Take animal abusers seriously
I noticed in The Gazette that Devin Kelley, who killed 26 people in Texas, had been charged with cruelty to animals in El Paso County in 2014. This is the same year he was discharged from the military for assaulting his wife and severely injuring her young son.
I know it has been said before but I want to emphasize again the connection between animal cruelty and violent crimes against people. People charged with animal cruelty should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Animal abuse can start at a young age, often before a person graduates to human abuse. Someone capable of torturing an animal is the same kind of person who can mercilessly murder innocent adults and children attending church.
They need to be taken very seriously but often are not because the victim is "only an animal". I understand Kelly was prohibited from purchasing guns, but sadly the Air Force failed to share the information. However, I am using this example to discuss animal abusers in general. In addition to any lawful punishment, they should be required to undergo a mental evaluation, and depending on the results, should be banned from purchasing guns and receive psychological and/or medical help. This is one possible avenue to help prevent these atrocities from happening in the future and preventing even one will be well worth the effort.
The smart way to go
I have been reading Rachel Stovall's columns pretty regularly and enjoy them. With this column, however, I felt the desire to comment. I applaud her wholeheartedly in her parenting and her advice to her son: "If you are mature enough to have sex, then you are mature enough to take that young lady to Planned Parenthood and arrange for birth control. Do it! And you sir, shall pay for that." If more parents were as responsible as she is, this might not even be an issue. However, many parents are not that responsible or even aware; and, face it, many young people having sex are nowhere near maturity. Given that, there is no forethought on their part, and going out and getting and paying for birth control is the last thing on their minds.
This is where universal health care . single payer, if you will, comes into play. When birth control is taxpayer supported . "free" . people are much more apt to use it. Also, in a single payer system, there is no concern about which businesses have religious issues around women's health care. Bottom line for me - taxpayer supported health care is the smart way to go because a healthy population benefits all of us, including those new little ones just entering the world, preferably, in a planned way.
Disrespecting the meaning of our flag
Kneeling to the national anthem should be a crime. Some people will look at the NFL kneeling to the flag and think nothing of it. Some believe it is unthinkable. Why do some people think it unthinkable? Because people have risked their lives for this country, and the NFL is abusing that fact. America has fought many, many wars just for our freedom. The Revolutionary War, The Civil War, World War I and II, Iraq War, and many more. On top of that people are risking their lives even today for America's freedom.
Donald Trump said a comment that fired up the NFL, this resulted in the NFL disrespecting the flag and making a lot of Americans very angry. America was built on respect, God, and freedom. Our flag is a symbol of those. It represents the blood spilled for our freedom, and the lives given. The NFL kneeling to the flag is certainly not a crime, but it is disrespecting the meaning of our flag, and disrespecting the people that gave their lives for their freedom. Kneeling to the flag is a selfish, and disrespectful act that should be a crime.
Please never kneel to our flag.
Massacre was not a battle
I take issue with the language used on page A10 of Monday's Gazette, and specifically the statement that Irving Howbert "fought against Cheyenne and Arapaho in the battle known as the Sand Creek Massacre." Sand Creek was not a "battle," and there was no fighting engaged in by the Cheyenne and Arapaho people in question. The encampment that was attacked by Colonel John Chivington and his troops consisted exclusively of women, children and a few old men who were camping peaceably, supposedly under the protection of the United States government. Nearly all of the inhabitants of this village were brutally murdered and their bodies mutilated.
The Pikes Peak Library District's characterization of this incident as a "battle" seems to be a not-very-subtle attempt to sugar-coat the nature of the massacre.
New tax bill could bring relief
Recent articles claim federal Republicans' new tax bill won't bring much-needed relief to the middle-class and small business owners.
As a hardworking small business owner, let me clear up this misinformation and briefly explain how this bill will help ordinary taxpayers and the vast majority of small business owners that pay tax at individual rates.
First, the bill would double the income threshold under which taxpayers pay zero tax to $24,000.
Second, it would eliminate the 15 percent tax bracket in favor of an expanded 12 percent bracket on the next $90,000 of earnings.
These two reforms alone will save hardworking taxpayers a couple of thousand dollars a year, which will stay in communities to create economic activity and new jobs. The bill's roughly doubling of the child tax credit would save taxpayers with children even more.
Small businesses that earn six figures a year will benefit from the higher income thresholds in the 25 percent and 39.6 percent tax brackets and the elimination of the 28 percent bracket. These reforms will save them several thousand dollars a year that can be reinvested in business expansion, higher wages, and new jobs.
The tax bill strengthens the middle-class and small business backbone of the country. Media accounts notwithstanding.