Summit Daily letter: Justice not served in Breckenridge hit and run |

Summit Daily letter: Justice not served in Breckenridge hit and run

Justice not served in Breckenridge hit and run

Kudos to the Summit Daily staff reporters for an apparently accurate and fair reporting on the “hit and run” incident from December 25, 2015 on Airport Road, Breckenridge.

Kudos too, to the Breckenridge Police Department, led by Detective Blank’s good work; and to District Attorney Bruce Brown; and especially to the (unnamed) snow plow driver, who, thankfully, saw Ms. Hamilton and stopped to help.

Perpetrator, Hallie Schmitt, received a portion of the punishment she deserved: being labeled a felon for the rest of her life. That will at least, somewhat restrict her opportunities of a career. Deservedly so, because, while she disavows remembering hitting any object with enough force to dislodge debris from her 2003 Toyota, she must have been driving with some kind of impairment.

But what about the victim, Ms. Hamilton? She has “permanent injuries” and thus may also be limited in her career and potential earnings potential. I’d like to see at least, a third of all future earnings by Ms. Schmitt be withheld (by court order, of course, and all that might imply) and have them benefit Ms. Hamilton. The victim, Ms. Hamilton, has been left with “a mountain of medical bills” and “permanent injuries,” which she is going to have to live with.

Onions to Judge Mark Thompson for being swayed by a pretty, young female perpetrator’s face (perhaps as a result of your own privileged life) for being so lax. But Judge Thompson, you have more problems than just a lax sense of judgement. You just lost my vote in the next election, when your appointment is up for renewal.

Jack L. Beckner


Demonizing the NRA misses the point

Re: The Summit Daily report on the Sunday screening of “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA.”

I agree most with the attendee you quote at the end: “I am not saying what the NRA does is all correct. The thing we we’ve got to look at is why we are in this situation. Guns don’t kill people, it is the person behind that gun that kills people. So, lets balance it out, that is all I’m saying.”

I, too, would like to see all violence ended or at least reduced, with or without firearms. The main link guns have to this subject is in how efficient they are, be it for evil or self defense. The issue is vast: from the Second Amendment, to hunting or personal protection, to safety from others with guns. I certainly do not have all the answers, but it seems those who would like to see more laws really just would like to see fewer guns.

Gun owners see all the rules now that affect them — but not criminals — and ask why those rules are the answer. I agree the NRA is not perfect, but it is the best thing we have. All organizations seem to me to be led by the most intense people in that subject, or they would not donate their time and money at that level. The NRA is not a evil entity separate from all of us who are members; it is not even that big a lobby group. Several articles I looked up showed it well down the list of lobbies, well behind the tech industry lobby, mining lobby, defense industry, teachers unions and even AARP. Society does not have to fight the NRA — just show members how more laws will be better and not just affect the citizen who already is doing everything right. We are open to dialogue, just not mindless “there ought to be a law …”

Greg Jungman


Crack a smile once in a while

In the past week of cycling, nine out of 10 people I came across in the woods or rec path gave no signs of life. I’m curious: Does my smile startle them, do the sounds coming out of my mouth scare them? Should I start trying different languages? Bonjour!, Hola!, Hallo, Ciao, Kon’nichiwa, Hello?

I was very fortunate to have just returned from a bicycling tour through Europe. Now there is area in which we could learn a thing or two regarding strangers from. In the hundreds of miles and several countries I rode my bike through, the word “Hallo” brought so much joy, smiles and overwhelming happiness to complete strangers as we crossed paths. I wonder: Why not at home? Does the scenery make you grumpy? The clean air? The big ball of fire in the sky? When I’m out and about, either on foot or bike, I can’t help but feel happy.

It seems that the human race is losing its ways. Where have the days of greeting a stranger and looking them in the eye with a causal head nod gone? I’m not that old, but I was raised to be friendly and kind, to smile at a stranger. Did you know it takes less muscles in the face to smile versus frowning? I know that “uber competitive” athlete can expend 1 watt and smile as he whizzes past me.

There are so many things we can’t control in this world, but a greeting and smile is not one of them. It takes so little of an effort. I could keep on going, but I think you get the picture. We live in tough times, or do we make it tough?

Joshua Laverdiere


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