Printed Letters: March 12, 2019

Printed Letters: March 12, 2019

Gun Rights

‘Red flag’ bill is a sound response to gun violence Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis has led some progressive changes in his office, so his strong reaction against Colorado’s Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation surprised me. The “red flag” proposal would allow concerned household or family members to seek from a judge a temporary surrender of an individual’s firearms, based on evidence that the person poses a significant risk to self or others. Guns are the most common method of suicide and produce most domestic violence fatalities. Family and intimate partners are often in the best (or worst) position to identify situations where guns compound risk of harm, so listening to them makes sense. The sheriff objects that the bill presents no requirement to address mental health. That’s fair. Colorado’s culture of rugged independence approves of guns and discourages men from seeking help. Taking guns without any evaluation or treatment might just aggravate already fraught situations. But framing the bill as a gun grab inflames fears and furthers distrust. That rhetoric won’t protect one abused wife or prevent a single suicide. The Second Amendment has plenty of advocates. Would it kill them to admit that sometimes a gun is a problem, not a universal solution? Meanwhile, many citizens are so fed up with gun violence they’ll accept any measure that sounds like it might work. Let’s focus on protecting citizens in real peril. Research has identified prior acts of domestic violence as the No. 1 red flag for future […]

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