COLUMN: Why we need libraries, even in the digital age
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Don't mess with Constitutional rights

Delta, Enterprise, Hertz, United etc. - this is just a partial list of companies who have expressed their contempt toward the National Rifle Association by taking away perks from its members. As a lifetime NRA member I would like to make it clear that the NRA is not an entity unto itself. It is an institution comprised of members, of people, American citizens who have chosen to have the NRA speak on their behalf in the promotion of legal and Constitutional gun ownership.

And as a private citizen I assert that whether one agrees or disagrees with the individual right to lawful gun ownership, it is certainly any person's right to make their thoughts known on the issue. Sadly, this is not the belief of the leaders of the above mentioned companies. For some reason, those people seem to think that they can decide who should have a political voice and who should not. They seem to think that they can decide who is allowed to speak for private citizens and who should be disallowed. Well, I would like to think that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Lets see how these companies like it when good American people, like those in the Georgia state Senate, stand against the lobbyists who try to obtain perks in the form of millions of dollars in tax incentives for Delta Airlines. The message here is don't mess with the first or second Constitutional rights of law abiding Americans. We will fight back.

David Potter

Colorado Springs

Determine a root cause

Let's see: ban sales of guns to anyone under 21 - really?

Individuals under 21 can't by liquor legally, right? Yet there still is a drinking problem among teenagers. Fake ID's are easy to obtain.

What makes anyone think a ban on gun sales to those under 21 will have any affect on those who want to obtain one? And I think anyone who is old enough to carry a weapon in combat should be allowed to purchase a weapon even if that person is under 21.

Oh, and by all means, let's pass more laws! The implementation of new laws falls on the shoulders of an unelected bureaucrat who answers to no one.

Let's get real, folks. How about determining a root cause via analysis and work on that.

I sure wish I had the answers.

Bob Schaller

Colorado Springs

Shooter's age doesn't matter

What the president of the United States and the NRA officials are avoiding discussing in public is that the two major mass shootings in the U.S. last year were done with semi-automatic weapons used by males over the age of 21. The shooter in Las Vegas, where 58 people were killed and many more wounded, was a white male who was 64 years old. The shooter in Orlando, Fla., last year at a nightclub, was 29 and a trained security guard allowed to carry a weapon.

The age of the shooter doesn't make any difference. It is the open access to weapons of war that makes the difference. Arming teachers is just one more distraction from their major job - teaching.

If the president and Congressional supporters of the NRA want to allow these weapons of war available to us, then why not machine guns and hand grenades? Silly, right? So are assault weapons in the hands of non-military personnel. Remember, the worst mass killing in the U.S. before the World Trade Towers were brought down, was by a white male military veteran, over the age of 21, with a truck load of fertilizer in Oklahoma.

John C. Orsborn

Colorado Springs

Questions about cyber defense

I was shocked to learn that there is not a large concerted U.S. government effort to defend or retaliate against Russian cyberattacks on our election process. As reported in The Gazette and other media, Admiral Mike Rogers, Director of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, testified to Congress that neither the president nor the secretary of defense has ordered such large scale cyber defense.

At the same time, press reports indicate that our president is not enforcing sanctions against the Russians, passed by Congress in law signed by the president. These sanctions were imposed to retaliate against Russian cyber interference in our last national election.

Admiral Rogers said, "I believe that President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that there's little price to pay and that therefore, I (Putin) can continue this activity." Our intelligence agencies have indicated that Russian activities to influence our political process and elections are currently still underway. Our country must be massively and expertly defended against Russian cyber aggression.

This raises serious questions about the competence or, at worse, the loyalty of our president.

H. Harvey Album

Colorado Springs

Gap toll road not a solution

Implementing a toll road as the "solution" for traffic in the Monument to Castle Rock "Gap" will prove to be failure for southern Colorado.

Putting in only three lanes is short sighted. By the time the lane is complete, a fourth will be needed. A toll lane, clustering most traffic in the same two lanes we have now, will exacerbate the problem.

CDOT claims an average 29 percent speed increase on U.S. 36 with a toll lane, but this is mostly due to averaging the higher speed toll lane with the same two congested lanes. Median speeds remain much lower.

Who uses toll lanes? My observation with I-70 toll lanes is that as congestion builds the toll lanes become populated with high end vehicles, Land Rovers, Infinitis, and BMWs. The economic elite is traveling faster, but not the average driver. The same will be true of the Gap toll lanes. The wealthy will be able to cruise on a lane paid by all, but the average taxpayer will not.

A toll lane will not solve the problem of heavy trucks congesting the free lanes. These slow moving monsters of the road cause backups on two lanes and become roadblocks when one takes miles to pass another. A third, free, lane is needed just for reasonable traffic flow.

A toll third lane will place an economic noose around southern Colorado for decades to come. I-25 is our only thin connection to the north and with the majority of the traffic remaining in two lanes, transit times will remain long, goods will move slower, and interaction with Denver will be difficult. This will be obvious to people, and businesses that consider settling or starting a business in southern Colorado and they will look elsewhere.

Our elected leaders must do better.

John Reinert

Colorado Springs

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