EDITOR’S DESK: Territory Days and beyond

       On the eve of the 38th annual Territory Days, I know some Westsiders are hoping for rain to cut down on the crowds. Doesn't look like it's going to happen. Forecasts call for clear skies and mid-80s. So if you're one of those living near “ground zero,” I guess it's a case of leaving town, hunkering down or maybe even giving up and joining the many thousands who, on this one weekend of the year, pinpoint Old Colorado City as the primo destination for a good time...
       That's a total coincidence, by the way, that the Page 1 reminder about Territory Days wound up next to the photo of Westside gun shop owner Paul Paradis. But it does raise the question, what would early settlers think about the new state laws that appear to infringe on gun ownership? Sure, you might say, self- defense was a bigger deal back then, with angry Indians, occasional ruffians and only the semblance of a police department. However, those folks were spared the side effects of modern civilization, such as meth addicts, home invasions and drive-bys. Just a thought: If the second amendment is tied to a citizen militia, as some insist, shouldn't law-abiding citizens be allowed to access the same kinds of "arms" (not to mention magazine capacities) that soldiers use?...
       That's an intriguing contrast between what's happening on Spruce and on Cimarron streets. One is on its way to becoming a Holiday Inn (Express), while the other started out that way nearly 50 years ago...
       If you're a person on the lookout for individual inspiration (I know I am), you might like reading about the Bijou School's Justin Hardman. He wasn't eager to talk in detail about his troubles with the law; maybe a more hard-core reporter would have "dug" for that information. But the important part, I think, is that he turned his life around. It's not the first time, by the way, that we've written about such a phenomenon at the Bijou School - which next year will transport its skills for working with "hard knocks" students to the new alternative consortium at Wasson. Best of luck to the staff and thanks for your time on the Westside.

- K.J.