Letters From the Issue of Thursday, September 21, 2006


Keep your eyes on the road: My daughter, who's an ASU student, read your cartoon story on Jesus as an illegal immigrant to me while we drove from Tempe to Paradise Valley ("The Passion of El Cristo," Jim Mahfood and Stephen Lemons, September 14). I can tell you we laughed out loud and giggled our butts off.

Steve Lemons' caricatures are so true. Steve is dead right on all the racism. The politicians deserve everything he handed out to them and more.

We especially loved the Corona and lime, water-to-wine analogy, and of course the endless humor and skill he and Jim Mahfood possess in verbally and pictorially exposing all the hurtful and harmful generalizations about Mexican people and culture. Arizonans and the world need to open their hearts and minds and remember the real reason we have been born into this world — to love each other.

Well done. Freedom of the press is actually alive and well in Phoenix at New Times.
Patricia Kerr, Paradise Valley

Dan the Man

Happiness is a warm gun: I read your "Killer Candidate" article (Sarah Fenske, September 7) and found it interesting from several standpoints. Before I get into anything here, I want to state that I do not take anyone's side.

My wife and I are gun owners (self-defense purposes only), and we also have concealed-carry permits. In Arizona, an individual without any felony convictions or a domestic-violence history can legally own and openly carry a firearm. If you register and take a concealed-weapons-permit class, then pass the background investigation, Arizona will issue you a concealed-weapon permit. There are obviously stipulations to where you are allowed to carry a concealed weapon.

The legal issues are greatly stressed in the class; one of the first topics covered is "What if I shoot someone?" The main item here is, it absolutely must be in self-defense, which means you feel your life, or anyone's life, is in imminent danger. You may not defend your property — only yours or someone else's physical well-being.

You must shoot to kill; if not, you can and will be charged with the anti-maiming law, and you will go to jail. If the attacker survives, they have the option to file charges against you under the anti-maiming law; this is why law enforcement members are trained in shoot to kill and load with extremely lethal hollow-point rounds.

If, in the line of self-defense, you shoot and kill someone, you can expect to be questioned by law enforcement, and possibly arrested. At the time law enforcement arrives on the scene, you will be required to surrender your firearm, you will inform them you shot the attacker in self-defense, and then you are strongly advised to invoke your Miranda rights. Law enforcement may become upset, but its job is not to help you; it is required to get as much information from you as possible in order to aid in any potential prosecution.

You are always advised to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Once you invoke Miranda, law enforcement may not question you further. Does this make you look guilty? Maybe yes, maybe no. Crime-scene technicians will be able to tell if you acted in self-defense. Acting in self-defense will not get you arrested and prosecuted, but you can expect to be sued.

Hopefully, this may help fill in some of the blanks on why Dan Coleman immediately invoked his Miranda rights, as well as help shed some light on why he did not go to jail.
Name withheld by request

Rumor-mongers: Regarding your piece on Daniel Coleman, my fiancé, I realize that informing the public is no longer the purpose of newspapers; you are in the entertainment business. I do understand your need to sensationalize Dan's story.

With that said, I had hoped you might have written a balanced piece, or fully explained the "rumors" you included in your piece.

The local man who threatened to go after Dan's truck with a baseball bat did go after his truck with a baseball bat. It was only after he had smashed out Dan's windows that Dan pulled out his gun. As soon as he stopped beating on the truck, Dan put the gun away and called the police.

In another run-in with the same "local man," the man brought a gun to a bar saying he intended to kill Dan. Dan let this "local" know that he was armed as well. Dan actually ended up driving the man home that evening because he was too drunk to drive himself.

These are not the actions of a bully.

Annette Chalker chose to drive drunk (with her two young children in the car), to steal an air compressor off a secluded ranch, very close to the Mexican border. Upon finding that the air compressor had been moved inside, she chose to break into a locked house, which belonged to a gun-store owner and avid collector of firearms. Dan simply met an intruder in his living room with the intention of protecting his family, his property and his life. But for Annette's choices, she would still be alive today. Her family has suffered; that is a tragedy. However, they have suffered from Annette's actions, not Dan's.

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