Hitting the target
Terje Langeland does a pretty good job on his story on possible Colorado Springs City Council action to ban the open carry of firearms in City Hall ("Out of their cold, dead hands," July 31-Aug. 6); however, he does manage to slant it pretty far toward the "anti-gun" side.
First the headline of the story, "Out of their cold, dead hands," implies that those of us who support the right to keep and bear arms will march on City Hall with guns drawn and only give up that right when killed. I realize he is "firing for effect." But, a much more egregious mistake occurs in the lead sentence of the story when he says, "Council is considering banning the open brandishing of firearms ..." The brandishing of a firearm is already against the law. If Mr. Ortega had, in fact, brandished a firearm, he would have been arrested -- end of problem.
If Vice Mayor Skorman feels alarmed by Mr. Ortega actions, why hasn't he asked for him to be arrested? I think Skorman would rather use Mr. Ortega to further his own anti-gun agenda, than try to resolve the issue without taking away the rights of all lawful, responsible firearm owners.
Vice Mayor Skorman, as usually done by anti-gun liberals, misses the mark again. First, the Colorado Constitution is very clear in protecting the right of a person to openly keep and bear arms. The "time bomb" he refers to is not the responsible firearm owner; it is the criminal. All the laws, security check points, metal detectors, etc. will not stop the determined criminal as we saw recently in the NYC Council Chambers.
When Vice Mayor Skorman states, "I don't understand why we should allow open-carry guns anywhere on city property," he discredits the oath he took to uphold the Colorado Constitution. He also forgets that "city property" belongs to the citizens, not the government.
We are indeed fortunate to have a Council "a majority of whose members proclaim themselves strong backers of gun rights ..." They not only proclaim, but perform.
I was pleased to see that Terje correctly quoted me in his story.
-- Bernie Herpin
President, Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition
When it suits them
In the article, "Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands," I find it so interesting that someone like Bernie Herpin, president of the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalitions (and all right-wing gun supporters for that matter) says things like, "It should be the individual's choice" where to carry a gun, "not the government's choice."
But when you ask these same people about abortion and women's rights the tune always changes. They quickly forget about their disdain for government interference into our personal lives. Drives me nuts.
-- Emily Frank
Our City Council, under the thumb of the local Religious Reich, is now going to micromanage the administration of Memorial Hospital [see "Internal disorder," July 31-Aug. 6]. With the loss of Mr. Schrader as the administrator, we lost someone who had the ability to manage without the political posturing. Now we will have a group of paid politicians overseeing the health care of the last secular hospital in the region.
How long will it be until the Council starts making decisions as to what medical procedures will be allowed? Will they decide on which doctors will be allowed to practice according to their political or religious philosophy? Since the mayor decided that he does not need to abide by policies that were created and in force before him, can we trust that he will not decide to change other policies according to his handler's wishes? And without regard for the health and welfare of part of his population?
I must say that I fear Memorial Hospital is headed to becoming a political pawn instead of one of the premier health-care facilities in Colorado. Gotta love a city that puts politics above the people it is supposed to represent.
-- Arval Becker
Re: the July 31 Outsider: Ed Jones wears a toupee? Whoa! And here all these years I was thinkin' that must'a been some kinda hairspray!
-- Mark Cunningham
Bird's eye view
I took the advice of one of your letter writers and have started to line my bird's cage with your paper. It's amazing how in such a short time he has been acting like the rest of my liberal friends. It seems that by favoring the left wing, he can only fly in circles, thus becoming dizzy and disoriented.
-- Mark Tozer
Editor's note: This letter was first published in the April 6, 1994 issue of the Independent.
For the birds
Mark Taker's bird (referred to in your April 6 issue) is lucky! I lined my bird's cage with the Gazette's editorial pages and the poor thing expired from the stench!
-- Kay Heim
Editor's note: This letter was first published in the April 13, 1994 issue of the Independent.
Summing it up
Here is my last 50 years summed up: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953
"Bring 'em on!"
