Take the needed precautions
Thank you to The Gazette and Liz Forster for the Oct. 23 article highlighting avalanches. You are to be commended for raising backcountry avalanche safety awareness and outdoor education in general.
I would just like to remind any outdoor enthusiast - be it hiker, skier, snowboarder, snowshoer or snowmobiler who ventures out and especially into the backcountry to be prepared and respect nature.
No one expects or wants a tragedy. While there are inherent risks with any activity, there are proactive things one can do to minimize it and maximize enjoyment.
First, get educated and stay educated. Visit websites such as CAIC or AIARE and read about the topic. Snow Sense by J. Fredsten and D. Fesler is a great start. Take a class, (first aid, CPR, avalanche safety/ awareness/certification), many of which are offered throughout the area or at Colorado Mt. College campuses. Have the right equipment, (beacons, probes, shovel, ax, snow test kit, avalung) and know how to use it. Many ski area have beacon basins where one can practice. Have a backpack equipped with items needed not only for your trek, but in the event of an emergency. Try not to venture out alone and give others your plan of travel.
Finally, know when not to go. Check weather and avalanche forecasts, be aware of changing conditions and adjust accordingly.
As Coloradans, we are indeed fortunate to live in an area of such beauty and with so many opportunities for outdoor experiences. We should get out and enjoy, just take the needed precautions.
Once again, many thanks to Liz and The Gazette for bringing this topic to the forefront.
Letter backed gun infringement
In response to Dennis Sladek's Oct. 26 letter to the editor:
Here is the Second Amendment to the Constitution:
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
I see no mention about the only reason guns are allowed is do to keeping a militia. It does state a militia is necessary to protect freedom. And it states that our rights to bear arms shall not be infringed.
Based on Sladek's letter, he is for infringement. Infringement on the size, type and ammunition capacity of a firearm. The problem is, the Constitution doesn't limit the type of arms. Back in the day, the people could have owned a cannon, some did and it was not illegal but maybe impractical.
Sladek mentions that there is no need for and AK 47 or AR 15. An AK 47 is a automatic weapon, which is illegal. An AR 15 is a semi-automatic weapon and looks like a military weapon but can only shoot one round with each trigger pull, just like many hunting rifles not called assault rifles. Unfortunately, there is a need for these rifles. The need for these weapons is for the military and also for citizens to protect themselves from their government, foreign governments, criminals, sport and hunting for food.
The statement that most people in the NRA support gun control is vague and misleading, and I am curious where the 74 percent statistic came from. I doubt it came from the NRA. As an NRA member I know the organization stands for freedom and upholding the Constitution as written.
I would recommend that people read up and investigate more before just assuming liberal talking points that fit that agenda are fact. Americans are awake and are seeing the results leftist policies are having on our country. That's why gun sales are climbing. People know the government can't protect their every move in a free society, and you have to take personal responsibility for your protection.
The most vulnerable among us
I would like to thank the Republican legislature for bravely voting to protect the free market by shielding vulnerable companies like Wells Fargo and Equifax from the possible burden of liability for the damages that results from their actions. How can private companies focus on shareholder returns with the threat of consumer retribution for their actions that result in harm hanging over their heads?
We can all agree that greed, incompetence and outright stupidity are not reasons to punish a company that may have sold you something without your knowledge and then penalized you for not paying for it. Surely we can agree that Equifax should not be held accountable for lax security that resulted in the loss of sensitive information for more than half of all Americans. If America is to prosper, we need to protect the most vulnerable, fragile and delicate multibillion dollar companies from the vindictive wrath of wronged citizens.
Something awry with bill's amount
In last Wednesday's Gazette, a concerned citizen in the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District's response area questioned a $4,000 bill she had received from the district. This statement caught several eyes within and outside the organization, as we too thought something was awry. We contacted both our billing service as well as the resident to determine what in fact she received from the District. It was determined that while the letter's author did receive a bill from us, it was for approximately half the stated amount of $4,000, which is consistent with the nature of the incident. It is unknown how a $4,000 amount was concluded.
Chris Truty, fire chief
Tri-Lakes Monument FPD
What the baker refused to do
It's important to clarify what Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker at the center of a very important Supreme Court case, refused to do, especially in light of the misleading and oft-repeated claims of media outlets and others. He did not refuse to serve Charlie Craig and David Mullins. He offered to serve them anything in his store. He did not mistreat them. He did not kick them out of his store, like a coffee shop owner in Seattle did to a group of pro-life activists recently.
What Phillips refused to do was create a custom-designed cake for their same-sex wedding, a request made of him before the state of Colorado even recognized same-sex weddings.
I would hope Jewish or Muslim-owned delis will not be forced to serve pork against their religious beliefs. I would hope African-Americans will not be forced to design custom cakes, T-shirts, or party favors promoting white supremacy. Refusing to serve a customer because of who they are (like the Seattle coffee shop owner did) is always wrong. Refusing to participate or promote something that violates one's conscience, especially when it involves using one's artistic or entrepreneurial talents, is what the First Amendment guarantees. Being able to make that distinction is crucial, both for the Supreme Court and the rest of us.