Carol Callicotte-Belmon: Firearms: Local leaders must boldly continue with guns
In Mitchell Byars’ article on the lawsuits Rocky Mountain Gun Owners have filed against Boulder County and cities that have passed gun safety ordinances, RMGO states that they will sue any city that passes gun laws. They continue to label the city officials who passed these laws as “evil tyrants.” These recently passed ordinances already exist in states with far less gun violence than Colorado and are commonplace around the world in the many, many countries where gun deaths are rare. I am grateful to our local leaders who have taken bold steps to tackle our epidemic of gun violence and who are alarmed by the reckless extremism of the RMGO.
The US has loose gun laws and a gun industry that has perpetuated the myth that we all need to arm ourselves to be ‘safe’, leading to a nation with more than 120 guns per 100 people and a murder rate 26 times higher than our like nations. This is no coincidence. The arms industry has made billions with near impunity while hiding the reality of what all these weapons in our society are actually used for. Research shows that those who use a gun in so-called self-defense are more likely to be injured or killed than those who use other means of self-defense. A gun in the house means that someone in that house is two times more likely to die from murder with a firearm, and in a domestic violence situation, the woman is five times more likely to be killed by her abuser if a gun is present . Guns are the leading cause of death for children in this country as murders, suicides and accidental shootings continue to rise.
We know that regulating the arms industry reduces the number of deaths. Horrific SCOTUS decisions and reactive lawsuits are making us less and less safe. Enough already.
Carol Callicotte-Belmon, Louisville
Mark Wiesenfeld: Animals: we have to say no to harm, exploitation
Thanks for printing Carol Walker’s well-written guest opinion, “Keep Wild Horses Wild, Stop Cruel Roundups,” dated August 14.
While on the surface this is a single problem, primarily of concern to Coloradans and the horses, it is a microcosm of man’s disdain for virtually all non-human animals.
It is an example of “speciesism”, defined by Joan Dunayer (author of the books “Speciesism” and “Animal Equality: Language and Liberation”) as “a failure, on the basis of species membership or species-typical characteristics, to make a conscious being to be accorded equal treatment and respect.”
Every “wild” horse is indeed a sentient being – a living, sentient individual, experiencing life in his or her own unique way.
The actions of the Bureau of Land Management, and, by extension, both the US Department of the Interior (the parent company) and the Congress that funds it, clearly demonstrate a lack of compassion, equal consideration and respect.
May we, individually and collectively, look into our hearts and make choices, moment by moment, that will cause the least harm to an individual, non-human or human.
Only when we say “No” to exploitation, harm and killing will we move to a new paradigm – one that helps create a kinder, gentler, more just world for all.
Mark Wiesenfeld, Boulder
Mike Sawyer: School: Is it good or bad that our students have no opinion about racism?
After five days of back-to-school sub-education 7th grade social sciences and humanities at my favorite “high needs” high school was the most profound takeaway related to racism. I talked about how my all-white pool, where I was a lifeguard for four summers, was separated and my Alabama high school was integrated in 1967. I asked the diverse classroom, “What do segregation and integration mean?” No answer. Is it good or bad that no Colorado student knew the definitions my childhood environment under the leadership of the late Governor George C. Wallace taught me?
Mike Sawyer, Denver