Chuck McConnell: Baumgardner’s Arizona trip |

Chuck McConnell: Baumgardner’s Arizona trip

Chuck McConnell, Steamboat Springs

To all of the open border advocates, I have a couple of simple questions:

■ 1. What part of the sign erected in Arizona by our federal government that reads, (among other dire proclamations): "Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed," does not warn of a clear and present danger to Arizona citizens? Do you want a safer life for your family and your fellow Americans?

■ 2. How is a state law designed to protect Arizona citizens against kidnapping, home invasion, burglary and murder — especially a law written to mirror federal law — twisted to be unconstitutional or bad? Do we as Americans have a right to protect ourselves from serious danger?

Our current federal administration is unwilling to effectively secure our border with Mexico. Perennially promised fences, meaningful additions to personnel and sophisticated electronic surveillance devices have not materialized.

The token steps recently taken by the president are a cruel joke to the people of Arizona and will not add in any material way to their safety or security. His action certainly will not mitigate the budget gap created by the services provided to illegal residents. Arizona's elected officials and law enforcement desperately are seeking some immediate help.

It took real courage for state Rep. Randy Baumgardner to travel at his own personal expense to see firsthand the problems on our southern border.

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Further, when he speaks of possible legislation here, I think he is unmistakably aware of the cost to Coloradans of the illegal aliens that make their way here via the border states. This cost has manifested itself in a projected gap in the upcoming Colorado state budget for which the myriad likely solutions will necessarily require reduced services to our legal residents.

More than 60 percent of Amer­­icans believe that increased border security is critical. When a majority of Americans agree on an issue as basic as citizen safety, I believe strong, positive actions by our representatives is not grandstanding, but absolutely fundamental to the job of government.

Isn't this what we want our elected officials to be — informed, educated firsthand, and willing to tackle tough issues facing our communities? If Rep. Baumgardner's level of personal commitment to one of the most critical issues in our government today constitutes a "political leverage" attempt in his critic's opinion, wouldn't you ask yourselves what it might take to merit action and serious personal attention for tough issues on the part of these critics?

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