Shalom Run

Peace offering: I am disappointed that political instability threatens the safety of athletes competing for their country ("This Jew Won't Bunt," Paul Rubin, June 28). It is indeed a sad day. All of us can only hope, dream and pray for a day when the world will be at peace. Sadly and realistically, it is not something that I anticipate in the very near future.

As Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of many other faiths, hopefully we will all work toward creating conditions where young people can gather to participate in sports, learn from each other and do so in an environment free of threats to their personal safety and that of their teammates and coaches.

Thank you for writing a very forthright, frank and insightful story. I admire your courage and determination to make what must have been a very difficult decision.

I'm no Bible thumper or pulpit preacher, so I appreciate it when you write that they were thinking of you when they invented the word secular. At the same time, it is probably the appropriate thing to do by closing with "Shalom," or, as they say in my church, "May the peace of Christ be with you."

Shawn Williams
Assistant Coach
Waterloo (ON) Hallman Twins

Hurt's So Good

Blue cheer: Thank you, Peter Case, for bringing great music and musicians together on Avalon Blues, the Mississippi John Hurt tribute CD ("Avalon Sunrise," June 28). This project has been long awaited by all of us who are P.C. fans. Kudos to Eric Waggoner as well -- usually something this great is missed or misunderstood by the media. Just like MJH learned to live with the blues, we in Phoenix have learned to live with the heat -- we have been blessed with a cool new CD for summer! I wish we could coax more of the musicians who appear on this treasure to the Valley of the Sun.

Diane Hudson

Bearing Down

Bad will hunting: I couldn't agree more with the woman named Patricia Heater ("Kodiak Moment," Patti Epler, June 7). What kind of a man kills for the sheer joy of killing? This "man," Tony Fabriger, is not a man. People with no regard for life belong in prison, or better yet, let's open the hunting season on them, and see how quickly they develop a respect for life in general.

May the stuffed carcass of this bear be a reminder to him that he is nothing but a cold-blooded killer. If "karma" actually exists, Mr. Fabriger is in for a nasty ending.

Gail Auditore

Chicken snit: How manly is it to kill a hibernating bear? Hey! I bet I have the answer. It's about as manly as attacking emotionally scarred individuals in a senseless comic strip!

Richard Beeman

Gun Stun

In arms' way: Interesting story, but to use a firearms metaphor, it missed the target and shows that you have failed to understand the issues ("Unpackin' Mama's Pistol," Edward Lebow, June 7). Your story reiterates the "party line," as they say. It never gets to the heart of the matter in a substantive way. Did you even stop long enough to think to yourself: "What is being pre-empted and why?" Or ask yourself the question, "How does putting a prohibition sign on the door to the library make patrons 'safer'?" I'm fairly sure, and you should be able to figure out, that if someone wants to carry a gun into a library for the purpose of doing some criminal act, the sign on the door won't stop them. And if a law-abiding "gun-toting citizen" wishes to carry a self-defense weapon into the library, the prohibition sign doesn't make anyone safer by prohibiting him or her from entering the building while armed. They will probably carry concealed quietly or leave. The third choice is not usually considered very desirable: leave the weapon in the car and hope that it doesn't get stolen. The safest place for a personal self-defense weapon is maintained on the person, and gun handling in any fashion such as removing it to place it in a vehicle or in a storage locker at the library is inviting a mishap that everyone wants to prevent.

Setting your story in the context of a museum with a bunch of children running around implies that the very presence of an armed law-abiding citizen puts them at risk of harm. This might make good copy, but the truth is just the opposite. The creation of "unarmed victim zones" tells the criminally minded that they will meet no armed resistance to their devious behavior. On private property, the right to prohibit armed citizens is both legal and unwise. But in public locations, especially those that are paid for by the taxes of everyone, it is bad public policy. Why does it seem reasonable to you that someone who passed a state approved "concealed carry" licensing program is a safety threat in a public library or museum? But they are apparently okay on the street, the sidewalk or driving around town on a taxpayer-financed freeway?

Gary Christensen


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