Why No Response?!?

Disappointment with Heston and Legislator

Heston fails to respond

On May 11 of 1999 I wrote a
letter to Charlton Heston, President of the NRA, asking questions about the Columbine tragedy and his organization's stands on gun control. After getting no response within a few weeks, I made a number of calls to NRA headquarters. On at least three occasions a man named Jim Keplinger assured me that I would get a response from Mr. Heston. I received none.

In March of 2000 I met the NRA's Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, at an event here in Denver. I handed him an envelope with my letter to Heston, along with a note asking once again for a response. I got no response. In the Fall of 2000 I called NRA headquarters and complained about getting no response. A few weeks later I got a call from a woman from a public relations firm who said she be working to get me a response. She asked me to fax a copy of the letter to her. I did. But she never responded.

In April 2001 I even wrote to someone I know within the NRA-Jason Osborne. I knew him professionally before Columbine, before he joined the NRA. I asked him why there was no response. Even HE wouldn't respond to me.

Why not? Are they afraid to respond to the father of a murdered child? Could they not even simply say they wouldn't respond and provide me a reason? No, they have simply ignored me. Shame on them!

Please read my letter to Mr. Heston and see if you think I'm asking too much. And you can read about my protest at NRA headquarters, where I was arrested for trespassing.

A Big Disappointment: Our State Representative, Don Lee

One of the really big disappointments for me and others in the Columbine community has been our State Representative, Don Lee. He has voted against most gun control bills and for most pro-gun bills.

More disturbing for me, though, was the fact that Lee accepted a $1,000 contribution from the NRA (the highest level gift they made) just before the start of the 2000 Legislative session, and less than one year after the Columbine tragedy. To me it was very innappropriate for the representative of the district that's the site of the worst school shooting in U.S. history to accept such a gift just before a lot of gun control bills were obviously going to be debated. In fact, I thought it was a slap in the face of many people. I wrote to Lee about this in January and requested a response--but have not received one.

When I was a lobbyist for SAFE Colorado in 2000 he lodged a "complaint" against my lobbying. Problem is, I was never given an opportunity to respond to the complaint. However, legislative leaders ruled that his complaint was invalid and it was dismissed.

In 2001, despite the overwhelming voter passage of Amendment 22, Lee sponsored two pro-gun bills.

Unfortunately, Rep. Lee ran for reelection unopposed in this past election (this is a heavily Republican district). Representative Lee opposed Amendment 22, so I challenged him to debate Amendment 22 here in the Columbuine area, so that he would have to defend his opposition to his constituents. But he refused to do so. When I asked him why not, he wrote back that I was "taunting" him and said, "You need to look elsewhere for your boogieman."

Not so. I just wanted him to explain his opposition to Amendment 22, since he is the representative of the Columbine area. That's not "taunting," that's asking for straight answers on a question of concern in Columbine. In fact, over 75% of the people in our county voted for Amendment 22. I think it's appropriate to ask why he's so out of step!

Actually, my dealings with Representative Lee go back to before Columbine. When Lee was running for office he responded to a letter of mine. But after he was elected he ignored a letter of mine, because he didn't like my criticism of a bill of his that would have removed Colorado's front license plate (see related story about our neighbor, Ali.)

So, he ignored my next letter. Then he ignored two calls I made to him asking why he never responded. I had to go to a town hall meeting to ask him why he wasn't responsive. He was unapologetic, saying he didn't like my criticism of his license plate bill.

Representative Lee can be contacted at the Colorado State Capitol, 200 East Colfax, Denver, CO, 80203.

Daniel and Christie.

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