Light at the end of the tunnel
I'm an executive board member and a precinct delegate in the 14th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization and I read with great interest the article, "Snyder takes command," (Jan. 5) and I must say, with some cautious optimism, I believe Gov. Rick Snyder will be good for the state. When the campaign was going on, I heard then-candidate Snyder speak, and he was always upbeat and talked about inclusion. He would often mention the city of Detroit as he spoke in a positive light. He's above partisan politics and he doesn't want to "leave anybody behind." I believe there's light at the of the tunnel, and it's not a freight train — it's the light of hope and the beginning of a new dawn for the state of Michigan. —Thomas A. Wilson Jr., Detroit
Regulate gun ownership
This letter is in response to the articles covering the shooting tragedy in Arizona ("Crazy tolerance for guns," Jan. 12).
The second amendment of the United States Constitution states: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Obviously the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard, whereby trained military personnel are entrusted with the defense of this country against foreign and domestic enemies. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded.
The only two reasons for a citizen to own a firearm are for hunting or defense of a household from intruders. In either case, ownership of a handgun, shotgun or rifle is more than adequate to satisfy these purposes. There is absolutely no need for any U.S. civilian to own any weapon more powerful or sophisticated than these. Accordingly, all handguns, shotguns and rifles must be licensed and registered to the degree necessary to match weapons to owners at the click of a computer key. Furthermore, if we had prohibited the purchase of more sophisticated weapons (e.g. a Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine), several innocent victims would not have died or been harmed during this tragedy, as well as in shopping malls and on college campuses.
The shooter is obviously disturbed by mental illness, and it appears that those defending the right to own sophisticated weapons exhibit the same qualities by showing a callous disregard for the safety and protection of their fellow citizens. Mental illness and guns are as bad a combination as alcohol and driving. Evidently we have the money to fight two wars overseas but not the political will to treat the mentally ill who are not only a danger to themselves but to everyone else as well. —Joe Bialek, Cleveland
The blame game
Jack Lessenberry's column on the Tucson massacre was a fine tribute regarding the career of Gabrielle Giffords. His tribute to the other victims of an insane man was also touching and appropriate. But his implication of guilt on the right is a sorry example of his inability to separate his delusions about national politics, from reality.
His posting of the blame on conservative rhetoric is not a surprise, considering his past work. The quote from the Democratic Party activist Sheriff Clarence Dupnick shows his partisan leanings. His inference of violent tendencies from her U.S. Marine opponent in her narrowly won Congressional race, because of his grounding in gun culture, was not unexpected. Oddly, Mr. Lessenberry didn't bother to mention that congresswoman Giffords was a proud gun owner — in fact, an owner of the same type of weapon that the psychotic killer used on her. Would that she and her staff had been carrying as this monster approached to commit his atrocity.
Mr. Lessenberry goes on to lament the lack of more comprehensive gun control laws. Except that violent crime and murder rates have actually dropped since more American states liberalized their gun control laws.
This elitist folderol would have more impact had the author grounded his comments in reality. His weary, ad hominem excoriation of his political opposites also gives us reason to question his ability to focus — on anything. —Bruce A. Hoepner, Northville
Call to action
After years of being criticized by Metro Times that, according to MT, the Detroit Music Awards nominations and winners are the same acts year after year — here's your chance to remedy the alleged wrong. Spread the word. Have all of your employees and readers submit their favorite artists and projects to the ballot. This is my challenge to you. Don't complain; participate. If you want change, make it happen. Submissions are now open for the Detroit Music Awards. See lnk.ms/4cZV2 to submit your favorite artists and projects to the ballot. The Detroit Music Awards, 20th Edition, is coming April 15, 2011, to the Fillmore Detroit. —Howard Hertz, president, Detroit Music Awards Foundation, Bloomfield Hills