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‘Put It to the People’ aptly named
Elizabeth Dalebroux’s letter announcing the “Put It to the People” petition drive is very appropriately named. Unfortunately, gun-obsessed individuals like Dalebroux’s group, the leadership of the NRA, the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and others have been “putting it to the people” of Colorado for years.
With some 600 people killed in gun-related incidents in Colorado yearly — nearly as many as are killed in vehicle accidents, and some 30,000 killed in the U.S. in gun-related incidents (11,000 in homicides and 19,000 in suicides and accidents), gun-obsessed organizations having been putting it to the people of Colorado and the nation for decades. Don’t believe me: Just read the Denver Post and see the gun mayhem on the streets in Colorado each night.
The U.S. leads the industrial world in annual gun-related deaths by far (the closest has less than 200 yearly), and the rest of the world looks in disbelief at the U.S. obsession with violence and guns, and being unable to have even reasonable laws and restrictions.
None of the recent laws passed by the courageous Colorado legislature limits the Second Amendment rights in the U.S. Constitution; in fact, they make life safer for all of us in Colorado. I am a gun owner and believe in the Second Amendment and private ownership of guns, but the situation in the U.S. is crazy.
Just in the first month of the new laws, 10 people applying to purchase guns using the universal background check provision have been flagged and prevented from a purchase. Could one of these have committed another Columbine or Aurora theater massacre? Would any reasonable person be opposed to having the backgrounds of all gun purchasers checked or feel the need for a bullet clip with more than 15 rounds? Would you want people with mental illness, court restraining orders and felony convictions having the ability to purchase guns without a background check? Do you really feel a person can learn how to safely use a gun by a course over the Internet? Can you really believe that Dalebroux’s group is pressing for no limits on gun magazines? How many people could be mowed down in a gun massacre in the future?
Let’s reject this insanity and bullying and stand up to these gun-obsessed groups. More guns do not make us more safe; in the hands of the inappropriate, guns make us more insecure and endanger the safety of all of us.
C. George Johnston

Van de Water a wise choice for Jeffco school board
As a Jeffco resident, parent and volunteer on various committees that support Jeffco Schools, I have a vested interest in strong schools. Jeffco Schools helps drive Jeffco’s economy, supports strong property values, and delivers well-prepared young adults into the workforce.
I’m sure many of you also participate in our community and value the high performance of our schools. In November we will elect three new Board of Education members who will undertake a profound task. As a community activist, I want to ensure the right individuals are elected to the school board.
That’s why I support Gordon “Spud” Van de Water for District 5. He has worked in education research and policy for 30 years, ran his own company for 18 years, spent 15 years staffing education boards, has 25 years of board experience, attained four postsecondary degrees, and has seven years of military leadership training.
Spud will be focused on student achievement and supporting teachers and principals. Jeffco Schools is a state and national leader, and Spud will work with the next board to make it even better.
Whether you have children in Jeffco schools or not, you are affected by this election, and it is important to research school board candidates. Learn more about Spud at www.spud
Arist Athanasopoulos

Republicans won’t be happy unless they harm the poor
First, Republicans shut down the government because Democrats won’t defund the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Not only is this the law, it’s a good law for the 30 million Americans who don’t have health insurance. People and families who don’t have insurance must no longer suffer, die or go bankrupt because they can’t afford insurance. Small-business owners can also buy insurance on the new insurance marketplaces (www.connectforhealthco.com).
Now, Republicans say that unless we agree to cut back on programs that help the poor or elderly like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, they won’t let the government pay the bills it already has racked up.
Not raising the debt ceiling would be a catastrophe for all but the very rich. Interest rates will skyrocket, 401k’s will take a plunge, as will home values, and we will have another recession or perhaps a depression.
But, hey, what do the Republicans who back people like the Koch brothers have to lose?
Kathie Hart

Thanks from fund-raiser
On behalf of the Center for the Church and Global AIDS, thank you to all Hike to HEAL – Help Eliminate AIDS in our Lifetime hikers, volunteers and sponsors.
Without you, the rural AIDS walk would not have been turned from a dream into a reality. You all helped make this hike a huge success! All proceeds from the hike will help fund programs for It Takes a Village and the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center and help us meet our mission statement: support and advocate for persons infected and affected by HIV and AIDS around the world with programs of education, prevention and treatment.
Thank you again, and we hope we can count on your support again for the second annual Hike to HEAL in 2014!
Rhonda Dern
Hike to HEAL coordinator
Center for the Church
and Global AIDS