Letters 5/20/21

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Correction: Last week’s Weed Between the Lines (RE: “Getting legalization ‘right,’” May 13), incorrectly listed members of CPEAR. The story has been updated online for accuracy. We apologize. 

What we can do

Want to thank Chuck Wright for his letter “Move the Needle on Gun Violence” (Re: Letters, May 13). I appreciate the proposed “outside the box” ideas to address the causes of gun violence instead of just throwing more ineffective and unpopular gun control legislation at the problem (kind of like throwing more drugs at cancer instead of addressing the causes of that). State by state or city by city legislation doesn’t work because anyone can cross any state or city line and still get whatever gun they want. We need an intelligent nationwide approach.

What do countries with much less gun violence do that the U.S. is not doing? Are people who are healthy, happy, welcome in the community, well fed and uniquely respected likely to commit gun violence? It would seem not.

How about we look to put people to work in healthy regenerative agriculture and energy sourcing and shoring up our infrastructure; consider transitioning into a more sustainable (not consumer-based) economy; reduce our focus and spending on militarist activities; and provide maternity/early childhood parental leave, secondary education and full-spectrum health care for all who want it at no extra cost to The People? Rep. Judy Amabile said, “…what can we do in terms of mental health that will make it easier to get an appointment with a psychiatrist than it is to go buy a gun,” (Re: “The tide has turned,” News, May 13). 

Yes, what can we do that will make it easier to do anything except buy a gun and randomly shoot people when we are upset? Why do we even think that is an option?

R. Lawrence/Boulder

Policing in America 

Americans are struggling with the need to re-imagine policing of America. Americans know of uses of force and violence against Native Americans, slaves, Mexicans, women and children. Consider the fear which our police officers must experience in a nation overflowing with guns. This makes it difficult to compare American police encounters to nations with few weapons. Police in 17 nations carry no guns, including Norway, the U.K. (excepting Northern Ireland), New Zealand and Ireland. Here is a summary of police/citizen outcomes: 

Average number of deaths per year from police: Australia: 5; Austria: 1; Denmark: 2; Finland: 3; France: 10; Germany: 8; Netherlands: 3; Norway: 1; England and Wales: 2; South Africa: 400; U.S.: 1,140.

After massacres in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, their government successfully offered to buy back weapons. Just imagine statues across America… doves, children on swings, kites… made of melted-down weapons! 

Barry Karlin/Lafayette 

The filibuster should be put out of our misery

The filibuster is an archaic relic of America’s racist past. The rule has no place in a modern democracy.

In the past century, segregationists and white supremacists have brandished the filibuster to block over 200 anti-lynching bills and to frustrate passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for 60 days. It is prime time to slay this racist cudgel.

“Democratic” Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are acutely aware of this history as they continue to express support for the filibuster. I urge them and the rest of the Senate to have courage and get rid of the filibuster this summer. Americans voted for a progressive national agenda — we can’t let a minority of senators continue to protect racist policies using the filibuster.

Rob Edward/Louisville 

Colorado Legalization is a joke

Shame on you, Andrew Freedman! (Re: “Getting legalization ‘right,’” Weed Between the Lines, May 13) The fact is legalization has been a transfer of wealth from the growers and pioneers who carried this medicine (in constant fear of incarceration) for decades into the hands of the state and venture capitalists with little regard to the growers, the patients and the culture who carried this medicine for generations. This is a grand theft-total larceny at its finest because of the way the State of Colorado structured this “legalization”! It has left the workers and patients behind. In the beginning, workers were subjected to hazardous pesticides and unscrupulous owners whose main concern was the bottom line and filling their pockets and state government pockets. This industry should’ve been set up like the trades with fair wages for all workers and appropriate benefits and a living wage. Instead owners and workers get screwed with owners paying exorbitant taxes and workers getting between $10 and $15 an hour typically with no benefits and mostly 1099ed. Shame on you, Colorado state government. Not to mention a mediocre product that is mostly machine trimmed with potential mold and bugs. Colorado legalization is a joke. Know your grower or grow it yourself. Boycott dispensaries!

William C. Donohoe/Boulder

Speak up for American families

Great news to hear a majority of Americans support the President’s American Families Plan (RE: “Democrats become the progressive family values party,” The Anderson Files, May 13.) Yet, why do questions remain about the possibility of its passage? If members of Congress hear from their constituents about the importance of this legislation, the roadblocks to passage would be removed. Political will is created when our calls and letters keep pouring in and our follow-up continues asking the question “What is holding up passage of the American Families Plan?” Democracy works when we use our voices to call on our representatives (202-224-3121) to take action! If they don’t, the ballot box is our next option.

Willie Dickerson/ Snohomish, Washington

A win-win for all

As a small business owner and Medicaid consultant, I’ve worked hard to support Coloradans and small businesses alike, and help them navigate the complexities of Medicaid and commercial insurance requirements, enrollments, billing and claims. And yet, I am still unable to provide comprehensive health care coverage for my own employees. Instead, we offer a paid subscription to a concierge doctor that addresses all of our primary care needs. But this is simply not enough to keep them and their families safe and to keep small businesses like me competitive.

We are living in a time when no one — and I mean no one — can afford to not have access to health care. This is why we need the Colorado Health Insurance Option to lower costs and expand options for hard-working Coloradans who are struggling to access coverage. Passing the Colorado Option will create a standardized benefit plan, which will be available to the individual and small group market through private insurance carriers. It would be a win-win for small businesses and consumers alike.

The future of our small business community lies in their ability to provide affordable health care that works for everyone, not just for big companies. It is time to stop talking and take action. 

Stephanie Farrell, owner of Left Hand Management, Englewood