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Letters to the editor: Local leaders must continue brave action on guns; we have to say no to harm, exploitation of animals


Carol Callicotte-Belmon: Firearms: Local leaders must continue brave action on guns

In Mitchell Byars’ article covering the lawsuits Rocky Mountain Gun Owners filed against Boulder County and cities that passed gun safety ordinances, RMGO states they will sue any city that passes any gun laws. They go on to label those city officials who passed these laws “evil tyrants.” These recently passed ordinances already exist in states with much lower rates of gun violence than Colorado and are commonplace around the world in the many, many countries where deaths by gun are rare. I’m grateful to our local leaders who bravely took steps to address our gun violence epidemic and disturbed by RMGO’s reckless extremism.

The U.S. has loose gun laws and a gun industry that has pushed hard the myth that we all must arm ourselves to be “safe,” leading to a nation with more than 120 guns per 100 people and a gun homicide rate 26 times higher than our peer nations. This is not a coincidence. The gun industry has made billions with something close to impunity, while hiding the reality of what all these guns in our society are actually used for. Research shows that those who use a gun in so-called self-defense are more likely to end up injured or killed than those who use other means to defend themselves. A gun in the home means that someone in that home is two times more likely to die by gun homicide, and in a domestic violence situation, the woman is five times more likely to be murdered by her abuser when a gun is present. Guns are the leading cause of death for children in this country, as homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings continue to rise.

We know that regulating the gun industry reduces deaths. Egregious SCOTUS decisions and reactive lawsuits continue to make us less safe. Enough already.

Carol Callicotte-Belmon, Louisville

Mark Wiesenfeld: Animals: We must say no to harm, exploitation

Thank You for printing Carol Walker’s well-written guest opinion, “Keep wild horses wild, stop cruel roundups,” from Aug. 14.

While on the surface this is a single issue, of interest primarily to Coloradans and the horses, it is a microcosm of humans’ disregard for virtually all other-than-human animals.

It exemplifies “speciesism,” defined by Joan Dunayer (author of the books “Speciesism” and “Animal Equality: Language and Liberation”) as “a failure, on the basis of species membership or species-typical characteristics, to accord any sentient being equal consideration and respect.”

Indeed, each “wild” horse is a sentient being — a living, feeling individual, experiencing life in his or her own unique way.

The actions of the Bureau of Land Management, and, by extension, both the U.S. Department of the Interior (its parent agency) and Congress which funds it, clearly display a lack of compassion, equal consideration and respect.

May we, individually and collectively, look into our hearts, and make choices, moment-to-moment, that cause the least harm to any individual, nonhuman or human.

Only when we say “No” to exploitation, harming and killing will we move toward a new paradigm — one that helps bring about a kinder, gentler, more just world for All.

Mark Wiesenfeld, Boulder

Mike Sawyer: School: Is it good or bad that our students don’t have opinions on racism?

After five days of back-to-school sub-teaching 7th-grade social science and humanities at my favorite “high needs” middle school the most profound takeaway was regarding racism. I shared how my all-white swimming pool where I lifeguarded for four summers was segregated and my Alabama high school integrated in 1967. I asked the diverse classroom “What do segregation and integration mean?” No answer. Is it good or bad that no Colorado student knew the definitions that my childhood environment led by the late Gov. George C. Wallace taught me?

Mike Sawyer, Denver