Letter: Sheriffs the wrong people to be against gun reform | AspenTimes.com
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Letter: Sheriffs the wrong people to be against gun reform

The following is an open letter sent to the County Sheriffs of Colorado.

Dear sirs,

Your membership letter says: “Many (criminals) are becoming more technologically savvy.” Your chart showing the increase in crime badly misrepresents the violent-crime statistics. The actual increase, using your figures, was 3.2 percent over the previous three-year average — not a lot. However, your chart wrongly shows an increase of about 150 percent. Is this “techno savvy”? Shame on you.

Actually, news reports indicate that the U.S. violent-crime rate has been in decline for about two decades. Again, shame on you.

If, and that’s if, the rate has increased in Colorado, it may just be an anomaly. However, Colorado has had a significant increase in population. Colorado also has had a boom in oil and gas work that puts young men together with drugs of all kinds and fosters violence. And, of course, there is an ongoing increase in the possession of firearms. Firearms kill an average of seven American children every day. Five are shot, and two kill themselves. This does not happen in any other country. An America that wants to be “great again” would fix this kind of problem.

This brings me to the fact that a large number of Colorado sheriffs mistakenly believe the Supreme Court’s decision (5-4) was correct in saying the Second Amendment gives a personal right to own guns. That is not what the Second Amendment says. There is no legal basis for this decision. However, even the Scalia opinion states that jurisdictions should have reasonable controls over guns. This always seems to be overlooked. Colorado needs far more restriction on the ownership of guns and on the type of guns allowed, not the opposite. Colorado does not need its sheriffs suing the governor to reduce gun regulations.

Regardless of the Second Amendment, It is simply stupid for law enforcement officials to promote more widespread ownership of ever-more dangerous guns. Why? Because more peace offers are going to be shot, not to mention the general population. Going beyond your own self-preservation, you will have more violent crimes instead of fewer.

The Supreme Court decision happened only because the five partisan hacks on the bench did a favor for the gun manufactures, the same ones that heavily finance Republican politics. More Americans will die or suffer heinous wounds because of the greed of weapons corporations.

As for your scholarship program, it seems that every nonprofit likes to have one. Scholarship programs would hardly be necessary if the state of Colorado funded education as it once did. Colorado’s education funding has dropped 69 percent, the worst in the nation. This is thanks entirely to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. None of the programs you maintain would even be necessary if taxes had been allowed to keep pace with inflation and growth. TABOR only serves the wealthiest in the state, who now pay far less tax than they would have.

So, regretfully, I will not be making a donation to the County Sheriffs of Colorado for an honorary membership.

Patrick Hunter

Carbondale


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