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I was stuck with the bill

(Refer to “Stuck with the Bill,” in the Dec. 8 – 14 edition of The Vail Trail.)

Happened to me, but when it did it was before the laws changed, 1995 to be exact, and today the government and state want my back taxes. I have two liens from them on my credit report. Credit charges I never made and now I can’t even rent an apartment because of my poor credit and all it took was an illegal alien who made up a number and started using it, employers who never checked and a government that didn’t care.

Ray Carney

Fallbrook, Calif.

In response to John Hannon’s article, “Life in the shooting gallery,” I have just a few thoughts. People have been killing each other forever. Even if there were no guns, it would still happen. Just because some are cancelable doesn’t matter. So are knives. So is a rock. You can still kill someone with it. Your argument that a gun has a longer range may be true, however most armed conflicts are within feet of each other according to FBI statistics. Did you know that there are over 20,000 gun laws on the books already? They work well, don’t they? What is a criminal by definition, someone who breaks the law? If you were going to kill someone, would you go out and register your gun with local authorities? It’s just another law to break. It is already a crime to have a gun if you’re a convicted felon. As far as your comment that no mass murder has ever used a baseball bat, I don’t believe that Ted Bundy ever used a gun in any of his murders, or any other notable serial killer. They prefer things much more personal, like strangulation. There will always be irresponsible gun owners, like parents who leave loaded guns around, and accidents will happen, just like there are with cars. But what if you’re not armed in your home or car or anywhere you choose to be, and are attacked? You have a right to protect yourself. Guns, or the mere presence of a firearm, thwart over a million attempted crimes a year, up from 250,000 10 years ago. Most rank-and-file police officers are against gun control. I know, I used to be one. It’s only big city chiefs who are politically motivated that call for more ineffective laws. As far as the part about the recent law just passed by Congress to protect gun manufactures from lawsuits by victims of crime, how many people sue Chevy or Ford if they have an accident? How is the product responsible for the action of its owner? Besides, it’s just greedy trial lawyers trying to get richer by big settlements. Suing gun manufacturers like the cities of Chicago or Boston or Cincinnati have done has been unsuccessful at all levels of our courts, and have been dismissed repeatedly by federal judges on cases that have been appealed. In conclusion, places like D.C., New York, Chicago that have the strictest gun laws on the books, yet consistently have the highest murder rates, why? Gun control does not work! Tougher prison terms and mandatory sentencing do. Enforce the laws already there. That’s what my criminology professor told me when I was in college earning my degree in criminal justice.

Sincerely,

Gary Zentz

Eagle

I would like to take this opportunity to personally and publicly thank the members of our community who so generously donated to the International Peace Initiatives (IPI) projects this past summer. Heartfelt thanks to Barbie Allen, Kevin and Robin Deighan, Cathy Edborg, Buck and Holly Elliott, Tina Fleishman and Frank Johnson, Susan and Harry Frampton, the Gorsuch Family, Scott Hovey, Paul and Sally Johnston, Dennis and Sheila Linn, Gerry and Harell McMahan, and Paula and Oran Palmateer. It is only because of your generosity that we were able to accomplish so much.

We worked very hard in six specific areas:

1. In compliance with the United Nations’ “Decade of Building Cultures of Peace” suggestions, we convened the Women’s International Grassroots Peace Congress in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose was to gather, honor, recognize the work of and strategize collectively about AIDS prevention and support of victims, orphans, and families, and to help build support systems and funding opportunities for grassroots efforts supporting individual communities. As highlighted in The Vail Trail, we hosted over 200 women from 14 African countries and seven additional countries and had a very successful conference. We forged lasting, helpful relationships with and for various community groups. We plan to host the conference every two years.

2. We sent a Trauma Management Team (which included Tina Fleishman and Sally Johnston) into rural areas in Kenya to work with teachers to help them manage the learning challenges that AIDS orphans face, especially when their grief is overwhelming. (Paul Johnston provided logistical support.)

3. IPI raised the funding (see above list!) and we participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the first Amani Community Home for AIDS orphans, a model being presented to the Kenyan Minister of Health. It is a community model designed to keep each community’s AIDS orphans “home” rather than the additional trauma and unsuccessful option of sending them to overcrowded state orphanages.

4. We also hosted internships for Denver University students who spent their summer working in AIDS orphanages.

5. We provided the networking for other international women’s groups to work personally with women’s groups in Kenya throughout the summer.

6. We launched INPEACE (The Institute of Nonviolence and Peace), a Kenyan nonprofit organization working with universities and communities to educate about nonviolent conflict resolution.

As I worked with the important concept of supporting grassroots community efforts as a real solution to the most devastating problems of the world, it was the support of my own grassroots community that taught me the deepest truths of that concept. Thank you all so much for going with me on this mission. Thanks for being my village. Together we did good work.

Michele Hovey

Edwards

(Refer to “Life in the shooting gallery” in the Dec. 1 edition of The Vail Trail)

Make your anti-gun argument to the 70-year-old man in Florida who used a shotgun to successfully defend himself against a group of motorcycle outlaws whom he had the temerity to complain about to the local police, and who confronted him later on in his own home. The outlaws kicked in the front door and intended to beat the old fellow to death. The outlaw had a baseball bat, but the old man had a shotgun. Judging by your article such things never happen to good people.

This sort of yellow journalism is a travesty. The author isn’t as critical of firearms as he is about the bill of rights, which includes recognition of the right to free speech. The author, editor and the advertisers who support this drivel ought to be ashamed of themselves for supporting anti-freedom propaganda like this.

Sincerely,

W.L. Emery

Sylvania, Ohio


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