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What is 'ruin porn', anyway?

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Dear Editor:
re: “Stamping Out Your Right to Know”; [Politics and Prejudices, Nov. 20-26, 2013]

In my opinion, you offer views and facts on topics that are rarely exposed in the mainstream media these days.However, I was off put by your recent exacerbation about gun ownership. We all know the positions, pro and con, on the topic, but you seemingly missed the same basic fact that the Dearborn Heights homeowner did. Wafer stated in the police report that the gun went off by accident. Firearms (including all long guns) have a safety on them for a reason. The homeowner’s mistake was that he apparently went to the door with it switched off. This error on his part may be the sole reason that he faces the possibility of a manslaughter conviction in court.

The death of Ms. McBride in Dearborn Heights was a very avoidable tragedy that could’ve had a different outcome if he followed what every gun safety course teaches students: Never switch off the safety until you are ready to fire the weapon. Failure to follow this basic lesson has periodically resulted in the accidental injury or death of hunters in Michigan’s backwoods. I wish that people both for and against gun control would take the time to attend a basic gun safety class. In my opinion, this would temper the emotions around this subject and allow folks to speak on the topic with facts.
Larry Filipczak
West Bloomfield, Nov. 23, 2013

Dear Editor:

In response to the latest Politics and Prejudices column, a couple of counterpoints. On Republican lies: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” — Too many Democrats to list here. On the NRA: “… Go buy a shotgun.” —Joe Biden. The guy [Wafer] forgot to fire it in the air and he’s now charged — as he should be.
Patrick Weise
Berkley, Nov. 22, 2013

Dear Editor:
re: “Before the Rust”; [Cover Story, Nov. 20-26, 2013]

In your cover article, you use the cliché “ruin porn” four times in the first column. While dismissive, the correct term is actually “ruin documentation.’ No one is jerking off to these images, just staring with a mixture of wonder and sadness.

The fact that Enrico Natali’s book, Detroit 1968, records our city 45 years ago only adds to the world’s “WTF happened?” attention. There are many photographers today depicting the good in Detroit, but documentary records the truth, both good and bad. I hope in another 45 years there is another book nostalgically preserving Detroit’s rebirth that started in 2013.
Rob Kangas
Royal Oak, Nov. 23, 2013

The writer is a professor in the Fine Arts department at Oakland Community College in Royal Oak.

Dear Editor:
re: “Looking Past the Election”; [Politics and Prejudices, Nov. 11-19, 2013]

When reading your article in this week’s MT, I noticed two inaccuracies:

No. 1: There are those of us that choose to stay [in Detroit] while we can move to the suburbs if we choose. I went to college in New York City and afterward returned to Detroit and worked for Ford Motor Co. for 30 years. Before retiring in 1997, I was asked to transfer to the East Coast for a job assignment, and I accepted. I was there and watched when Bill Clinton moved [his offices] to Harlem in 1998. As a result, property values rose and new businesses came into Harlem; there’s a new hotel there and another being built as I write this.

No. 2: Krystal Crittendon is the one who legally knew what Detroit could and couldn’t do — by being the city’s attorney for so many years; and she wasn’t fired, she was just demoted.
Eugene Montgomery
Detroit, Nov. 19, 2013 

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