Letter to the editor

Keep the guns out of government chambers


In its haste to promote an expansion of the Second Amendment, the Castle Rock Town Council seems to have missed the point of the First. I don't look to the town council members to tell me what art means, then protect me from it. I don't look to the town council for spiritual guidance ("in God we trust"). But I do look to them to provide a safe, non-threatening place for people to discuss issues of the day, or to enjoy local parks.

Since the shooting at Sandy Hook in Newtown, at least according to reports in the media, over 11,000 people have been killed by guns in the United States, including homicide, suicide and accidental death. The estimated REAL number (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is three times that: over 33,000.
There were 31,672 total gun deaths in 2010 (the latest year for which there are CDC records). Of those, 2,694 were children or teens.

There have been 28 school shootings since Newtown. It's worth noting that two school shootings - the now older incident at Columbine High School and the more recent murder and suicide at Arapahoe High School - happened within 25 miles of Castle Rock's town hall.

There are currently 310,000,000 guns in the U.S. - about one gun for every American. There are no countries with more guns per person.

There are three and a half times as many licensed firearms dealers in the US than there are grocery stores (134,997 to 37,053).

In Douglas County alone, over half the suicides are gun related. I know of at least one case, right here in Castle Rock, where a father shot to death his wife and three small children.

In such an environment, it is more than politically tone-deaf, it is utterly irresponsible to encourage even greater visibility and availability of weaponry in the chambers of government and in our parks. It solves not one single problem the town has ever had, and will surely create new, and deadly ones.

James LaRue
Castle Rock