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From the week of September 4, 2003

And yes, Mommy, gunses are clanky and noisy and ugly, and I might get myself all hurted. Yes, and I run with scissors, too, Mommy.

And lest ye think I'm nuts, take a realistic look at some "hidden" statistics -- that is, "hidden" from your eyes by the media. The mere presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, has prevented many thousands of folks from being crime victims every year. You want some more realism? Our nation's capital has the highest crime rate and the most restrictive firearms laws. And Vermont, with one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, has no restrictions at all on carrying firearms.

Sorry, Mommy, but that's the way it is.

Dick Valentine
Denver

Mr. Stanley, we presume: In response to the July 24 Off Limits regarding myself, which was filled with errors, omissions, journalistic larceny and deceit, I have the following to say:

1. "Arguing he had a right to 'brandish' weapons in Denver." Untrue. I have a God-given, constitutionally protected and guaranteed right to "openly carry" in Denver or anywhere else in Colorado, without getting permission or permit from anyone. I never brandish and never argued to brandish. Liar, liar, pants on fire. Heh. Heh.

2. "Stanley insists that an attack is imminent." Untrue. I said that "eventually" the SWAT-team action would happen. The article fails to mention that the hearing the bench warrant was based upon was vacated by Judge Patterson, as was the bench warrant, because both government actions were unlawful.

3. "Helicopters will be destroyed if used against me, as will tanks...." You curiously omitted the next sentence, which said I would be throwing paper airplanes at them. Obviously, I was joking, but Westword must demonize this crackpot, mustn't we?

4. The "speculation" by Westword and Denver's response were typical yellow journalism and cheap shots. I thought the Rocky was a rag. The once-proud Westword rises to "new lows?" With friends like these....

I suggest your readers go to www.stanley2002.org for the truth, since they can't get the truth in Westword.

Rick Stanley
Denver

Amy Haimerl replies: If Rick Stanley wants to quibble over words, he should grab his copy of Webster's and look up "brandish," which has a tertiary meaning of "to display." Sure, "brandish" is usually used in a menacing way -- but if you've whipped it out, you'd better mean to menace. Coming from a gun-brandishing family, I know that's one of the first rules of good gun ownership. For the record, in his slew of e-mails and in our phone conversation, Stanley never referred to "paper airplanes." Had he, I can assure you that line would have been used. And finally, I'd apologize for "demonizing a crackpot" -- but Stanley does such a good job of demonizing himself.

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