Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 25

Ready, Aim, Misfire

Carried away over concealed-carry: Patricia Calhoun's May 11 "Fire Away" column proves that she is either incredibly naive or was under a very tight production schedule. She states that over a year after the Columbine tragedy, we still hear the gunshots, but "now they merely disturb our conscience, rather than call it to action."

That's quite poetic, but what would she have the Colorado Legislature do? Her column conveniently glosses over the fact that it is currently illegal to carry a gun in Denver in the manner that Mr. Hall exercised. You're right, Ms. Calhoun, at least Denver does have gun laws. And criminals like Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold and James Hall continue to ignore these laws en route to committing far more serious crimes, such as murder. People intent on taking another person's life will not be deterred by gun transport laws any more than Timothy McVeigh was by the fact that he was illegally parking a vehicle. Further, I don't understand the vehement opposition to SB 154 that would conceal the names of people with carry permits. What's ludicrous, Ms. Calhoun, is your inference that hardcore criminals will go to the trouble of applying for a concealed-carry permit! "Fire Away" is typical knee-jerk blathering that appeals to heated emotion instead of sound reason. If the state proves premeditation in John Bray's murder, Mr. Hall should pay with his life. Maybe Ms. Calhoun should mount a public campaign to ensure that he is prosecuted for the transport violation as well.
Matthew Davis
Denver

A smoking deal: Wow, could it be another holier-than-thou diatribe from our favorite shrill liberal (and I mean that in the worst possible way), Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, regarding the evils of guns? If Westword is so concerned about saving lives, how about issuing a moratorium on tobacco advertising? Last I checked, cigarettes kill about twenty times as many Americans per year as firearms. Oh, I forgot -- that might be something that would actually involve taking a real stand on something that could affect your bottom line.If nothing else, please spare us the maudlin closing line: "And the blood, like the traffic, flows on." Is Steve Jackson ghostwriting for Calhoun this time?
JR Armstrong
via the Internet

Big bang theory: A letter in your May 18 edition was from a writer who equated possession of guns with repressed sexual agression. He cited Freud in support of his thinly veiled slur against law-abiding firearms owners.Permit me to quote Freud in response to his silly and self-important arrogance: "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotion maturity." Which, pray, is the baggage your previous letter-writer carries?
Robert Teesdale
via the Internet

One last potshot: After reading the letters in the May 18 issue, I have to ask: Why do pro-gun people always respond so violently to an opposing opinion? Just wondering.
Joni Brown
via the Internet


The Fright Stuff

People who read people: I enjoyed Juliet Wittman's story on Ed Bryant, "Fright for Life," in the May 11 issue. Although Bryant is the author of horror stories (and proved it with his very scary "Doing Colfax" piece printed in the same issue), I found the article very enjoyable reading. Westword should publish more stories about this town's more noteworthy people!
Renee Rodriguez
Denver

Crime shockers: I thought it was interesting that you had Patricia Calhoun's obviously biased anti-gun column in the same issue as Ed Bryant's story about a woman being abducted and murdered (with a screwdriver). I suppose in your mind, if the woman had a gun and prevented her own murder, she would be a "gun nut." The facts are that there are hundreds of thousands of cases each year in which guns prevent crimes. This is not propaganda; I've checked the stats at the library (a place I suspect few Westword reporters frequent). If guns aren't useful for preventing crime, then maybe police should not carry them on and off duty. I'm glad that the truth about the effectiveness of concealed-carry laws is coming out, despite biased news sources like Westword.
David Collins
via the Internet


Smother Love

The parent trap: Eric Dexheimer's tragic story in your May 18 issue, "The Mother Country," illustrated very well what so many of us have had to learn the hard way. If your life is empty, it is not a child's duty to fill the void. If you are not at peace with yourself, you should not be a parent.
Jordan Ryan
via the Internet

Privacy, please: As the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) since June for the minor child mentioned in Eric Dexheimer's "The Mother Country," I was shocked and dismayed to read her real name published in your magazine. I respect the Thomases' right to make their ordeal a public affair, but I believe that as an innocent, dependent, vulnerable child, she deserves privacy. She is the named victim in the criminal proceedings against Denise Thomas. I do not feel that changing her name would have altered the content or effect of the story, and that would have provided her some degree of confidentiality. Please, show some journalistic integrity and make ethical efforts to protect child victims. She has made such strides in attempting to attain some semblance of a "normal" childhood over the last year; the media involvement is damaging and has victimized this child yet again. I am angered by the lack of foresight into the detrimental repercussions any article on the subject would have on this child, and disgusted that the smallest steps were not taken to protect her. By printing her name, you showed no concern or consideration for this little girl. In the future, use discretion and protect victims' and children's rights, and provide them the dignity to be anonymous.
Kate Sandel
via the Internet

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