Guns, immigration and pot. Oh My!

How does where you live shape you? Does your zip code influence your decision making, values, and who you eventually become? When we think of living in Colorado, her breathtaking beauty comes to mind, but that beauty is in fact coupled with a few hefty controversial political issues. Do you know what they are and more importantly have you thought about how they might show up in your churches, jobs, and families?

“This is Colorado.  Everyone has a gun.”  I heard these words spoken at a funeral a few weeks ago and my stomach flipped.  Colorado has a shameful history when it comes to gun violence. Ask around and your likely to start a familiar conversation with a stranger by asking: “Where you were during Columbine, or the Aurora theater shooting or even the Chuck E Cheese massacre?” Colorado has guns, lots of them. What does that mean for you, your safety and the people that you love?

Throughout our nation’s history and the history of the world, travelers, soldiers, and immigrants have sought refuge and safe harbor in sanctuary cities.  This safe harbor not only guarded them physically but assured the preservation of their civil and human rights in potentially hostile situations. Both Denver and Aurora are synonymous with sanctuary cities.  Simply put, in a sanctuary city, local law enforcement does not arrest individuals on the basis of immigration status alone. According to the 2017 Denver Children’s Report, 38% of the city’s immigrants are children under the age of 18.  Should you choose to make Denver your home, consider what her sanctuary status means for you, your family and your future.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into Colorado’s economy resulting in new school construction, innovative programming for the addicted and resources for both our homeless and mentally ill.   The source of these dollars comes from a 2000 Colorado voter decision to legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana.  Our federal government is poised to rescind Colorado’s legal pot industry by reversing previous guidelines set under the Obama administration regarding the prosecution of pot producers and consumers.   Jeff Sessions is the muscle behind this move.  This, of course, is the same Jeff Sessions who is reported to have said during his tenure as US Attorney in Alabama that he thought the KKK “were OK until I found out they smoked pot.”  Sessions further went on to compare heroin to pot as an equal rival in addiction and criminal activity. Pot is a part of the Colorado landscape.  What side of the pipe are you on?

Choosing to make Colorado your home will shape her landscape, how then will she shape you?