Letters to the Editor

From the week of March 28, 2002

Ready, Fire, Aim

The Rifleman: As a member of the National Rifle Association, I read with interest David Holthouse's "Living in Exile," in the March 21 issue. I knew it would only be a matter of time before the bleeding hearts would come out of the woodwork.

The tagline on this article is a lie. Possession of a gun is not the only crime involved here -- these people are convicted felons. As such, even a person like Mr. Garcia, with his limited IQ, should know to stay away from anywhere firearms are present. If that takes him away from his criminal running buddies, that much better the chance that he makes something of his life. Alas, he chose to throw that chance away.

The news that Sarah Brady is in a pickle for a straw purchase in Delaware is rich. You can't make this stuff up. Her son may be a legal purchaser anyway, but it is still illegal. The hypocrisy all around is absolutely breathtaking. She feels that she can violate her own law. As I suspected, the gun grabbers want to give as hard a time as possible to law-abiding gun owners but give convicted felons a pass. We need to make believers of these people, as Victor Martinez now is.

Project Exile works. That is the hardest thing for gun grabbers to accept. The fact that crime rates can drop without confiscating legal firearms is driving them crazy, and I, for one, love it!

Pat Desrosiers
Denver

A shot in the dark: It is unfortunate that civil injustices must be solved on a case-by-case level, but David Holthouse's "Living in Exile" was seriously flawed.

Ask yourself: If you were driving home and another motorist got mad at you, would you care if he put a pistol to your head and threatened to pull the trigger? Would your mind resist emotionality sufficient enough to ask: Is the gunman serious? Put yourself in that position. Your life would sweep before your eyes. Rather than calculate whether the gun is real or not, you might find yourself thinking about your impending death at the hand of a madman. Look at your cases: These are repeat offenders. The courts have given them many chances to change their criminal behavior to socially acceptable behavior. And probation and parole agreements are just that: written agreements. These folks all agree not to commit crimes anymore; that's why the state/fed grants them "another" chance at freedom.

Unfortunately, many of these folks disregard the fact that society is based upon rules. So ask yourself: Why do these guys feel compelled to carry illegal weapons? To protect themselves from a corrupt and brutal police state? Well, if that were the case, then your tax dollars and mine would represent these fellows' interests -- like public defenders already do. But the fact is that these guys carry guns to protect themselves from other guys who carry guns illegally.

How many chances at freedom should society give a violent offender? Three? Four? Ninety? A million? Justice does not mean "to enable." Ask yourself this, Mr. Holthouse: The next time someone dear to you has a gun held to his head by someone who's very, very angry, will you testify for the offender and tell the judge, "Well, after all, he didn't pull the trigger"? I don't believe any sane person would. Why, then, did you ask your readers to do so in the court of public opinion?

Please rethink your thesis, Mr. Holthouse. You are too fine a writer to act so irresponsibly to make offenders sound like victims and the rest of us like "bad guys."

Name withheld on request

The right stuff: I'm sorry, but I don't have much sympathy for a carjacker with a homemade zip gun or a felon firing his weapon in the air while he's high on crack. Do you not think that these behaviors are anti-social and irresponsible?

It is common for those unfamiliar with the law to claim that what America needs is harsher gun laws. The truth is that there are plenty of tough laws, if only they were applied. What most of our cities lack is strong enforcement. Project Exile attempts to change that while cutting to the heart of the issue: It restricts ownership of firearms to citizens who have not lost that right.

What better law for us to enforce than one prohibiting felons from owning firearms? These are not citizens worthy of the privileges of lawful citizenship. Because they have been tried and convicted of a felony, they have lost their right to own a firearm, to vote and to run for public office. They have lost some of the privileges they were born with as Americans because they chose to be irresponsible with those rights. With those actions come consequences, and enforcing those consequences only serves as a deterrent to people who have not crossed that line. Project Exile is the right approach.

Rod Sayler
Denver


Used and Abused

Stand by your man: Julie Jargon's "Playtime Is Over," in the March 14 issue, was fabulous. If you are in contact with Dr. Dicke, please let him know there are people out there on his side.

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