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LETTERS: Must develop a watch list; America has a problem

By: Gazette readers
February 20, 2018 Updated: February 20, 2018 at 6:20 am
Caption +
People comfort each other at a public memorial for the victims of the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Nikolas Cruz, a former student, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Must develop a watch list

I, like everyone else, am appalled at what happened at the Parkland, Fla., high school. However, there is no one simple fix. It needs to be a well thought through, rational, multifaceted approach. Hysteria, irrationality and anger will not solve this issue.

One of the first steps that could/should be taken is to develop a "watch list." It would need to start out with the schools and then spiderweb out from there. This would probably necessitate the creation of an agency. Any student past or present who had displayed anger issues, been involved in any type of physical or verbal altercation would immediately be put into/on the watch list. Any application made to purchase a firearm would be suspended for (at least) 30 days (60-90 would be better). The Department of Human Services (or some other appropriate agency) would then be tasked with interviewing family, friends, school officials etc., as to whether the permit to buy a firearm should be approved. There would be a five-year limitation and re-evaluation period.

This problem has got to be addressed on a multilevel platform. Again, guns don't kill - people do. We must address the people and mental health issues, the real source of the problem.

Pat Foltz

El Paso County


America has a problem

I come from a family that loves their guns, and good for them. They enjoy getting together for target practice and hunting for food. Good for them. All the guns were bought legally, and used legally. But that's my family.

I don't enjoy shooting. It's noisy and there's a kickback. No, it's not for me. I don't get that rush from shooting a gun that people who like shooting have. But that's me.

America has a problem with mass shooters. They seek out and kill defenseless children and adults. The mass shooters, all probably mentally ill, in treatment or not, have access to weapons of war. The well-endowed NRA and others lobby to keep weapons readily available to anyone who can afford them. Everyone has a gun store within a few miles of their home. Mentally ill people can easily afford them, even the latest shooter who worked as a cashier in a dollar store.

Let's have an outrageous tax on guns? Maybe. That would be one way to fund mental health treatment. Taxes helped to reduce cigarette smoking. It might help.

Or perhaps, eliminating weapons of war is the way. Is America a war zone? If you believe that then you also may be mentally ill. Or, you need to calm down and look around at the good people everywhere that step up and help others.

The AR-15, for one, has killed far too many of our precious children and adults. This is my America, and I'm speaking up.

Jan Malvern

Colorado Springs


Unsecured, undefended, and unsafe

The Colorado Legislature passed a law forbidding schools to arm selected security personnel in their school buildings, ensuring a massacre like the one in Florida could happen in Colorado. The Democrats responsible for passing such irresponsible legislation should be recalled immediately. They have put our children in certain jeopardy. Republicans need to propose a federal law appropriately funded to:

- Arm school security guards who can meet necessary safety qualifications

- Retrofit school doors to include a double door security vestibule that stops anyone from entering the school until being "buzzed through". Most apartment buildings have a system like this, why can't schools?

I am tired of hearing about "budget constraints" while our children continue to be at risk in unsecured, undefended, and unsafe schools.

How can a nonstudent get an assault rifle into a school in the first place?

If the hero security guard/coach had had a weapon available could he have stopped the shooter instead of being shot?

Steve Fogler



Only one real answer

I have to agree with the viewpoint of Paul Garcia - "No one connects the dots"(Feb. 18). Proper accountability and consequences for actions have always been an important aspect of any "good" society.

I especially agree with and support what Jane Lawless wrote - "Increasingly godless, amoral society" (Feb. 18). Well said and worth reading.

I think it would be a very interesting statistical study - if not already done - to look at when we, as a country, allowed God to be voted out of our schools and then look at the number of these terrible incidences before and after that point in time. I would also like to see statistics on how many people have been hurt or killed, either intentionally or accidentally, by a gun - any kind of gun - that was not being handled by or in the hands of a person!

If we are really intentional about ridding this country of this "evil," there is only one real answer!

Tony Lane

Colorado Springs


Nothing more than a memo

I believe that if Sen. Cory Gardner continues to block judicial nominees as leverage to get the federal government to talk about legalized marijuana, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions should begin to enforce the federal law concerning marijuana as leverage to get Sen. Gardner to stop blocking the nominees.

Fact is, the Cole memo like DACA, is not anything more than someone writing a memo or executive order because Gardner and the rest of Congress can't, or won't, pass a law. Whether Sen. Gardner likes it, marijuana is against federal law. Colorado chose to implement legalized marijuana based on a memo written by someone in the Justice Department.

Sen. Gardner knows better than anyone it's his job to pass laws not some guy in the Justice Department. If we start letting memo writers determine what is legal, then we become Venezuela.

Patrick O'Connell

Colorado Springs

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