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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I attended a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel recently at the Ramada Inn in Glenwood Springs and it was a very sobering experience. Others walked out smiling and laughing, but I didn’t get the joke.

The speaker was a father, and he spoke about his son and how he joined the Air Force, came back from a tour in Afghanistan, and got hit by a drunk driver going home one night.

The speakers also had goggles that showed what impairment can do after just a couple drinks. The person who was called upon to demonstrate couldn’t walk straight after putting them on.



There were night goggles to show how it affects motorists while driving impaired at night.

It’s not just drinking and driving, it’s anything where you will be impaired while driving, whether it be prescription drugs, alcohol or marijuana.



We don’t think about the risks because we are impaired at that moment.

People don’t think twice about drinking and driving, or how that choice will affect them. It costs $10,000 or more for a DUI, far more than spending $20 to get a ride home.

I have seen people get pulled over and not get a ticket for drinking and driving. Now where is the justice?

Some had to go to this class. I think everyone should attend, whether they get caught or not. Maybe if more young people went to MADD presentations, we wouldn’t have a person killed every 45 minutes by drunk driving.

In 1995 13,000 were arrested in Colorado for drunk driving. By 2006, that number had gone up to almost 40,000. I don’t even want to know what that number is today.

Is it so hard to call a friend, a taxi, get a hotel room or plan ahead to have a designated driver? It takes one decision to end the rest of your life, or that of someone else.

I walked out of there thinking how precious life really is. How, in a split second, everything can come crashing down.

So next time you go out and have one drink, think about your best friend, your co-worker, your kids. They could be out on the road when you made that decision to drink and drive, and that decision was the last one you ever made.

MADD will present again at 6 p.m. on June 19, Aug. 21 and Nov. 27, and in Spanish at 6 p.m. on May 7 and Nov. 5, all at the Ramada Inn, 124 W. Sixth St. in Glenwood Springs.

Amanda K. Stroder

Rifle

I am writing in regards to the “40 Days For Life” protesters who’ve been picketing the Planned Parenthood office for the last week. I work in West Glenwood, so I see them out there every morning in the cold.

I have to say I admire their commitment, but their logic escapes me.

If they hate abortion as much as their signs and letters would seem to indicate, they should be on that sidewalk singing Planned Parenthood’s praises. By helping women plan their reproductive lives, this one small-town office has probably prevented more abortions than all those folks waving signs ever will.

Simply put, by helping prevent unwanted pregnancy, contraception helps prevent abortion.

We disagree on that, I guess, but the protesters’ grit is an inspiration to me and my friends to get involved too. We won’t be joining them on the sidewalk, but we’re committing ourselves to making a donation to Planned Parenthood every day they’re out there.

And we will, of course, let the workers there know just how much we appreciate everything they do there, every day. Call it “40 Days for Women’s Lives.”

Keleigh Hardie

Glenwood Springs

I’m obliged to reference a letter from Jim Hawkins published Feb. 29, discovered by one of my “many Battlement Mesa associates” whose letters “portray that same know-it-all approach.”

This isn’t a rebuttal, merely an observation and response followed by an opinion.

My observation is this writer’s “know-it-all” accusation seems ambiguous. His opening describes his expertise in a “myriad of possible topics ranging from asphalt plants and organic farms to an answer for world peace.” How’s that for knowledge?

In response, I resent categorization of my letters as “I’m right and you never will be.”

In accepting the Post Independent’s welcome to make submissions for its Opinion section, my intent is always to merely offer an expression of my opinion open to disagreement and often rebuttal. The insinuation that I don’t respect differing opinions is wrong. It actually pleases me to hear opposing responses, such as Mr. Hawkins’s, to consider.

My Super Bowl letter was an off-beat divergence from a norm of more serious subjects. I almost submitted a similar Oscar awards evaluation, which would have been deceitful, having avoided watching the show.

Now, with those two monumental, historical and meaningful events behind, I am ready to express my latest “opinion” on a subject at least as significant as the pro football championship and Hollywood hype.

Let’s take a look at the current condition and the future concern for our great nation. I have already done so by reading “Ameritopia, The Unmaking of America” by Mark Levin, the No. 1 bestselling author of “Liberty and Tyranny.”

In case football fans and moviegoers haven’t noticed, our country is in a world of hurt. I am urging all who care about our liberty and freedom and are concerned about America’s future to read this book. Without turning this into a book review, I simply close with two references:

Ronald Reagan reminded us that “freedom is never more than one generation away from distinction.”

Now, Mark Levin warns that the threat of utopianism – a force that both allures free people and destroys them – is overtaking this nation.

Will “liberty and justice for all” prevail?

Richard Doran

Parachute


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