Need to focus on the true goal

As I dropped my son off at school this morning, I couldn't help but think of the image President Obama tweeted of Tom Mauser. Tom was holding a picture of his son Daniel who lost his life in the Columbine school shooting. I tried to put myself in Mauser's shoes imagining what it would be like to receive that horrible call telling me that my son wasn't coming home from school.

I couldn't.

I literally can't imagine the pain and suffering a parent goes through in the loss of their child. Even though I can't imagine that pain, my heart breaks for all of the parents who have lost a child in these horrible senseless acts.

As a state lawmaker, I want to ensure my son and all Colorado children have the opportunity to learn and grow free of the threat of violence in their schools.

Unfortunately, gun control laws do nothing to help us accomplish this goal.

We need to remain focused on eliminating schools as soft targets, making improvements regarding mental health issues, and reducing recidivism. Even though we have seen a number of mass shootings at our schools in recent years, the crime rate continues to drop. According to the Colorado Department of Corrections, crime is down 34 percent in the past five years. Let's continue that trend by working together.

If we are going to be successful we need to focus on the true goal we are trying to accomplish, which is enhancing public safety. Unfortunately, far too many people have incorrectly identified the goal as controlling the purchase and use of guns in America without any real evidence this is going to do anything to enhance public safety.

We are never going to eliminate every tragedy that is going to happen, but I know this; if we remain focused on enhancing public safety together, fewer parents will be left knowing and understanding the pain and suffering of Tom Mauser.

Rep. Mark Waller, Colorado Springs


Recall from an inside perspective

I am one of the three people who submitted the recall petitions of Sen. John Morse to the Secretary of State in June. This letter is in response to the Aug. 15 editorial from Phil Kendall. I live in Senate District 11. Contrary to the accusation leveled by Sen. Morse, I was not contacted by any out of state organizations or groups like the NRA or RMGO to do this. When I began this recall effort, I did so of my own accord.

In February, during legislative debate in Washington and Denver, I began writing Sen. Morse and my other state and federal legislators about the gun control legislation. Of all my elected officials that I wrote to, Sen. Morse was the only one who did not answer.

Through research, I learned that Colorado citizens have the right to recall their state legislators. That is when I began this recall because I was fed up with the state of affairs in Denver and did not know what else to do.

Furthermore, to add insult to injury, Sen. Morse publicly announced on national TV that he was not going to read my emails or my neighbors' emails.

He also told his fellow senators to "move on and don't read any more [emails] than they have to."

He also changed state Senate committee rules which effectively silenced the voices of hundreds of Colorado citizens from testifying on legislation impacting them.

Morse also promoted gun control legislation that hurt the Colorado economy and will cost hundreds of lost jobs and millions in lost revenue while doing nothing to make us safer.

But don't be fooled by his public statements regarding the need to cleanse "a sickness from our souls."

His radical personal gun ban agenda is so out of touch his fellow legislators could not support it. The legislation he introduced would have held firearm manufacturers and retailers liable for illegal use of a firearm they sold.

Yet, even after the legislature ended debate, Sen. Morse stiffened his spine and failed to engage with his constituents. His campaign even called our volunteers criminals and sexual predators for having the audacity to obtain signatures on petitions in order to recall him.

Therefore, I and over 10,000 of my fellow constituents and neighbors agreed that Sen. Morse should be recalled for his actions.

Therefore, Senate District 11 citizens will have the opportunity to decide if he should remain our state senator or not. Beginning Sept. 5 through recall day on Sept. 10, I encourage the citizens of Senate District 11 to vote yes to recall Sen. Morse.

Rob Harris, Colorado Springs


Morse's 'family' is for the recall

There is one fact we are overlooking in the debate to recall Sen. John Morse: What do his fellow police officers have to say about him?

The Colorado Springs Police Protective Association has endorsed Bernie Herpin and called for the recall of Morse. This group is made up of officers that worked with him when he was on the force. They know about his gun laws but don't think they will bring safety to Colorado. Who would know better about how to fight crime than our own police officers?

Police officers are like family and know each other on a personal level and Morse's family is saying he should be recalled.

Jill Coleman, Colorado Springs