Letters to the editor

From the week of June 15.

Dial Mutt for Murder

The paws that refreshes: Patricia Calhoun's "Barking Up the Wrong Tree," in the June 8 issue, was absolutely the best damn Ramsey article I have read over the past three and a half years. I am from West Virginia (no joke), and I have followed this from its beginning. Way to go. I'm still laughing.
Mary Pushel
Fairmont, West Virginia

Pup talk: At last, a media person who has the guts to say what she thinks about the child murderers in Colorado! You go, girl. And thanks for the link to Fuckthemedia.com. What a hoot!
Connie Alsip
via the Internet

Dogging their trail: Send a copy of Calhoun's column to Lin Wood. Maybe he'll sue you and we can get Patsy and John on the stand. Keep the heat on these two mental messes!
Donna Colley

via the Internet

The details were sketchy: If I were a schnauzer, I'd sue.
Joe Buersmeyer

via the Internet


Gas 'n' Go

Pumping the worker well dry: I'd like to say that I can't believe what happened at the Bradley stations, as shown in Julie Jargon's "Pay at the Pump," in the June 1 issue. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Here we have a classic case of a company owner profiting off of the hard work and dedication of extremely underpaid employees. And the a**hole involved in the destruction of an elderly man's health lives in a $700,000 mansion in Cherry Hills? Call this student a communist if you will, but it doesn't take an idealist to know that this regular practice isn't right.
Name withheld on request

Don't just sit there fuming: I worked for a boss man and his relatives in another industry (TV broadcasting) who had the same attitude toward employees as your article reports about Bradley Calkins. It was an unpleasant learning experience, so I quit. Two weeks later they asked me to come back, but I refused. Buttheads like Calkins are kept in business by wimp employees. They need to get some backbone and walk. Work environment now is such that good jobs are going begging. Just a heads-up to the Bradley Petroleum clan: I filled up at a Bradley station on Federal north of I-70 once, and it was so dirty that I've never bought gas from them again. Now that I know that Sav-O-Mat is part of this chain, I'll never buy there, either.
Chuck Gallup

Castle Rock


Straight Shooting

It's what's up front that counts: This is in response to Matt Urschel's June 8 letter. He wrote: "If Ms. Calhoun and others like her would lay down their NRA protest banners and burning bras..." Gee, Matt, is that your misogynist slip I see showing?
Jody Conn
Denver

All fired up: Hey, Matt Urschel, you groovy gun guy! Just had to set aside my smoldering bra long enough to write and let you know that -- at least in my obviously addled liberal point of view -- your overwrought and silly prose simply blows away any persuasive argument you might possibly have about the wonderfulness of guns. But it's okay, I already know the cliche: PEOPLE kill people. I'll remember that the next time there's a multiple knifing at a school, restaurant or office.

In the meantime, gotta run and toss some more skivs on the fire. Right arm, man!
Meridy Migchelbrink
Arvada

Just the facts, man: Since Patricia Calhoun's May 11 "Fire Away," the past three issues of Westword have been filled with letters from pro-gun advocates denouncing the editor and the paper for suggesting that more gun control might not be a bad idea. I write not to support any particular piece of legislation or bill -- many of which will do little or nothing to stop gun violence -- but rather to counter the battery of misinformation. Many of these letters claimed that people who owned a gun were safer than people who did not own a gun. Unfortunately, the statistics from police reports and emergency rooms across the country say the exact opposite. In fact, people living in households with guns are three times as likely to be killed, and twelve times as likely to be injured, as their neighbors who do not have a gun in the house. Of the roughly 32,000 deaths attributable to gun violence every year, fewer than 200 of these deaths are attributable to self-defense. Over half are suicides, made convenient by the presence of a gun, while the rest are either accidents ("Oops! I didn't know it was loaded!") or homicides. And most of these homicides are a product of domestic violence, not robbers breaking into houses. When you compare the number of children killed by guns every year in America to other countries that have stricter gun control, the statistics are even more sobering.

After reading this, I am sure that many of you would assume that I am for a whole lot more gun control. On the contrary, I am quite sure that many of the 20,000 gun-control laws on the books will do nothing to prevent gun violence.

Although there are a lot of gun-control laws that are a waste of paper and time, this is not the case with all such laws. The Brady Bill, for instance, has prevented over 500,000 gun purchases by criminals trying to get a gun. At the same time, these same background checks have prevented zero gun owners without a criminal record from purchasing a gun for self-defense. If you use a gun to attack or threaten your fellow citizens, it is only proper that you lose your Second Amendment rights, just like you lose your right to liberty when you commit a crime and go to jail. There is no reasonable justification for allowing felons easy access to firearms. These background checks are defensible and effective laws that should be extended to private purchases at gun shows. However, at the same time that we create new laws, we should make sure we repeal all of the silly gun laws that do nothing to protect anyone and make gun owners paranoid that their guns will be the next ones confiscated.

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