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"Red flag" backlash and more letters from this week's inbox



Nothing divides people like a good gun debate. This week we hear two reader opinions on the contentious "red flag" bill, among other voices.

Editor's note: The following have been submitted by Indy readers, unedited, un-fact-checked, and presented in whole. Join the conversation in the comment section below, or via email to

Red flags

Regarding "No white flags coming on red flag bill" in the Indy March 20 edition:

Mr. Littwin is damn wrong about how that flawed law would work. He states "Police would go to the home and remove the guns". Sounds harmless and reasonable, but reality is far more brutal.

Anyone who has actually read HB11-1977 (available online) must be deeply concerned about the possible consequences of the proposed law. It does not require to court to hear the "respondent" - this is legalese for the person being accused to be the extremely dangerous nutcase that needs to be disarmed - before issuing the "extreme risk protection order" (ERPO).

As a matter of fact, the "respondent" may not have any clue about what is coming down on him / her until the ERPO is served by law enforcement.

Most likely, this will not be a friendly deputy knocking on the door in broad daylight - keep in mind the "respondent" was classified to be armed with a gun, and extremely dangerous. So, despite no crime having been committed, and the "respondent" may be completely harmless, law-abiding and innocent, it likely will be a no-knock SWAT team raid early in the morning.

Which means "dynamic entry", bursting through the shattered front door, throwing flash-bang grenades (into a baby crib again like in Georgia ?), shooting the dogs and killing every occupant of the house who mistakes the situation as a home invasion and comes out of the bedroom with a legally owned gun to confront the unexpected nightly intruders in an attempt to protect his loved ones.

Just imagine you, dear reader, are on the receiving end of such ultra violence. This is the ultimate nightmare.

Any occupant who survives will be traumatized for life and likely sue for millions of dollars, us taxpayers having to foot the bill. The flash bang disaster in Georgia that disfigured poor baby Bou Bou did cost the taxpayer $3.6 million dollars so far.

No wonder that responsible Sheriffs who know the realities of law enforcement refuse to be a cog in a murderous machine any estranged spouse or feuding neighbor or anonymous apparatchik could set in motion. Read the bill carefully if you don't believe that. Sending a SWAT team against hardened criminals or terrorists is an entirely different topic.

We, the people, cannot allow such a deeply flawed and heinous law to be in the books. Go call your elected representative and tell them to stop it. And support your local Sheriff if he declares to refuse its enforcement. He has good reasons for that. The very reasons pointed out above.

Make no mistake the possible consequences of HB-1177, if signed into law, would not get you or members of your family killed. HB-1177 is a slippery slope right into the abyss and potentially the worst and most reckless assault on human rights ever seen in this country.

There would be better ways to address the underlying problem without putting anyone in harm's way, but this appears not to be in the agenda of the sponsors of that bill.

— Bernie Engl

  • Shutterstock

"Step in right direction"

Colorado HB 19 - 1177 is an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), or “Red Flag”, law, which would temporarily remove a person’s access to firearms before they commit violence. Currently 14 states and the District of Columbia have this type of legislation, and has shown to reduce gun violence related suicides / homicides. I applaud Senator Pete Lee for his support during the recent Senate hearing of this bill.
A recent Opinion from the Gazette Editorial Board, continues to promote a fixed mindset and foster false fears of a gun-grab, in addition to a dangling-threat to legislators with recall if they support any gun violence prevention legislation. There is no single solution or perfect law to stop ALL gun violence, especially in the US with an estimated 270 million firearms. An estimated 100 Americans are killed daily with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured. This does not reflect the lives of millions who witness it, know someone who was shot, or live in fear of the next shooting.

As a society, we can’t continue to fall for scare tactics and angry distractions – instead we need to support legislation to reduce the epidemic of suicides and homicides committed by firearms, the majority of which are preventable. We need to unite and work together as Americans, to prevent as many deaths as we can, and yes, continuing to respect and uphold the Second Amendment and rights of citizens.

The most recent tragedy in New Zealand with the mass shooting prompted that country to do more than send "thoughts and prayers", they took action and banned assault weapons. It has been twenty years since Columbine, and Colorado has failed to provide adequate gun violence prevention legislation. We can do better for our children, and I feel Red Flag legislation is a step in the right direction.
— Deborah Griffin

Please outline the plan for decontaminating an aquifer.
— Tom Grossman

Skorman's endorsement

Many people have asked whom I am endorsing and/or whom they should vote for the three At-Large Council seats

The clear best choice is retired D-11 educator and principal Terry Martinez. I urged Terry to run for Council, because his election would be great for our city. His stands on issues and consensus building orientation are also the closest to my own.

I am torn as to whom else should be supported. I see merit in re-electing Bill Murray and Tom Strand as well as former Councilor Val Snyder and/or former Secretary of State Wayne Williams. All have positive attributes. I urge everyone to look at these candidates and select the person who most closely aligns with your viewpoints. Tony Gioia would also be a reasonable choice, as he has been a contributor on several recent Boards and Commissions.

So in summary, I am only endorsing one candidate, Terry Martinez. But I believe Bill Murray, Tom Strand, Val Snyder, Wayne Williams and/or Tony Gioia would be the best choices for the remaining two slots.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Please return your ballot by Tuesday April 2, 7 PM. Vote as if our city’s future depends on it. It does!

— Richard Skorman

  • Courtesy Terry Martinez

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