Letters | The duel over guns


Correction: A Jan. 10 Boulderganic story, “Paving a contaminated parkway,” mistakenly referred to Rocky Flats as the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

The duel over guns

While I agreed with much of Andrew O’Connor’s “Danish is wrong on guns” (guest commentary, Jan. 10), I wonder if he doesn’t do as much harm as good by accepting the NRA-backed assumption that a ban on semi-automatic weapons clearly violates the Second Amendment and thus that banning that weapon would mean overturning the Second Amendment. Of course, Paul Danish and the other pro-gun zealots will then argue that end of the Second Amendment would be a giant step downhill on a slippery slope to totalitarianism. Let me point out that the USA had a ban on the buying and selling of semi-automatics for 10 years, 1994 to 2004; yet the courts never ruled that gun-control policy unconstitutional, said that it violated the Second Amendment. Intelligent, reasonable gun control and the Second Amendment can co-exist.

Danish’s column of the same week, “Racist progressives and guns,” is shameless and pathetic: he finds one gun-controller who’s racist and then overgeneralizes to brand all gun controllers as racist hypocrites. “If you are a standard-issue Boulder progressive nodding in agreement with this (racist) line of thought,” Danish writes.

Excuse me! I’m a progressive, and I don’t remember agreeing with any of the silly racist nonsense he just quoted. Danish is fishing with a red herring — introducing an emotionally charged issue (racism) that has little or no clear connection to the issue at hand (gun control).

Paul Dougan/Lafayette

(Re: “Racist progressives and guns,” Danish Plan, Jan. 10.) A friend of mine made a stupid comment. Therefore, all gun control advocates are racists. “If you are a standard-issue Boulder progressive nodding in agreement with this line of thought …” apparently the majority of “standard-issue” Boulderites believe that the Scots-Irish are killing machines.

Of course, the true irony here is that, though he is a gun control advocate, when O’Connor gives us this particular ill-advised rant he’s actually taking Danish’s side. He’s arguing that gun violence is a cultural problem, which is exactly what Danish spent a page-long diatribe trying to convince us of two weeks ago.

If Danish really wants to beat up a straw man, he should at least pick one who disagrees with him.

Christopher Blair/via Internet

(Re: “Repeal the Second Amendment? How about the First?” Danish Plan, Dec. 27.) Let us forget, for the moment, that Paul Danish thinks that repeal of the Second Amendment would lead to the repeal of the First. That’s merely an attention-grabbing line that is really beneath a man of Paul’s intelligence. What proponents of sane gun control are saying is that the Second Amendment already provides for controls in its preface: “a well-regulated militia” (though gutted by perhaps a deplorably dumb Supreme Court). These men knew the power of words and put this phrase first.

Let us also put aside the arguments (true though they may be) that the Founding Fathers could not foresee the development of rapid-fire assault rifles, that the “well-regulated militias” of the time were the 18th century equivalent of the present National Guard, or that the Revolutionary War was not won by patriots grabbing Old Betsy but by revolutionaries breaking into armories and later getting help from the French.

Let us, instead, consider that this was part of a document conceived by some of the smartest men of that age, men who had survived a revolution, had seen how religion had torn apart Britain and so created a secular state (a fact that escapes the religious right), and, finally, men who would have been appalled that we would still be clinging to so many outdated concepts.

These were men who created a new order and trusted that those who followed would continue the revolution and that their successors would continue to improve upon that revolution. These were men who dreamed that their concept of a people’s democracy could survive but feared, given the short duration of the republic, that it might not. The past two and a quarter centuries have proven that the system works, that we have no fear of tyrants from within seizing the government and enslaving us.

Besides, there was no way these giants could know that a future generation, armed even with a multitude of assault rifles, would be unable to withstand a federal government that could dispatch them with a few drones. What they did expect is that country would move with times, that it would continue to adapt, or, to put it in the simple advice of my mother, grow up.

Sadly, in that, they were wrong. And the children of Newtown paid the price.

Tom Schantz/Lyons

Thank you for your well-thought, superbly written and compelling article referenced above. I am hopeful the logic against the reactionary “gun control” movement — including as set forth in your piece — eventually will win out over the emotion of the times.

I enjoy and appreciate your articles as they appear under the “Danish Plan.” It is difficult for me to be too critical of the proudly leftist Boulder Weekly since it endorsed me — a Republican — for district attorney in the 2000 election. However, as the Boulder Weekly has descended from more-or-less critical analysis of the issues to a panegyric of everything Obama, your sensible opinions are even more refreshing (and courageous).

Please keep up the great job you are doing, and the great writing.

David Sanderson/Boulder

I personally think a change in our gun laws is definitely needed; people do kill people, but I see no need to make it easier for them. We don’t hand our kids matches and gasoline and tell them please do not start any fires, do we?

