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Lamborn and the Black Forest Fire, meat-free living, gun control and more 

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • e-mail: letters@csindy.com

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Doug does disaster

Hey, Doug Lamborn, how do you like your vote to not fund disaster relief without budget cuts in other areas now?

Just like the Oklahoma senators who voted to not fund disaster relief without corresponding budget cuts, this type of myopic, selfish, self-interested, mercenary thinking and philosophy has come back to haunt our Colorado 5th District congressman — and more importantly us in the district — with our current wildfire tragedy!

Nonetheless, this is what you get when you are more interested in your corporate and industry donors than working to be sure we here in the 5th are prepared before a disaster, and assisted after a disaster, with help from that bad ol' government!

Where was Doug when we needed to have tankers and other equipment at the ready? After all, he is always touting his position on the House Armed Services Committee and how he holds sway with the military establishment for "the Springs"! Where is his influence?

— James M. Hesser

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: To read about Lamborn's contribution to the Black Forest firefight, see 'Blazing fast.'

Go vegan, save planet

A review of 12,000 papers on climate change, in the May 15 issue of Environmental Research Letters, found that 97 percent of scientists attribute climate change to human activities. Although we're unlikely to reverse climate change, we can mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, energy use, and meat consumption.

Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat consumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that it may be closer to 50 percent.

Carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, is generated by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport, and slaughter animals. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

Each of us has the power to reduce the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety of soy-based lunch meats, hotdogs, veggie burgers and soy- and nut-based dairy products, as well as an ample selection of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes, and transition tips are at livevegan.org.

— Carl Silverman

Colorado Springs

Standing up to cruelty

I have not met JL Fields, but read "Animal subtraction" (Break, June 5) with great interest. Even though I am mostly in Fields' "camp," I don't feel the article touched much on the fundamental issue.

Veganism is a stance against the cruel ways we use animals for our benefit. It is, fundamentally, a lifestyle of compassion. To boycott, to refuse to eat or wear animal products, to avoid entertainment (like circuses and rodeo) — and to do this on a daily basis — is to withhold demand for supply.

There are so many alternatives now, food-wise; also clothing-wise, cosmetics-wise, entertainment-wise, etc. We are not stranded on a desert island with no recourse but to kill for protein; nor must we, in this day and age, wear fur to keep warm, or sit on/wear leather.

The excellent online documentary Earthlings details seven ways in which we use animals for our benefit and "gain." To refuse dairy because a cow is strapped to machines its whole life, or beef or pork, in which animals are stunned, often unsuccessfully, before they are killed, or refuse chicken (the world's most abused animal) or veal (calves spending their entire lives confined in a crate too small for them to turn around in, to create tender, anemic flesh), or to wear fur from animals that have been skinned alive, is a strong statement of non-participation in cruelty.

Veganism is not just about hunting for (pardon the expression) substitute items. It is about peaceful coexistence in a world that offers a huge array of alternatives. The effect of more persons just saying no will lead to an easier way of compassionate living for the majority. Morally, in my opinion, animal subtraction can be nothing less than human addition — growing into our best and kindest selves.

— Julie Shavin

Colorado Springs

No fan of Giron

State Sen. Angela Giron still doesn't get it or won't accept it. On the front page of the Pueblo Chieftain (June 11) she acknowledges that the recall is sought because of her support of a number of gun control measures, but asserts it is also because she is a Latina in a position of authority.

She plays the race/gender card and ignores other salient reasons for her immense unpopularity. Discontent with Sen. Giron also exists because of her extreme agenda, displayed by support of tuition breaks and driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, and changes in election laws which in fact threaten the integrity of the voting process.

I'm content with the recently enacted gun control measures, but will be pleased to see Sen. Giron long gone for other reasons.

— Gerda Anderson

Pueblo

Siding with the elite?

I think letter-writer Sil Arteaga ("No vendido," June 12) does not understand the facts about the National Rifle Association.

The NRA is made up of 5 million dues-paying members, and only a small percent of their funding comes from gun companies. In fact in the last three months the NRA has picked up over 1 million members since the attack on gun rights. The total budget of the NRA each year is about $300 million, and that includes all overhead.

On the other side, pushing to restrict our Second Amendment rights, is New York Mayor Bloomberg and he is worth $27 billion — much more than the total amount the entire gun industry produces each year. This is why the gentleman signing the Sen. Giron recall petition called Sil Arteaga a "vendido" [traitor]— because he is siding with the rich elite New York mayor and against the people of Colorado.

— Jill Coleman

Colorado Springs

Stop telling lies

I have heard all kinds of talk that recent gun-related legislation is taking away "my constitutional, God-given right" to bear arms under the Second Amendment. If your Second Amendment constitutional right is to sell an AR-15 assault rifle with a bump stock, a 7-power scope and 10 30-round magazines filled with hollow-point bullets to a restraining-ordered, wife-assaulting convicted felon, out of the trunk of your car, then maybe your rights are being trampled. Otherwise, all of this rhetoric about Second Amendment rights is a big steaming, stinking pile of male bovine excrement.

The Second Amendment is the only one with a stated purpose. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." A well regulated militia is today the state National Guard. You have a duty to join it, if you are able-bodied.

"[B]eing necessary to the security of a free state" means the country, not individual states, to be defended from foreign invasion. "[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms" means you can possess a musket, sword, bayonet (optional if mounted on the musket), knife, shot and powder. "[S]hall not be infringed."

There have been several reasonable restrictions on the rights under this amendment. You can't own an automatic weapon or machine gun without a permit. There are several others and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed with them. The limit to the capacity of a magazine and a background check is not an infringement of your rights. Stop lying to yourself and to others.

— David M. Justice

Colorado Springs

A lost resource

Penrose-St. Francis/Centura Health operated a gym, The Health Learning Center, for several years. The gym served 450 seniors and people with disabilities, providing the opportunity to exercise with medical supervision in a comfortable non-judgmental environment. As important for many was the opportunity for socialization unavailable to them without the gym.

Without warning or input from their clients, Penrose-St. Francis officially announced the closure of HLC on June 5 (after collecting dues on June 1). The HLC is closing on June 21. This will result in 450 people being abruptly displaced after many years of having medical supervision, personal training, exercise, classes and the support from gym friends in their pursuit of better health.

The manner of closing of the HLC demonstrated no commitment to their elderly and disabled clientele, as well as failing to meet Penrose's stated mission of "extending the healing ministry of Christ by caring for those who are ill and by nurturing the health of peoples in our community."

— Mike and Ellen Fitzgibbons

Colorado Springs

The Utah/pot border

Our big government can't seem to make up its mind about anything, so it's passing the buck down to smaller state governments to make the more partisan decisions. The states can't agree on anything, either, so they're passing the buck down to hundreds of smaller, highly dysfunctional city and county governments which can't agree on anything.

This new trend is keeping conservatives and liberals equally busy. Various states have legalized marijuana, restricted abortion, legalized same-sex marriage, and restricted guns, to name a few recent measures. This will create hundreds of new borders to patrol, effectively replacing our one large immigration problem with hundreds of tinier ones.

As an example, Mormon State Troopers will have to patrol the Utah/marijuana border to slow the stampede of citizens trying to escape, in both directions. We can also expect a national boost from tourism as people cross city, county, and state lines picking up wildly illegal contraband and services from places where the exact same stuff is totally copacetic.

Doing time in one state for doing something that's perfectly legal in another is the Gordian knot that will connect the crazy quilt of our state and local economies for the foreseeable future.

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

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