LETTERS: No one is enforcing the laws; caught in a real-life dilemma | Opinion

Second Amendment

No one is enforcing the laws

Let me start with I am a former police officer. The shooting in Boulder this week was a horrific event, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the slain officer’s family and the other victims families. But as normal after one of these mass shootings the first thing that the Democrats and the media do is scream for more gun control, which is the case of both of our Colorado senators.

Colorado has a law in place banning high-capacity magazines. We also have a law requiring background checks on gun sales, including gun shows and private sales. We even have a red flag law. What we don’t have is the same thing every other state in this country, no one is enforcing the laws on the books.

The brother and sister of this shooter have told certain media outlets that the shooter was mentally ill and “paranoid.” How and why then did he have a weapon? If the family knew he was mentally ill then why didn’t they contact the local police, courts, someone and use Colorado’s red flag law to take/keep him from having a weapon (which he did) and from buying another. Another example of a law on books not used.

The FBI crime statistics show more people are killed each year by knives and blunt force trauma than by guns in mass shootings, but the media doesn’t report that fact. President Joe Biden wants to ban assault weapons, but he doesn’t tell the American people that assault weapons (are machine guns) and were banned in 1965. If the major cities in this country, Denver, New York, Portland, Chicago would use the laws that are on the books and actually put criminals in jail there would be less crime. Instead, they try to pass more laws that only affect the law-abiding citizen.

So to our Democratic senators, let’s have a real conversation about the mental health problem in this country. How do we fix that, and keep weapons out of the hand of the mentally ill, not take the Second Amendment Rights away from everyone else?

Walter L. Gale

Colorado Springs

Caught in a real-life dilemma

The Colorado Springs Gazette labeled the recent shootings in Boulder a nightmare. If only. Nightmares suggest being asleep. Eventually, the one dreaming awakens and the nightmare — seemingly real — is over.

We are caught in a real-life dilemma of our own making. Awake, but paralyzed. “Our inaction makes Congress complicit,” a senator said after the Boulder shooting.

From 1994-2004, AR-15s were banned nationally. Every effort to overturn the ban in court was rejected. In 2004, the ban expired. A Stanford University study reviewed U.S. mass shootings over a 35-year period and found that in the decade after the ban expired, mass shooting deaths increased by 347%.

Aurora, 2012, 12 killed. Newtown, 2012, 26 killed. Orlando, 2016, 49 killed. Parkland, 17. El Paso, 22. All by gunmen using AR-15s. Now Boulder.

Last week, the NRA boasted about blocking a ban on assault-style rifles in Boulder. 10 dead.

Mass shootings are not a nightmare. Rather, we are awake and held hostage by the NRA and its zeal to protect these weapons of mass destruction. Maybe AR-15s belong in war, but they do not belong on the streets of a democracy.

Our legislators are paralyzed by the perceived power and threat of the NRA. We who grieve the loss of innocent lives must organize. Demand the reinstatement of the ban on AR-15s. Speak of this as a public health crisis. And join Colorado Faith Communities United. And then maybe our paralysis will come to an end. And we’ll awaken, and our mass shootings will decline, again.

Roger Butts

Colorado Springs

System needs to be overhauled

Another tragedy, another rush to knee-jerk response that will only curb the Second Amendment rights of the law abiding. To really strengthen background checks the system needs to be overhauled. I suggest that first it is made available to everyone. If it is truly necessary to check whomever you pass a gun, then it should be necessary for anyone to check them out!

Secondly, the system needs to be enhanced with the reason for barring an individuals right to acquire a firearm and the individual should have easy access to challenge that. I also strongly suggest that when a prohibited individual attempts to acquire a firearm that police are instantly notified. And finally I propose that any individual put on such a list be notified in writing of such inclusion and the timely manner and means of challenging that listing. This last should be at the expense of the list holder so as to not unduly burden the individual. That might keep the casual additions to a minimum.

Michael S. Welsh

Colorado Springs

Patting themselves on the back?

Last week, the NRA celebrated its efforts in overturning Boulder’s ban on assault weapons and warned other cities that they would continue to fight any localities that were considering passing similar bans.

This week, 10 people lost their lives in an assault-rifle rampage in Boulder. I’m wondering how many of those celebrants are still patting themselves on the back.

Kathleen Eichinger

Colorado Springs

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