Having said that, I do agree wholeheartedly with your article about repealing the Second Amendment. Many different things are causing this violence, but the groups for or against can only choose a black or white answer. Sometimes the world is grey. It’s that type of attitude of “no compromise” that has gotten our nation into trouble on a lot of things other than just gun control.

How about repealing the Second Amendment, cleaning up our media violence, as you suggested, and banning citizens from owning assault rifles, or magazines that carry more than 10 bullets and limiting the amount of guns one person has to avoid another Waco incident. Until both opposing parties make a reasonable effort to compromise, see the many issues of what is causing so much gun violence, only then will we see a difference, and maybe 10 years from now, the next generation will live in a safer country.

Jean West-Watanabe/Broomfield

Honoring our fallen

Not quite a head on a pike

But a grim trophy indeed

A broad-antlered bull elk head

Filling a white pick-up bed.

Written in October 2011 on a scene witnessed during hunting season on the Western Slope. Hard to imagine it happening here in the City of Landlords.

Robert Porath/Boulder

Hell no!

(Re: “Paving a contaminated parkway,” Boulderganic, Jan. 10.) Voters voted down this road project in February of 1989 by a huge margin of 81 percent, with good turnout on a cold February day with only this question on the ballot. The Denver Post reported that voters said, “Hell no!”

Nothing has happened since then to make the plutonium contamination less. Yet like a bad penny this proposal keeps coming up again, and again, and again. We have gotten along without this road project for the 24 years since.

Edie Bryan/via Internet

Addicted to oil

Every resident of the United States today faces economic instability, environmental degradation and compromised national security — all due to continued reliance on oil to meet our energy needs.

Yet we remain unable to break our oil addiction, and we are woefully uninformed about necessary steps toward a responsible and sustainable national energy policy! As a media resource and information provider, you play a key role in catalyzing America’s response. Please help all of us in America. As a reader of yours, I hope to see stories not only about the energy crisis, but also about potential energy alternatives, political policy solutions and ways the general public can get involved. The media can make a great difference toward remedying the lack of understanding about our looming energy crisis, and in motivating the public to get the information it needs in order to make policy change possible! Please help all of us to become more aware on what we can do as individuals by cutting down on our own energy use, or appropriate and responsible use of energy.

As Thomas Jefferson said at the outset of our country’s democratic experiment, “An informed democracy will act responsibly.” With Jefferson, we are counting on you to help inform and equip citizens with the information we need by covering the many aspects of energy policy. For a nonpartisan, nonprofit source on energy issues and policy options, we recommend to you www.energyliteracy.org. Thank you for your engagement with this issue.

Kathy Mead/via Internet

Stinky little planet

Earth, the stinky little planet still believed to be the center of the universe by some (particularly politicians) because we burn our fossils and store our waste, thus polluting our own environment. We’re poisoning the air, water and food that nourish us. Yup! Makes sense to me! Don’t make me write a book!

We’ll either evolve to have a cleaner, healthier world together.. or not. A few want to control the rest of us. How did we let this happen? Hmm? Is it apathy, low self-esteem, laziness, fear or personal greed? Or all of the above?

We allow the few to make laws for us that we don’t agree with, that are not in our best interests and remain caught up in irrational disputes that keep us at each other’s throat over individual belief systems (religious differences) that pay into political personal agendas. What’s wrong with this picture?

Whatever you call it, fascism, socialism, corprocrazy, etc., these are just fancy labels to keep “We The People” divided.

It creates cognitive dissonance so that people shut out what they think they know to be true in fear that they might not be right and hence creates suspicion for those who think differently.

The only way we have a chance to save this stinky little hunk of rock is to start working together and see the true “earth terrorists” for who they are, the greedy corporate industrialists who are destroying all of our resources to maintain their stranglehold of control.

Everyone can do a part to silently fight these terrorists by limiting their own consumption of oil and its largest by-product, plastic, as much as you can.

Just a few basic suggestions are:

If possible move near where you work so you can walk or ride a bike or take other alternate transportation.

Grow your own food if you can or team up with others who can.

Find farmers near you and offer to help or buy from local farmers’ markets.

Join a cooperative for your groceries.

Recycle, reuse and repurpose.

It’s practically impossible to avoid plastic. It’s everywhere. It doesn’t recycle, but you can make a conscious effort to cut down on it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could feed all those plastic water bottles and other items back into the dirty oil holes from where they began?

We must not allow the barons of industry (aka corporate politicians) to keep us dependent on their distorted and conditioned version of reality, which is contrary to basic human needs and rights.

Just saying. There really is a better way for all of us to live without threats by our own neighbors, politicians and military. Eliminate the greed of the fictitious us verses them mentality. We are the People. Only we can stop the insanity!

Vallee Johnson/Erie




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