-- President non-elect G. W. Bush - Compassionate Conservative
-- Robert Krejci
Show me the money
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Money drives the car, doesn't it? Always has. Fifteen million times two in U.S. dollars got us the heads of Odai and Qusai Hussein. Twenty-five mil will attract their dad's Judas, we hope. (Note: It hasn't helped us hang Osama bin Laden yet, or Saddam. Their closest friends must be waiting for the Lotto pot to grow some.)
Forgive me for not feeling warm and fuzzy over all of this, but continuing casualties, wanted posters, bounties, greedy slime-bag informants, and dead bad-guy pictures don't do that for me, no matter how just the cause.
Heck, lets put a septillion-five-spot on the table for the whole enchilada of evildoers, including that wacko in North Korea, and bring our troops home tomorrow. In fact, if the bounty price is right, we can lay-off most of our military. We'll pay them a handsome and well-deserved severance with the money we save from day-to-day operations, and let our checkbooks do the dirty work from now on.
Yep, we should have kept it simple all along. The solution was right in front of us. Money. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
-- Malcolm Allyn
In a recent program, Rush Limbaugh made the following statement concerning the deaths of American troops in Iraq: "On a daily basis, on average, 10 Americans die by drowning, and 9 die by fire in their homes. Fourteen Americans die by pedestrian accidents. Twenty-seven Americans die in falls. On average, 50 Americans a day are murdered. One hundred eighteen die in auto accidents. And 25 people die from AIDS every day, on average. Yesterday, two Americans died in battle in Iraq." (The stats are from Center for Disease Control and are accurate.)
On the surface, although distasteful, the figures seem to be acceptable. But, Rush is using a sample population of 230 million people to make his point. This is inaccurate. There are only 140,000 troops in Iraq. If the United States experienced deaths at a rate similar to the troops in Iraq, there would be a death attributable to a single cause every 45 seconds. That amounts to 1,920 deaths per day.
These are the types of propagandized half-truths we are dealing with. I suppose Rush blows off these figures with such ease because anal cysts kept him from his own noble cause in Vietnam. I am, of course, somewhat concerned that anal cysts seem to migrate to the neck and shoulders.
-- Brent Koleno
The slippery slope of temptation
As devout dittoheads and conservative Christians, we are obligated to affirm our unquestioning support of Colorado for Family Values' proposed anti-gay "Community Standards Resolution." We wish to add emphasis to these revelations in particular:
The rights and privileges accorded citizenship do not extend to homosexuality ... Our community must put its full force behind heterosexuality only and the institutions and policies it gives rise to.
Destruction of the family, degradation of women and children, and addictions of men ... are by-products of pornography.
Violence in our community is a direct result of children growing up without fathers in the home.
Preservation of the nuclear family defined as a male and female -- a husband and wife.
Any critic of these revelations must be an agent of the devil. For historical perspective, let us recall some of the consequences of the folly of resisting conventional wisdom.
First Negroes, then women's libbers demanded full citizenship. Our leaders acquiesced to these groups, but their generosity was misplaced. Like children spared the rod, their militant demands have only grown more outrageous, contributing directly to our society's present state of moral decay and has led to broken homes, increasing violence and child pornography.
Let us not make the same mistake with the homosexuals! Though homosexuals may, as U.S. citizens, enjoy (under certain conditions) a right to life, they must not be permitted full liberty or the pursuit of happiness, for the good of the majority.
We must put our full force behind institutionalized heteropatriarchy. Otherwise the rot of homosexuality may extend to the other apples in our community barrel. Already some of our God-fearing husbands are under the spell of homosexual pornography (while they prefer lesbian videos, and there is little risk of them turning into lesbians, still this is the first step down a slippery slope of temptation).
We must enforce compulsory heterosexuality and root out homosexuality before it destroys the nuclear families we know and love. Every family needs a father at its head; this way, we can get violence off the streets and back into the privacy of our own homes, where it belongs.
-- Elsie Madison and Robin Rice,
Colorado Springs Chapter, LAW
(Ladies Against Women)
Editor's note: A version of this letter responding to CFV's ultimately unsuccessful proposal originally appeared in the Aug. 2, 1995 Independent.