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Don Quixote love

I found your article to be incredibly depressing. My mother read me “Don Quixote” as a child. As a Spanish literature major I have had the opportunity to study it in great detail. While I realize I am the exception, reading it three times, I would pose that most educated people HAVE read this incredibly important work. I was shocked by the people you interviewed. A bookstore owner who has not read DQ? Or the local who claimed he does not know people who reads classics? I do not know people who do not read classics. I was excited to see an article promoting the anniversary of such an important work, but the spin that people (read: Americans) do not read important works simply because they are too long or sophisticated is sad.

I would also like to point out that the English translation, terrible as it is, is much shorter than the original. The sad translations I see in Borders are only about 400 pages.

Sincerely,

Andy Nelson

San Luis Obispo, CA

Dear Mr. Hannon,

What a great column. It would be nice if writers would learn some basic manners. We seem to have become so polarized that no one is able to discuss issues without name calling and other bad behavior. If we could just be polite and listen to the thoughts of others, we just might come up with solutions to the problems facing our nation.

Thank you for attempting to illustrate the problem. I trust that you have thousands of readers that will learn from you.

Take care,

Keith H. Johnson

Cadillac, MI

John Hannon wrote a typical anti-gun rights column, “Life In the Shooting Gallery.” I say typical because he came up with nothing new, and repeated the same mistakes as others with his point of view.

He points out examples of how people have used guns illegally. Yes, there are times when that happens. By definition those people were acting illegally, so new gun laws would not deter them. And many of them shouldn’t have even possessed firearms, like minors or convicted felons. You could use the same logic to say that people shouldn’t be allowed to drive cars, because so much mayhem is caused by irresponsible drivers.

Hannon did not deal with the many times ordinary people are placed in danger and police are not available to help them. Last October, a couple in Boulder County had to deal with a home invasion, and only killing the attacker stopped him. Around the same time, a woman in Aurora used her pistol to drive off an intruder at her apartment. Just last month, a Bow Mar resident shot a registered sex offender who was breaking into a home.

Theaters are now playing “Capote,” about Truman Capote and his book, “In Cold Blood,” the story of the 1959 home invasion murder of the Cutter family. They could have used guns to defend themselves. Every month, the NRA’s magazine, American Rifleman, devotes a page to summaries of news accounts about people who used firearms to protect themselves. And remember how law and order broke down in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

There is a good reason for Article II, Section 13 of the Colorado Constitution: “The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid to the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called into question . . .”

Hannon is vague about what kind of “effective gun control legislation” he would like to see enacted. A complete prohibition on individual possession of firearms? That would take a constitutional amendment. If it’s something less than total abolition, Hannon should provide details, showing how his measures would effectively deter gun crime, without denying law-abiding citizens the ability to protect themselves.

We have seen the so-called “assault weapons” ban come and go, and expansion of the right to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Despite the handwringing of gun control advocates, the predicted increase in gun crime has not happened. In fact, even though gun ownership is increasing, violent crime has been trending down in this country for years. And in places like the United Kingdom and Australia, which have tightened their gun control laws, violent crime has increased.

A final point – Hannon goes on to criticize Richard Carnes for calling people names. Physician, heal thyself. Earlier in the column, Hannon referred to someone as “a gun nut friend of mine” who had the temerity to show Hannon a newspaper article on this subject. Why is it that some people need to get personal and nasty about those who disagree with them?

Terry Quinn

Eagle

Dear Mr. Hannon,

You wrote, “(when used for murder) baseball bats have a range the length of the bat plus the length of the arms of the one wielding the bat.”

Wrong. You forgot to add “plus the distance the murderer’s legs can carry him.” Against an unarmed victim, particularly one who’s slower (or with slower children), that would almost equal the range of a handgun. With multiple perps, they don’t even have to be faster than the victim.

You add, “As far as I know, no mass murderer ever elected to use a baseball bat.” No, but the genocidal mass murderers in Rowanda mostly used machetes.

Other mass murderers have used gasoline. Several would-be mass murderers have been stopped by armed private citizens. It’s a lot harder to do that with a baseball bat.

In any case, these sorts of crimes are very rare. People like me are much more likely to be threatened by muggers, follow-home robberies, and robbery by home-invaders. In addition, women face abduction/rape and gays face bashing. Nothing suppresses this kind of crime as well as allowing law-abiding private citizens to go about armed – and to use their guns to shoot down the muggers, carjackers, home-invaders, rapists and gay-bashers who threaten them. The inclination of Democrats to reject this solution is the reason I no longer vote for them.

Sincerely,

Frank Silbermann

Memphis, TN


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