From the week of January 11, 2001

Rick DeStephens

Shooting blanks: In my opinion, "Second Thoughts" was very well written. For some reason, Jeremy Voas was not completely clear on the purpose of the Second Amendment, perhaps to avoid an argument difficult to rebut, based on the gun lobby's millions spent to confuse citizens about the right to arm.

Concerned that a federal government would destroy the power of the states, certain states demanded an amendment to ensure the right of states (also in legal language, the people) to maintain a militia. The importance of this amendment showed up when the Southern states seceded and used the militias to battle the federal government in the War Between the States. These militias were guaranteed by the Second Amendment, which has nothing to do with any individual's right to own either a pistol or a machine gun. Except for interstate commerce, all gun rights are within the jurisdiction of the 50 states unless their territory is not part of a state.

The courts have made the above facts clear. However, the gun lobby, believing a conservative court might change the previous rulings, is going to court to reinterpret the Second Amendment.

David Lerner

Hunt and gather: I grew up on a small farm in the southeast corner of South Dakota. Pheasant hunting was a yearly fun time but also a time to fill the freezers with meat for the long winter.

The "beater" hunters would fan out in the corn rows, usually 25 feet apart, and walk the field from one end to the other, usually one-half to two-thirds of a mile. The "stand" hunters would position themselves accordingly, 25 feet apart at the end of the field. When the hunters came together, the pheasants would "flush" (fly up). Everyone shot at birds overhead, never, never, never at a bird flying horizontal whereby a fellow hunter may be hit by shotgun pellets.

The incident Jeremy Voas describes illustrates just that type of asshole hunter. That person would be banned from hunting with that group on the spot, no questions asked. In 300 hunting forays of this nature, I never witnessed stupid hunting, therefore the chaos described by Mr. Voas is an extreme, not the norm.

Mr. Voas takes Alan Korwin to task for his "beliefs in" the Second Amendment to our Constitution. First, Mr. Voas, I had the honor of packing a rifle for two years courtesy of my government and all others who were in need, including our Yellow Belly President, i.e., the great lover.

I spent two years full-time protecting the citizens of this country; now it's time to protect myself.

Eugene Barkl

Food for Thought

Office politics: "Pay Chex" by John Roark ( Eater's Digest, December 28) really tickled my funny bone. Being a blue-collar woman in a white-collar world, I never tire of corporate bashing. I am especially interested in these stories because I am a mid-management-level Generation Xer surrounded by boomers making their living working 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. five days a week. I find this amusing, since my real life has nothing to do with my occupation.

Kimberly Pash
via Internet

Eating right: What can I say except the truth hurts! I know -- I'm the one who organized our office potluck party! And I'm moving to an office with a window!

Name withheld by request

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