Target practice: Regarding Laura Bond's "At Close Range," in the October 23 issue:
First, I would like to thank you for an unbiased (for the most part) article on shooting ranges, gun control and safety and such. Most articles I read on the subject are either too pro-gun or too anti-gun to get any real information out of them. I am sort of new here in Denver and was wondering where I might find a shooting range in town; this article answered a lot of questions for me. There are a few comments I would like to make, though.
First, Laura Bond kind of made the shooting range sound like a dark, mysterious place where crazy, gun-toting weirdos go for fun -- but I will be the first to admit that some of the sounds and things in a gun range can be a tad scary at first. Second, as she pointed out, a gun is first and foremost a mechanical machine, just like, say, a car -- and when put into the wrong hands, it can be deadly, just like a car. And yet everybody owns a car. The point I'm trying to make is that the gun was invented for good in the beginning, and, as history shows us, many things that were meant for good have been used in bad ways. Cars, dynamite, computers and the Internet, certain medications and nuclear power, just to name a few.
Through this article, I did learn about the new concealed-weapons bill that passed, and I don't like that at all. I am pro-gun all the way. I am twenty years old and have shot a gun for fifteen years of my life. But I think to allow pretty much anybody with a clean record to carry a concealed weapon is going to get a lot of people hurt. For whatever reason, people are jumpier than ever -- and now you don't know if a person has a gun or not. I don't like that at all, but it's not my call to make, so I will just have to live with it. Anyhow, thank you for listening.
via the Internet
Go Fast company: Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Hard to Swallow," in the October 30 issue:
While Dwain Weston's family and friends are still overwhelmed by shock and sadness at his death, Westword decided to add to the distress this tragedy has caused by using it as a source for what I assume was supposed to be humor. I am unable to understand what there is about this heartbreaking event to inspire ridicule. The people at the Royal Gorge Go Fast Games have shown extraordinary kindness and respect to my brother's memory and to me during this difficult time. It is regrettable that Westword did not choose to do the same.
LoDo lowdown: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Mall in the Family," in the October 23 issue:
I have lived in the Denver area for nine years. I work in LoDo, and I do not feel as lighthearted about the different faces on the mall. I believe those same faces that Patricia Calhoun finds so innocuous detract from the comfort level of the mall, cause shopkeepers to lose money, keep new businesses away and eventually will attract enough of the more colorful elements that people with money to spend who only want to get a decent meal and be entertained will stay away. It is only a matter of time before the bullets are flying. I walk up and down the mall many days a week and see open-air drug commerce and use going unchecked by police. (Why does the horse patrol travel in packs of four?) We need to make loiterers of any type move on. I am sick of dodging their dangling cigarettes, listening to their loud vulgar talk and even louder music, and being forced to walk on the street dodging the shuttles to make it past the crowds of kids and vagrants who choose to do nothing all day.
You have only to look at the empty storefronts to know that it is not colorful. It is a crumbling economy brought on by a mold that is allowed to grow unchecked.
Name withheld on request
Colorful Colorado: What another stupendous Calhoun column! "Mall in the Family" made me laugh when she described those "sightings" of various characters who hang out on the 16th Street Mall.
It brought to mind some infamous "street people" (a name perhaps not in existence then) in the late '60s and early '70s. I first discovered these abominable beings while attending Metro State College, when it was known as the "invisible college" and its "campus" amounted to scattered buildings throughout the Capitol Hill area, which required a lot of walking. They were strictly non-violent, not like today's panhandlers, who can be very dangerous at times and constantly pestering people, much worse than in the days when Denver was a "cowtown" (which I wish it were still known as). It was safer back then, as there wasn't much pressure and violence in the "begging" industry, and there was a much lower crime rate.