Wouldn't it be more honorable to say, as we requested of Governor Owens, "Colorado respects the sanctity of all life, from the moment of conception through natural death." That would be a most fitting tribute to the lives lost at Columbine. Nothing can replace the loss the families suffered. Each of those precious children's lives deserves a living legacy.

If your readership really believes respect for life is extremism, our nation's continuing decline is certain, and we are in more dire straits than we imagine.

Leslie Hanks, vice president

Colorado Right to Life
As the spouse of a teacher, I am enraged by some of the letters you are receiving regarding the Columbine shootings. Suggestions that teachers carry guns to work (which happens to be a school) to protect themselves from this kind of violence is plain ignorance. No one seems to be asking the real questions.

Why are our schools not safer? Could it be because someone had to make a choice last year whether to hire additional security for the schools or buy new books to replace the ones that are five years out of date? Could it be that there are simply not enough teachers available to police the children adequately, because the funds aren't available to hire any more? Could it be that all resources at most schools in the metro area are stretched to the limit by the current growth rate? Where do all those new kids go?

There are many elements as to what contributed to the violence at Columbine. I know all the taxpayers (and, yes, teachers pay taxes, too) out there are wondering what they get for the money that goes to the schools. But everyone across the country has just witnessed what you get! Without the necessary resources, schools cannot cope with the disturbed kids that need help. And when the next school-bond issue comes before the public, maybe you will think twice before deciding that you don't need that one extra administrator or teacher who may have had the time to possibly intervene earlier at Columbine High School.

Curt Severson
via the Internet

The God Squad
I have a question for all of the Christians who are upset with Peter Gilstrap's Jesus of the Week, including one woman who wrote a letter for the April 29 issue: How can you people worship and defend a God that stood and watched as His children were slaughtered at Columbine?

According to Christian theology, Jesus witnessed the bombs being constructed and the weapons prepared for bloodshed. He saw Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris enter Columbine, and He was fully aware of the impending doom. He didn't lift a finger as the bloodbath ensued. He was apparently unconcerned with the forthcoming pain, misery, heartache and death that would horrify the entire world.

Christians, it's obvious to me that your Jesus Christ doesn't love the little children. The paramedics and doctors did more to deserve the public's thanks than did your savior.

Lee Whitfield

It saddens me to think that there is criticism concerning the service Sunday not representing various ethnic and religious groups (Off Limits, May 6). Who was the service for but the families of those who were lost--not the public? I did feel that Franklin Graham was out of place, but the others, I thought, were in good taste and thoughtful. Even at times like this, the ugly head of intolerance raises itself. No wonder we live in such confusion and violence.

Nancy Allmon

More Stern Talk
I want to thank Michael Roberts for being one of the only writers who took an unbiased look at the aftermath of a few comments made by Howard Stern regarding Columbine (Feedback, April 29).

But he's wrong when he says that no one will step forward to defend Stern. There are folks who still believe the First Amendment stands for something and who are willing to defend every American's right to speak up, even when it offends us. Free speech is our greatest--and most difficult--right and needs to be defended vigorously. So many formerly "reasonable" people are now speaking about limiting our rights, all in the name of a "safer" society. (It makes me shudder.)

Roberts's statement that "Howard Stern may be a symptom...but he sure ain't the disease" is right on the mark. In the "it's-not-my-fault" America of 1999, people would rather blame movies, video games and rock bands for senseless violence instead of those who actually pulled the trigger. They'll decry Howard for (apparently) single-handedly causing the downfall of American morals. And yet, with each new shootout that happens, they'll (once again) spend more time debating the merits of The Basketball Diaries than looking for a real solution.

Kristen Bryant
Ferndale, MI

The Peak had no problem loving Howard while he was making them money and getting them ratings. Now, all of a sudden, to their "surprise," he has an outrageous statement about the horror at Columbine. Everyone is posturing, as they seem to do in the wake of things like this, to gather media attention in their direction. If you don't like Howard, turn him off. He has a right to make a living anywhere in this country, like anyone else does. The Peak wanted him for the exact reason they are trying to now distance themselves from him.

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