After reading your opinion concerning guns at Arts, Beats & Eats ("Arts, Beats & Ammo," Aug. 25), I had to respond. First, you feel it's "terrible" that citizens have the right to keep a handgun for their own defense. Studies show that 800,000 to 2.5 million crimes are prevented because the potential victim had access to a firearm. It's fine if you choose not to own a handgun but don't make that decision for me. Second, you claim the Founding Fathers did not intend the Second Amendment to protect the private right of armed self-defense. Many legal scholars will disagree with you on that one. Do the research. Third, you claim "gun nuts" perverted the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled in Heller vs. Washington, D.C., that the Second Amendment gave individuals the right to keep and bear arms. Fourth, you mention serving beer at Arts, Beats & Eats. Anyone who owns a gun legally in Michigan knows you cannot consume alcohol and carry a firearm. To do so will lead to arrest. (By the way, no one seems too concerned about anyone drinking beer and getting behind the wheel of a car.) Fifth, if "some trigger-happy Barney Fife" drops a gun, nothing will happen. There is a safety in all modern handguns that prevents the firing pin from contacting the cartridge until the trigger is pulled. If the safety is compromised in any way, the gun will not fire. Sixth, "The gun nuts say everyone has the right to own a death machine and take it anywhere." The nation's largest gun rights organization, the NRA, has always supported keeping guns away from convicted felons and the mentally ill.
In the future, if you wish to write about gun control, at least get your facts straight. But you're like most anti-gun people. Rather than debate the facts, you choose to ignore them and fill your column with emotional rhetoric like "gun nuts" "band of creeps" or "trigger-happy Barney Fife." —Ashley Howie, Waterford
Re: Jack Lessenberry's "Arts, Beats & Ammo" (Aug. 25), since the framers of our Constitution were pretty smart guys, and also likely weren't being generationally puckish, I have to conclude that the ambiguity of the Second Amendment was a deliberate prompt for future patriots to decide what it should mean. Here's where I side with the "gun nuts."
Minus force — the only rejoinder a tyrant truly respects — Thomas Jefferson's "eternal vigilance" exhortation is impotent. Once you've decided your government is the enemy, doesn't permission to arm yourself seem an irrelevant absurdity?
Yes, the ambience at festivals is compromised by gun-toters. But yahoos with an infantile attachment to firearms intimidate me less than bureaucratic overlords who think guns aren't for "the little people."
I would also remind Jack Lessenberry that one mark of a mature political persuasion is the admission that sometimes the other side gets it right. —Todd Steven Kindred, Livonia
Article: After seeing the new anti-nuke film, "Countdown to Zero," I think Jeff Meyer was right in his Aug. 4 review when he called the movie creepy and nauseating. Terrorists smuggling a bomb via an insecure port is horrifying. However, I have to disagree about his criticism of the movie as ineffective and disheartening. Before seeing it, I did not see nukes as a big issue but now I understand my high school history teacher's urge to build a fallout shelter. However this fear has encouraged me to do something about this issue, even if it is just writing to Sen. Carl Levin and telling him to vote to get rid of our nuclear weapons. Even in the face of something terrifying, we must do something. We have to get rid of these dangerous weapons for all of our sakes. —Rick Durance, Ann Arbor
High school low
As a 17-year-old high school student just like Natalie Wright, I can more than relate to her article, "Diary of a Schoolgirl" (Aug. 25). College application season is just utterly insane, especially with the sheer amount of essays that have to be written and the pressure to present the image of a generic perfect student.
It's all fluff, which I hate every bit as much as she does. College admissions officers say they want to get to know you, but what they mean is that they want to see that you have your 4.0 GPA, your 2400 SAT, and your extracurricular activities and sports, all packaged up with a neat response to some uninspired prompt in that detestable generic tone: "I bring diversity to my community in the form of my passion for learning and my curious attitude toward the sciences and arts" — bah! If these admissions officers want plain vanilla, the nearest fast food restaurant and its milkshakes are just a short drive away.
Before I get carried away with my jeremiad, however, I wish you the very best of luck with getting into your dream school, and your nails a speedy recovery. —Antonio Gurgel, Lake Orion
Erratum: Due to an editorial error, we incorrectly attributed a letter about our story on Jon Moshier ("Love light is on"). The letter should have been attributed to Claudia Tusset of Mount Clemens.