I would like to address Everett Peirce’s letter of July 25 in the Post Independent about the theater shootings.
I would like to place Mr. Peirce in a position that is totally reasonable and possible and ask that he think about how he would react.
He and his wife meet a couple they have known for years for dinner and a movie. The friends bring a couple new to the area with them, and during dinner Mr. Peirce learns that the man has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and is doing so now. Mr. Peirce lets him know how he feels about guns, and even though he is uncomfortable about it, he lets it go.
The movie theater is full but the group finds seats near the front. Shortly after the movie starts, a man enters, drops a smoke grenade and begins shooting. Everyone drops to the floor. Mr. Peirce remembers his new friend is armed. What would he do?
Knowing this gunman is coming closer, he sees him reach behind his back and pull his pistol. Is Mr. Peirce going to stop him and say, “I don’t believe in guns,” or urge him on and possibly save his own life?
The man stands up, placing himself in front of the gunman and begins to fire his weapon. Even though the gunman is wearing protection, the bullets still hurt and the gunman drops to his knees. Others come to help and the gunman is disarmed.
What’s Mr. Peirce’s response? How does he feel?
Same place and scene. Mr. Peirce is on the floor looking into his friend’s eyes and because of the fear, Mr. Peirce asks him to do something. He looks back and says he took his firearm to his car and locked it up because it upset Mr. Peirce. In the end he is killed and Mr. Peirce, though wounded, lives. How would he feel?
Nearly 10 percent of the population in Garfield County has concealed carry permits. How many people do we pass every day who are armed, yet they pose no threat?
The story regarding SG Interest’s intention to begin developing its Thompson Divide leases is the most hopeful economic news we have heard in this area in three years.
One does not have to go too far in western Colorado to see the toll inflicted by the recession and the subsequent sharp reduction in drilling activity. Virtually everyone knows someone who has lost a job or a business, or who has been forced to either spend weeks away from their families working in other parts of country, or pick up everything and move.
Many Post Independent readers have gone through this themselves. For those who remain, it has been a financial struggle, to say the least.
So it was with a sense of immense relief that most of us read that SGI is taking steps to finally begin drilling in our area.
Despite the wails of complaint from some in the anti-development crowd, this drilling program has the potential of bringing back some of the well-paying jobs that disappeared after the Great Recession hit western Colorado. It will bring back some of the supporting businesses, and the dollars that evaporated when the energy industry sought friendlier ground.
This may be just the shot in the arm that we need to begin mending our broken economy and return hope and prosperity to the people of Garfield County and the Western Slope.
In relating a bunch of psychobabble from the book “Republican Brain” in his Aug. 1 letter, “The conservative mind is governed by fear,” Tom Rutledge has informed me that I am fearful of just about everything under the sun, including the Sermon on the Mount, which I gather he reads as a manifesto proclaiming that big government should be the sole custodian of the general welfare.
Is Mr. Rutledge going to presume to tell me what Jesus would do. I suggest he doesn’t go there.
Thousands of people make claims they’ve seen Elvis, just like Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s claims that he sees voter fraud in Colorado. Elvis is dead, but the Republican push to prove rampant voter fraud hasn’t followed suit.
What made George W. Bush’s Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally resign? It was for the scandal surrounding the firing of eight U.S. attorneys for their refusal to prosecute non-existent voter fraud. The Republican Party tried desperately to make voter fraud an issue from 2005-2010 and it could not be found, anywhere. Not in any state in the nation. But the corporate cronies, their marketing teams, and the legislators they buy keep pushing voter ID laws to ensure corporate voice puts public voice on the endangered species list.
Pennsylvania recently shed a little light on voter ID laws with more than 758,000 eligible voters in the state being unable to cast a ballot this November; restricting access to ballots and to the polls for eligible voters who tend to vote Democratic.
Mr. Gessler’s claims of Colorado voter fraud have never been substantiated. It’s nothing more than a continued push for discriminatory state-issued voter IDs that have no value in the process of open democracy.
Gessler recently spoke at the Heritage Foundation, an ALEC-funded think tank that provides a place for corporate members to hear from legislators they paid good money to elect. If he actually possessed an improper ballot, one would think he’d be waving it as a personal triumph. Claims backed by other corporate crony Republicans with the same agenda aren’t facts.
Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch, was quoted as saying Gessler is playing politics.
“Many numbers have come out from the secretary of state’s office,” Toro said. “None of them have held up under scrutiny. Five thousand was a talking point … but that was never substantiated. The numbers get smaller every time they examine it. They still don’t have any proof that anyone was improperly registered.”
Gessler’s claims, like Elvis sightings, are fabrications of a corporate-induced imagination.
It’s a rare week that passes without headlines about some new scandal, Ponzi schemes, criminal negligence, corporate fraud, insider trading, illegal wiretapping, sexual abuse, etc. Frequently, when the dust settles, we’re left with a picture of a small number of people who were responsible, and we often learn that they have been at it for months or even years.
We hear about the Madoffs, Lays, Abramoffs and Sanduskys, but very rarely does anyone explore what the “little people” knew – the secretaries, bookkeepers, technicians, staff assistants, clerks and hundreds of others in a given organization.
Out of all these people, it’s very likely that one or more had information that caused them to at least suspect inappropriate, unethical, illegal or immoral activity. Indeed, it’s difficult to believe that not a single employee suspected wrongdoing in such cases. Yet we seldom hear that even one acted on what they knew.
Of course there is an occasional whistleblower, but far too often people who know that something is wrong fail to take any action. They don’t report their concerns to anyone in their organizational structure, they don’t contact a regulatory agency or other authorities, they don’t even write an anonymous letter to a news agency. They simply look the other way while the fabric around them unravels.
At federal, state, and local levels, consider how many scandals could be prevented, how many disasters could be averted, and how much pain and suffering could be avoided if just one of us would act.
Edmund Burke is often credited with saying, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Certainly the good men (and women) at Enron, Abu Ghraib and Penn State did far too little, and we should be asking why.
Why are we, as individuals, so willing to choose the easier wrong of silence and so unwilling to choose the harder right of getting involved?
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