Opinion | Susan Knopf: 3 big questions | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: 3 big questions

Susan Knopf

Who are you mad at?

At the Summit County Democratic caucus last Saturday, two residents refused to sign County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence’s petition to get on the November ballot. They voiced disapproval regarding Fiester Preserve.

This week, Lawrence held a town hall to hear from residents regarding the county proposal to extinguish the conservation easement on Fiester Preserve in favor of locating senior and recuperative housing next to the Summit County Community and Senior Center and the hospital.

Everyone at the meeting complained about the poor communication from the county commissioners regarding their plans for developing the site and the lack of outreach to the community. Lawrence told locals she has reconsidered her previous position and is trying to craft a way to give residents more voice in the matter.

It’s a good idea to know who you are mad at. Let’s try not to demonize individuals. Maybe we should just make sure our thoughts are conveyed to our public officials.

What are you fighting for?

Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in an abortion-rights case virtually identical to a case they struck down less than four years ago. Why hear it again? The court is now stacked with antiabortion conservatives, who are expected to overturn the prior Supreme Court decision affirming Roe vs. Wade.

The Christian right is invading the privacy of individuals, trying to control a personal decision made by a solitary individual, who alone must bear the burden of that decision. The Christian right really doesn’t care about the quality of life a mother or child may experience. These same people vote for school vouchers, vote down welfare and public housing, benefits a mother might need. They care more about an unborn child than they care about children.

They don’t seem to care much about students attending schools where they have been or might be victims of gun violence. I continue to be astounded at the issues that these folks line up on. So you are going to tell me a woman selecting an abortion is more dangerous than an unlicensed, untrained teenager brandishing an AK47?

In the interest of the safety of my larger community, I want sensible gun regulation. Sensible, like a driver’s license. We should require a license to own a gun. We should require a higher level license to own an automatic weapon, just like you can’t drive an 18-wheeler with an ordinary driver’s license. To get that license, you have to demonstrate thorough operational and safety knowledge, just like drivers do. We should require gun owners to carry liability insurance, to indemnify those who might be injured by a weapon, just like we carry liability insurance on our vehicles.

For the record, the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute reports the abortion rate is at a historic low, comparing data for nearly 50 years! I don’t understand people invading the privacy of an individual to legislate when a person can have an abortion. I don’t understand the lies about late-term abortions. The Guttmacher Institute reports abortions after the 21st week account about 1% of abortions.

Late-term abortions are often necessitated precisely because antiabortion activists have made it harder to get a safe, legal abortion close to home. A late-term abortion is often needed to save the life of the mother or sadly terminate an unviable pregnancy, such as an unborn child suffering from severe hydrocephalus. You want to force a mother to carry a child to term that will expire shortly after birth or be delivered stillborn? You want to force all of us to carry the financial burden of the care for such a sad outcome?

Let’s regulate guns, not abortions. We have a real community interest in protecting the safety of our live children in schools. And we owe privacy to our citizens to keep their private choices private. No one wants the state controlling an individual’s body.

Do you count?

The constitutionally mandated U.S. census opened yesterday. Make sure you count. Go to My2020Census.gov. It takes just a few minutes, but those minutes are powerful. You can change our community. You might change Washington. That count establishes how many representatives we get in the U.S. House. The count controls the federal money that comes into our community to pay for the Summit Stage, education and subsidies to maintain our local environment. So please make sure you count! We’re all counting on you.

Susan Knopf’s column “For the Record” publishes biweekly on Fridays in the Summit Daily News. Knopf lives in Silverthorne. She is a certified ski instructor and an award-winning journalist. Contact her at sdnknopf@gmail.com.

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