Exploiting tragedy for political reasons

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that Monday’s Mike Littwin column, “Why should any hero die for going to school?” was so biased. Dissing a kid who defended his friends is bad enough but lying by omission to push an agenda on such tragedy is inexcusable.

The STEM school shooters broke into a gun safe and stole the pistols they’re prohibited from possessing. Then, they tried to torch the home where one of them lived. Then, they murdered. What part of that isn’t already illegal; what part would have been prevented by any new law?

An unrelated family withdrew their kids from STEM over fear that one of the shooters would do exactly what he did. Another parent wrote months earlier that bullying and violence at STEM would lead to another Columbine. But Littwin didn’t mention any of that, nor the fact that STEM kids walked out of a partisan gun-control rally to chant “mental health!” outside.

I teach. After that shooting, in the context of debating a Henry Ford quote on facing problems when we see them, I asked several overcrowded classrooms of kids if any of them would be surprised to learn that the shooters were bullied or that STEM kids saw it coming. No student said that would surprise them, not one. So, why are the so-called adults again exploiting tragedy to politically control inanimate objects when the “mental health!” issues are so clear to the kids?

Ed Herlik

Colorado Springs

We have a heart problem

Several articles Sunday were discussing the horrific school shooting at the STEM school in Highlands Ranch, and others before that one happened. My husband and I were raised in Texas. My Dad had a locked gun cabinet, with glass door, in our family room. Never, ever did it occur to my siblings or to me, to touch a gun without my Dad. My husband was on the golf team in high school. He would have his shotgun and waders in his trunk when he went to school. After playing golf after school, he and a few friends would go duck hunting, legally. His parents and the school were very aware what he was doing. Shooting clubs were in some high schools. There were no school shootings! We both had the Ten Commandments on display in our schools. We also had morning prayers. We were taught by our parents and church the basic principles of “treat people how you want to be treated, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”

We do not have a gun problem. Guns have always been around. We have a heart problem.

For at least two generations, young people have not been taught those basic principles, or even right from wrong.

Cheri Ofner

Colorado Springs

Parents, schools must do something

I don’t have the magic answer, but there must be a way to prevent any more of our precious children from getting slaughtered just trying to go to school.

To parents:

Stop pretending your kid isn’t a bully and do something about it; but do not just beat them, because that form of punishment only turns a kid into a bully.

If your kid is being bullied, raise holy heck with the school board, involve the media, or move him/her to another school, but be sure to get your kid some counseling.

Pay attention to what kids are viewing/sending online — and restrict some of it if you need to.

If you have guns in your home, it doesn’t matter how many rules you think you have about not touching them without supervision: secure those guns.

To schools:

It’s way past time to take the effects of bullying seriously. Figure it out and do something.

To NRA & politicians:

Get real and accept that in excess of 90% of all mass and school shootings are committed by American citizens with mental/bullying/anger issues and access to guns, so enough with the fear/hate mongering about immigrants.

This is not a political issue: this is a dead kid issue.

The 2nd Amendment says nothing about anybody having the right to make it easier to commit murder. We have laws in this country because there are some people don’t have the sense God gave a goose.

Everybody listed above needs to step up and at least try to be the same kind of hero that these dead and wounded kids are... you know, the ones who stepped in front of a bullet trying save others.

Maggie Mae Stone

Black Forest

Another view of governor’s town hall

I read with interest Rachel Stovall’s article “Gov. Polis town hall incident wasn’t a civil protest” in The Gazette as I was in attendance at the Gov. Polis’ town hall at Sierra High School. Previous to the town hall, I participated with others in peacefully and respectfully protesting some of the legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Polis. Some signs mentioned SB-181 (oil & gas), SB-042 (National Popular Vote), HB-1257 & HB-1258 (circumvent TABOR), and HB-1032 (sex ed).

Personally, I held a sign that stated “Government’s Enemy: Government Control of Our Lives”.

I agree with Rachel that shouting chants, booing, or even cheering or loud clapping disrupts events of this type. It does not promote public discourse. It was evident that Gov. Polis had no real intent of interacting with the audience as a whole. Even so, respect and courtesy should be displayed.

Stovall forgot one item of interest. Perhaps she did not witness the incident as I did. Prior to the security guard attempting to remove LaDonna Robertson, who was displaying a cloth with “recall Polis” on her back, the principal of Sierra High signaled to the security guard and pointed him to LaDonna to remove her. This at the conclusion of the town hall, where she along with the rest of us were leaving.

If the principal had not done that, there would not have been the incident and the security guard would still be employed. I question the principal’s tactics and timing.

John Heimsoth

Colorado Springs

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