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Kudos for King, a Facebook fracas, and more gun voices

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • e-mail: letters@csindy.com

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SunShare subsidy

Kudos to Keith King and members of the new City Council for prompt action to rescind a rate hike ("Youth is curbed," News, May 1), which would have been a mandated ratepayer subsidy for solar gardens. Council got the message sent in the recent election that voters want change from the status quo to a holistic, future-oriented governance.

Venture funding for innovative enterprises and promising projects is the province of professional venture capital firms. It is unjust to force CSU ratepayers to subsidize payroll and development for the likes of SunShare and Neumann Systems Group.

Hopefully, Council will give an in-depth review to the Utilities Board's $73.5 million no-bid NSG contract, which obligates ratepayers to become unwitting "investors" in an experimental process.

City Council has many community needs and issues on its plate. Curtailing this contract would affirm to voters that venture funding is not in the public interest. It would also help to restore lost public trust.

— John A. Daly

Colorado Springs

On Collins and Tebow

Recently on Facebook, a high-school "friend" posted the following:

"What does it say about a country when the people celebrate Tim Tebow, a good Christian role model, getting cut from his football team on Monday .... and the same day the same country celebrates Jason Collins Jason Collins coming out and saying he's gay??? Not much except we are seriously lacking in morals in this country."

While I could have just ignored him or "unfriended" him, I decided to try and reduce his ignorance with the following response:

It says we live in a country of diversity and freedom. Being a Christian does not exempt a person from life's ups and downs nor does it raise that person above his fellow brothers and sisters. Tebow was not cut because he is a Christian. Furthermore many of us will never know the trials and tribulations that our LGBT brothers and sisters have endured, let alone the courage it takes to express who you are openly.

Collins did a brave thing and his courage should be celebrated. All of us, straight or GLBT, are but humans. Tebow is just a football player, not Jesus, and Collins is a basketball player, not the Devil.

— Melanie Clague

Colorado Springs

Release the gag

"Despicable, unconstitutional, ridiculous, immature, idiotic, and mendacious." And that's just how Tennessee newspapers characterized the state's "ag-gag" bill now awaiting that governor's signature.

"Ag-gag" bills criminalize whistle-blowing that exposes animal abuses, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on factory farms. Instead of encouraging whistle-blowing and preventing these violations, ag-gag laws ensure that consumers and regulatory authorities are kept in the dark.

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah have enacted ag-gag laws, but such bills were defeated in eight other states, thanks to a strong outcry from the public and newspaper editors. In 2013, new ag-gag bills were introduced in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wyoming. The language has been invariably drafted by the infamous anti-consumer American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Thirty newspapers and 60 national animal protection, workers' rights, civil liberties, public health, food safety, and environmental conservation organizations have recently gone on record as strongly opposing ag-gag bills.

Our government must never restrict our right and obligation to know where our food comes from. For a recent update on the status of ag-gag bills, visit tinyurl.com/cqqh4qg.

— Claus Singer

Colorado Springs

Waiting to be heard

Second Amendment supporters have raised many reasonable concerns regarding probable unintended and unwanted consequences of proposed legislation, but the other side, knowing they had the votes, gave no indication that they even heard them. Of course, they were in fact not listening: Sen. John Morse publicly bragged that he did not read correspondence from his constituents if they disagreed with his personal views, and stated that he had advised "his" senators to do the same.

This alone is sufficient grounds for attempting Sen. Morse's recall.

As for the other "bullet points" (pun intended) raised by the Rev. Renee L. Ten Eyck ("Safe and secure," Letters, May 1):

• "Still thousands of guns to buy": We try to explain that the proposed bans are based on features that are purely cosmetic, but we are ignored. This leaves a door open for adding other cosmetic features to the banned list, till none are left. This pattern has been followed in the United Kingdom, Australia and just about every other "free" nation around the globe.

• "Sensible legislation" presumes that reasonable concerns have been heard and addressed to the satisfaction (or at least reluctant acceptance) of all parties. This has not happened.

You refer to a "vendetta pursued by a small but vocal group of gun rights activists." You neglected to mention that this group includes a majority of the publicly elected sheriffs in Colorado. And if it is such a small group, why should you fear an attempted recall?

— John A. Skiba

Yoder

 

Demon silverware

I read a lot of NRA and Senate-bashing. I wish to thank the authors and ask them to support my cause that spoons are responsible for the obesity problem in the United States. Certainly something that affects one-third of Americans is a real issue. Come on, let's ban "assault forks" to start with, and limit the times a person can go back to the salad bar.

Let's get real serious for a moment. Glorifying violence in America is a problem. But so is holding someone in confinement for 11 years without the benefit of legal aid, and so is having a "kill list" to murder people with drones.

You don't have to like the Second Amendment. As a young man I was taught that you didn't have to like the KKK, but I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and that meant I had to allow them freedom of speech.

And, in case you haven't ever been in a gun shop, or been in one lately, let me tell you that all the bashing you are doing is having a very unintended consequence. Gun shops can't keep ammo on the shelves. And I don't think it's because of the NRA.

So keep demonizing guns, I'll continue to demonize spoons and forks. I don't think I will impact anyone with my rantings, but are you prepared to deal with someone buying a gun because you scared them and made them think they needed to buy it before it got banned?

Lastly, I think it is poor taste to say, "Just wait till the next massacre." People's lives are precious. The way the media reports killings, and the media attention that mass killings get, are a part of the problem.

— Charlie Mussi

Colorado Springs

Guns are for killing

Hot rods: What's the difference ("Don't blame the gun," Letters, May 1)? The two rods: a fired gun and a fired-up engine on an automobile.

One was invented and is increasingly designed to better kill, destroy or at least injure, its prey. Thus moving its victim from one dimension (life) to another. The second was created as a unique piece of machinery to move individuals and groups of people from one geographic location to another, protected from the fear of death or injury.

Henry Ford was never known to have stated that the specific intent of his invention was to kill or maim. Guns will forever live up to their unique reason for being. Cars will forever exist for the sole purpose of transportation. Cars are pro life ... guns are, by their very nature ... you know where I'm going with this! I personally do blame the gun.

— Tim Davis

Manitou Springs

Don't sign the petition

Gabrielle Giffords movingly describes the courage of her friend and staff member Gabe Zimmerman, who ran to help her and at the same time ran toward gunfire ("A Senate in the gun lobby's grip," National View, April 24) and who was then shot by the gunman.

Our state senators who recently voted for sensible gun safety measures also took brave stances and voted their consciences. As a result, several are the focus of recall efforts, including my own Sen. John Morse.

I, like the majority of Coloradans and Americans, strongly agree with his votes for universal background checks for private gun sales and a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines. Recalls are expensive and should be reserved for instances of criminal offense or gross incompetence; this qualifies as neither. We should not use recalls to resolve policy disagreements. That's what elections are for.

So when someone knocks on your door asking for your support for this recall, please decline to sign the petition to recall an elected official whose only crime is voting his conscience and voting as the majority of Coloradans would.

— Carol Hoffman

Colorado Springs

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