contingent would shake hands with those of the GOP caucus, even including Rep. Lauren Boebert.

I don’t know if such a practice would heal the current political animosity. But if ceremonial handshakes can soften opposing athletes, young guys fresh from the field of play, maybe they can engender a little more civility among our politicians.

Sue Bury, Red Lodge, Mont.

 

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