It’s time to rope and tie some cowhands

To the editor:

Surely I am not the only subscriber of your newspaper who watched all the pictures of the cowboys roping, riding, ad enjoying their so called sport while the animals were being tortured. I cannot imagine how scared and awful a calf felt as it was chased, slammed down on the ground, bound by its feet, and dragged while everybody cheered.

Why don’t we turn it around and do the same to the wonderful cowboys and of course call it sport as we laugh at them being bound and hurt. They might tell you the animals don’t feel it, really? These four-legged creatures bleed and feel pain just as we do.




To the editor:

In his Dec. 25 letter to the editor, David Skelton writes: “No one hunts with an assault rifle.” If he is using the term “assault rifle” properly he is correct. “Assault rifle” is the English translation of the original German WWII term Sturmgewehr (Sturm means assault, gewehr mean rifle.) An assault rifle is a machine gun with a selector switch to allow semi-automatic fire, if desired.

Modern assault rifles include the full auto military weapon known as the M-16. And, if that is what Mr. Skelton means, he is correct; no one hunts with an M-16 machine gun.

However, if by “assault rifle” he means the anti-gun propaganda term for semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and pistol grip, then he is absolutely, positively, 100 per cent wrong. There is a long tradition of using a semi-automatic rifle for hunting in this country that goes back to the introduction of the Remington Model 8 Auto-loading Repeating Rifle in 1906.

Unlike the M-16 machine gun on which it is based, the AR-15 is semi-automatic only and is not a machine gun; nor is it an “assault rifle.” Numerous different hunting rifles based on the AR platform are manufactured and sold in this country. Do a search on line for the term “Modern Sporting Rifle” and what you will find are hunting rifles based on the AR-15, usually with a scope, maybe a bipod, often painted in camouflage, and typically with a detachable 5 round magazine.

The modern sporting rifle is available in a wide range of calibers, as small as .204 Ruger and as large as the .50 Beowulf. Most common, of course, are the .223 Remington and .308 Winchester. Hundreds of thousands of Americans use these semi-automatic modern sporting rifles for legal hunting.

What needs to happen, in order to properly frame the debate concerning firearms, is that each and every time someone uses the term “assault rifle” the person being addressed, including all reporters and newspaper editors, should raise their hand and asks for clarification; “By assault rifle do you mean machine gun or modern sporting rifle?”



Life and death

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in response to the Ms. Barbara Nelson’s letter of Dec. 21. I am a retired Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security. My career spanned 31 years. For the majority of that career, and continuing since I retired, I have been a law enforcement firearms instructor. I currently serve as an anti-terrorism instructor for the U.S. Department of State.

I am very glad Ms. Nelson is satisfied that a handgun is all she needs for her protection in her home. I on the other hand know from experience over my career that a handgun is a very poor defensive weapon.

Yes, the handgun is the constant companion of law enforcement officers, but that is due to its portability or concealability, not the power to immediately stop an attacker. All handgun calibers require exact shot placement in a vital area to ensure the complete stoppage of an attacker.

Ms. Nelson stated that if an intruder enters her home, a handgun should be sufficient to stop an attacker. She further went on to say that an assault rifle is just overkill. Well, Ms. Nelson, I have been in many more dangerous situations than hopefully you will ever be in. In each of those situations, I never felt that having a superior weapon to defeat my adversary was a bad thing. In a fight for your life, there is no such thing as “playing fair” if you want to survive. If an intruder breaks into my house, I will not stop and ask him what he is armed with, so I don’t have an unfair advantage when trying to stop his attack. I will use all means necessary to stop the attack.

It appears that Ms. Nelson feels that hunting an unarmed animal with a high-powered rifle is somehow more sporting than allowing a person to use one to defend their life and the lives of their families.

Since the tragic shooting in recent days, I have heard the “No one needs a weapon that shoots 30 rounds before they reload.” That is their opinion, but please don’t tell me what I need or don’t need to defend my life. You are certainly making this determination based on emotion and not on factual data. In a survival situation with a home invader, I adhere to the old saying “Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” This includes the 30-round magazine in my semi-automatic rifle.

Let’s discuss these matters with non-emotional, fact-based data, and let’s leave the ignorance out of it.



A pittance

To the editor:

I finally had to go to the Internet (Forbes Magazine) to see exactly what the Obama “soak the rich” tax increase was all about. Here it is:

A couple with income of $247,000 a year? No change.

Those making from $247,000 to $390,000 gross income (without deductions) would pay 4 percent more. Over $390,000 would pay 4.6 percent more.

Let’s see what this means in cash: $390,000 minus $247,000 equals $143,000, and 4 percent of that difference is $5720.

$390,000 per year is $32,500 a month. $5,720 per year is $470 a month.

Some way, the “rich” have to figure out to live on only $32,030 a month. What a problem! My heart bleeds.



It’s the guns

To the editor:

The same day that death struck Newtown, Conn., another primary school in Chengping, China was hit with a similar assault, but no child died because the assailant did not have a gun.

He had a knife and injured 22 children before he was stopped, but no child was murdered.

In a perfect world we would be able to 100 percent predict and stop insane behavior, but we live in an imperfect world and we must realize that we cannot adequately control or predict someone intend on committing murder. However, we can minimize their damage by restricting the tools they can use.

Let’s speak up and tell the NRA they do not speak for us, and tell our senators and representative we are watching how they answer this crisis.




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