Vail Daily letter: Donovan should reconsider
Our beautiful state of Colorado has experienced some of the most horrific mass shootings in the last several years. The entire country has viewed the horrors of Columbine and Aurora. Our own community of Vail is not immune as there was a shooting at a bar in West Vail in 2009. One person was killed and three were injured by local man with a history of mental illness who was able to obtain firearms.
After the nightmare of 26 killed at Sandy Hook, in 2013 our Colorado Legislature took the appropriate steps of requiring background checks for gun ownership in our state. The legislators also passed a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. Both of these laws have been challenged. Both Sen. Kerry Donovan and our Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush voted not to repeal background checks. I applaud Sen. Donovan and Rep. Mitsch Bush taking the right and necessary stand to protect our citizens. Sen. Donovan has also proposed legislation for more effective treatment of the mentally ill, which is to be commended. However, this does not protect innocent victims who are killed or injured because of easy access to firearms by mentally ill people.
I was extremely disappointed to learn that Sen. Kerry Donovan, who grew up in Vail, has signed on as a co-sponsor to a bill that would repeal Colorado’s limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines. I was proud that our Legislature took reasonable steps to protect our communities from gun violence with the laws passed in 2013. The purpose of a high-capacity magazine is to kill as many people in as short a time as possible. High-capacity magazines don’t belong in our neighborhoods, shopping centers, our movie theatres, in our schools, or in places of worship. The only appropriate use is by the military. High capacity ammo magazines are an enormous danger to the safety of Coloradans in public places. Without the easy accessibility of high-capacity ammo magazines, it is less likely that someone can cause massive carnage in public places. Shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to make it more difficult for these killers? Placing limits on magazine size does just that. Saving lives should have the highest priority. I urge Sen. Donovan to reconsider her position and put the safety of our citizens first. A huge thank you to Gov. Hickenlooper for having the compassion and understanding to stand up, saying he will veto the repeal of the bill if it comes to his desk.