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A crowd lines the streets of South Boulder Road to watch the motorcade of law enforcement and first responders to honor Boulder police officer Eric Talley, who was killed in a mass shooting at the Boulder King Soopers on March 22.

When lives are in danger

It is ironic that only a day or two before the mass murders in Boulder it was named the best place in the USA to live and the seventh “safest” place to live. Many cities, including Boulder, are limiting police actions and defunding police to provide funds for mental health professionals to neutralize life threats by their intervention. Why wasn’t a mental health professional the first one at the scene sent to neutralize the threat before a dedicated, underpaid police officer lost his life to save others? It’s an obvious and safe assumption that such action would have only resulted in more lives lost, including that of the mental health professional.

Obviously, the shooter had mental health issues that counseling beforehand might have prevented the massacre. However, the only issue presented is that he felt resented or unaccepted as a Muslim. There was nothing else that put him on the “radar” to take such extreme action. He passed background checks to purchase weapons. He had no history of violence or arrest records. Investigations into why he did it, why he chose King Soopers, why that time a day to initiate the attack, whether the victims were targeted or random, are ongoing. These questions will never be answered for sure no matter how thorough the investigation at taxpayer expense. Even a confession of the perpetrator might or might not be true. He might not really know himself.

There is a time and a place for mental health professionals, but they will never replace law enforcement when lives are in danger. Over the years many law enforcement professionals, some with mental health training and some without, who have been successful at “talking down” potential killers and eliminating or minimizing loss of life. Few mental health professionals are prepared to “take down” a shooter or neutralize a violent situation.

There is certainly a need for more trained mental health professionals but not at the expense of law enforcement. Support your local law enforcement as well as your mental health professionals!

R. Wayne Bughman

Colorado Springs

Those who risk their lives for ours

From the tragedy in Boulder taking the life of the heroic officer Eric Talley, to the difficult year that our men and women in blue have encountered with public perception, it is not difficult to imagine that fewer people are choosing that line of work (“Colorado police ranks down amid COVID-19, calls for reform” March 28).

While acknowledging the need for police reform, it is important that we go about it in a way that is also supportive of those who risk their lives to protect ours. Sens. Paul Lundeen, Bob Gardner and John Cooke show this well in SB 21-183. Rather than abandon the notion of police reform, they have added protection and clarity for police officers. Their bill is excellent, and we hope that it passes.

Russ and Juliann McPadden

Colorado Springs

Lifting the mask mandate

I was alarmed when I read in local news today that Mayor John Suthers does not intend to extend the mask mandate beyond April 16. While it is true that adults are eligible for vaccination Friday, it is not estimated that vaccines will be available to all who want them until mid-May. This leaves a monthlong gap where the unvaccinated will be unprotected. This is not even accounting for the two-week period before antibodies build up or for two-dose vaccines that stretch over weeks.

I support opening up businesses at this juncture as those who are still waiting on vaccines can choose not to eat out or go shopping, but everyone needs to eat and not everyone can afford instacart. I remember what grocery shopping was like before the mask mandate; I didn’t enter my local King Soopers for five months.

Health and epidemiology experts across the country are warning about lifting these mandates too early, particularly considering the rise of more contagious and deadly variants spreading all over the country. To me, it seems irresponsible and careless to lift the mask mandate in mid-April. At the end of May when access is available for all and there has been a two-week waiting period for antibody development is a much safer, more sensible and healthy alternative.

Majel Campbell

Colorado Springs

We could all be saving lives

The world has been devastated by a killer virus that has taken over 500,000 in our country alone. Some very simple and possible ways to try and take this threat out of our world are here and available. One is wearing masks, one is staying a safe distance from others, one is washing your hands often. Best of all, one is taking a vaccine that shows much promise in eliminating this killer. None of these seem dangerous or difficult, and yet thousands of people, our citizens, are refusing to do any of them. I don’t understand it.

We could all be saving lives, giving ourselves a chance to get back to our lives, to go places, see friends and relatives, live without fear of being exposed. Most importantly, we could all be saving lives by not exposing others. Why on earth would everyone not want this? The most infuriating and in my opinion, immoral issues having to do with refusing to help this situation are the complete lack of not only care for our fellow humans, but the apparent disinterest in the whole world being eventually destroyed if we can never overcome this awful disease. Why, anti-vaxers and others refuse to help. Why?

Sally Alberts

Monument

Benefi

ting from many vaccinations

I hope I never meet up with Judy Hufford. I’m convinced I am still celebrating healthy birthdays (almost 80 now!) because of the vaccinations ‘developed over’ my lifetime.

These include polio, measles, tetanus, Hepatitis’ A and B, rubella, whooping cough, mumps, smallpox, diphtheria, pneumococcal diseases, HPV, meningococcal diseases, shingles, and yes, even rabies.

So, Ms. Hufford, you might be a carrier of one or more if these and not know it. Therefore, I hope you realize your longevity well might be because those around you and those who have crossed your path, have indeed, been vaccinated for many of these diseases. As you say, “...no one has any right to tell us what do with our bodies.” I intelligently choose to do whatever is necessary to take care of my body, which has included many vaccinations over the years.

Nancy Hawley

Colorado Springs

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