Look closer to home, too
Enough is enough! That is the message we see in the rallies for gun control. Yes, enough is enough. No child should be afraid in their school. No teacher or other school employee should be afraid in their school. Every life that has been lost in a school shooting is a tragedy, and it should never happen.
Perhaps additional gun control is needed. Perhaps some types of guns should not be made available to the general public. But will getting rid of guns solve the problem? I don't think so. It doesn't help to get to the root of the problem.
I applaud students for taking a stand. It's great when students do; things happen. But I say to them - start looking inside the walls of your schools for the things that need to change there, that could have as much of an impact, or even more.
How many kids in your school eat lunch alone, have no friends? Notice them, take time to get to know them, be their friend. How much bullying is happening in your school? Take a stand against it. No child deserves to be bullied, any more than they deserve to be afraid of a gunman coming into the school. Are your teachers, the principal, and the other adults in your school respected and treated well, or do they face classes of rude, disrespectful students every day? Be an example - respect, honor and help them. They are teaching because they want to make a difference in your lives, and they deserve to be treated well. Leave your crude language at home.
So kudos for what you are doing. But look closer to home for what you can change right now, right here, in your school. You can make things better today.
This is not muddy thinking
On Feb. 14, students were attacked and massacred in Parkland, Fla. Unfortunately, attacks on these children did not end there. There have been death threats and vicious verbal assaults on these children. Some individuals (adults) think they are not entitled to free speech. These students are registering voters, they seek to elect representatives that are not paid by the gun lobby, but represent the people who elect them. They are not trying to take away individual guns, but to see common-sense gun safety laws enacted. This is not muddy thinking, it is democracy.
They want universal background checks as do a large majority of Americans and gun safety regulations. For years, Congress has not addressed the issue of gun violence in society. Excuse after excuse is a litany of blame placed on everything but the common denominator, guns, specifically assault weapons. There is a roar of people screaming that they have Second Amendment rights. Actually, the Second Amendment does not give them the right to military-style weapons. To quote Justice Antonin Scalia, "Weapons that are most useful in the military service, M-16 rifles and the like are not protected under the Second Amendment and may be banned."
There is not space to reiterate the numerous and often stupid excuses given by individuals to block common-sense gun safety laws and restricting military style weapons, but they never mention guns the common denominator. It is not parents, students or social media who are to blame.
The children of Parkland have stared at a military weapon and seen their fellow students and teachers blown apart, and they are not afraid of the gun lobby.
Anti-gun marchers anger misdirected
The anger of the anti-gun marchers targeted lawmakers, the Republican Party and even President Donald Trump. But most of the anger was directed at the National Rifle Association. The marchers' rage is misdirected. The NRA isn't at fault for Parkland High School, or any other shooting. Blaming the NRA for a firearms death is like blaming the AAA for auto accidents. If the marchers are serious about saving American lives, rather than participating in March For Our Lives, they should consider taking part in the March For Life, an annual pro-life event. The NRA receives nothing in federal funding and is responsible for zero deaths. On the other hand, Planned Parenthood received more than $500 million in funding from the 2018 omnibus bill, and destroys more than 300,000 human lives a year.
Guy M. Grace Sr.
Efforts at caucus level futile
It was my pleasure to represent Teller County as a delegate to the 5th Congressional District Republican Assembly recently. The chair of the assembly, Mary Anne Tebedo and the executive committee did an excellent job of organizing and conducting the meeting.
However, the content of the meeting was underwhelming. The lack of enthusiasm was apparent in the credentials report; of 700-plus possible delegates only 569 were certified, even after moving up 170 alternates. Two of the primary candidates were not in attendance because they have petitioned onto the ballot.
There's something wrong with a system that holds a rally to appoint candidates to the primary ballot, and two of the three candidates cannot participate. The problem is the ability of candidates to petition onto the ballot and the Republican Party policy of not allowing petitioners to campaign at the assemblies. They won't change the system because the politicians don't want to change it. Why should they face carefully selected delegates at an assembly when they can buy a petition through the well-informed voters in Walmart parking lots?
So, if the Legislature won't change the law, perhaps the Republican Party could change its policies. The district assemblies should be a warm up for the state assembly. Instead of shunning petitioned candidates, maybe district and state assemblies could welcome them. Why not invite petitioners to campaign and speak at district and state assemblies? Then, after nonpetitioners are established on the ballot, maybe hold a second poll including the petitioners to determine the order of appearance on the ballot.
Something needs to be done. More and more candidates are choosing the path of least resistance and petitioning onto the ballot. As a result, conservatives at the caucus level are realizing that their efforts are futile.