Food For ThoughtEditor's note: Columnists Jeff Smith and M.F. Munday have traveled to the wilds of Montana, where they are hunting venison with handguns. They will return next week.
Disciplinary ActionTo the Editor,
Now I know why your "newspaper" is free! You have finally shown such a lack of information and knowledge that after 10 months of being raked over the coals, I must respond.
In The Skinny item "Citizen Kissy Face," (Tucson Weekly, June 1), after knocking the Citizen for doing something positive for kids in their annual scholar and athlete awards (which seems to be the gist of most of the dialogue from this publication), a paragraph was given to acknowledge the Ted James Invitational. The person noticing the T-shirt implied this invitational in Douglas was a tribute to the Ted James at Catalina! I am quite sure that the folks in Douglas want to rip her writing hand into disjointed knuckles because the Ted James Invitational in Douglas is a tribute to one of the most devoted and longtime track persons that community has ever known. It has nothing to do with the Ted James at Catalina High School! They have no clue who Ted James from Tucson is! To even indicate Ted is a long time teacher, which he is, but one who would have a track meet, of all things, named after him is going way out on a limb to glorify folks no longer at Catalina High School.
You are wrong a great deal of the time. To misrepresent a person so widely respected by the track and field community is really quite disgraceful. Try to do better next time.
--Linda Schloss, Principal
Catalina High School
Editor's note: "Rip her writing hand into disjointed knuckles"? Linda, glad to see you're finally getting tough. Be that assertive with your students and maybe those fire engines won't visit your campus as often next fall.
Best DefenseTo the Editor,
Contrary to the assertions of Tom DeMoss and Thomas Zeilman (Letters, Tucson Weekly, June 8) and even Jeff Smith ("Fantasy Firepower," Tucson Weekly, May 25), the current controversy over the private ownership of firearms (high-capacity "assault weapons" of others) is not about whether one likes or dislikes people who take out their frustrations on tin cans or other targets with much lead fired rapidly. Nor is it about who is or is not a "Real Man." The real issue is the right and the capability of law-abiding persons, male and female, to defend themselves against armed criminal attack.
According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, violent crimes committed by multiple assailants have risen dramatically. That is the context in which firepower becomes important. A person armed with a six-shooter who is attacked by a gang of half a dozen two-legged predators would have to incapacitate each and every assailant with one shot, a highly unlikely feat even for a well-trained shooter. In such a situation the ability to fire 15 or 20 shots without reloading is not a catharsis; it may be the difference between life and death for the would-be victim. The police cannot be everywhere to protect us at all times.
I neither know nor care whether my very modest gun collection qualifies or disqualifies me for anyone's conception of a "Real Man." I do know, however, that should the need arise, I am better able to defend myself and my loved ones with it than without it.
Jeff Smith's libertarian argument for guns as harmless "cathartic" reaction is valid, but he does scant justice in his last paragraph to the most important point, which is our right to defend ourselves and to possess the capability to do so. I strongly resent the Clinton administration's restrictions on those rights, simply to force me to conform to what Thomas Zeilman and others think a "Real Man" should be.
--John W. Major
Music MessTo the Editor,
I read the two Lamb's letters (Tucson Weekly, June 8) castigating Molly Who's article on the Folk Festival ("Folk Festering," Tucson Weekly, May 4). A suggestion to the Folk Festival organizers: send Jesse Colin Young or his manager a letter asking him to come back next year and pay TKMA to play. Let us know what he says, if anything.
As performers, Gerry Glombecki, Don Reeve, Phil Stevens and Molly Who's names are quite familiar to me. I have never ever heard of Dennis Lamb or Mary Lamb. Could it be that Don Reeve and Molly Who have graduated from playing for free and paying to play? Could it be that they are treating music as their profession?
Professional musicians get paid to perform. Declining to participate in the Folk Festival and saying exactly why, in an article, is no crime. Molly's article and the Lamb's letters, despite themselves, strongly suggest that the Folk Festival is Stage Time For Amateurs, except for the Professional Headliner, who is paid well to perform, and without whom the public wouldn't show. I think I understand it now.
Give Me LibertarianTo the Editor,
Regarding The Skinny's "Primarily Speaking" (Tucson Weekly, June 8), The comments of Tamara Clark, a Libertarian activist from Maricopa County, illustrate the fundamental difference between Libertarian activism here in Pima County and the less successful efforts in that other county to the north. The Libertarian Party in Maricopa County has for quite some time functioned as nothing more than a Libertarian social club, trying in vain to influence public policy through publicity stunts while largely eschewing the nuts-and-bolts work of party building.
What Clark and her Maricopa Libertarians fail to realize is that there is a huge difference between the individual choice not to participate in an activity that the individual finds unsavory, and a political party's efforts to build legitimacy. There is nothing immoral or unlibertarian about a political party choosing to participate in a presidential primary, flaws in the system notwithstanding. Clark has every right to choose not to participate. But a party working to earn respect with the general electorate would be ill-served to follow Clark's advice.
Libertarians here in Pima County understand that a political party must work within the system or run the risk of being rendered voiceless. While Clark and her pals argue the finer points of Libertarian philosophy, Libertarians in Pima County register voters, gain continuing party status and elect precinct committeemen.
If Clark and her friends in Maricopa County would like to continue serving in their current capacity as Arizona's Libertarian social club, they should get out of the way of those of us working hard to build a party. Unfortunately, it is clear that Clark has no intention of doing so. At the recent state convention, Clark and her cronies threw out over 300 Pima County proxy votes to ensure Maricopa County supremacy. That was unlibertarian.
Pima County Committee
Arizona Libertarian Party
Smith's LessonTo the Editor,
What a writer Jeff Smith is--bullheaded, contentious, occasionally wrong, but never stupid. His essay "Pomp and Circumstance" (Tucson Weekly, June 8) should be widely read as an example of the madness of our times and the ignorance of our educators.
Suzanne Ashby should be writing letters of apology to all the students of Rincon High School for masquerading as an educated person.
H.L. Mencken would be proud, Jeff. Keep it up.
--Thomas J. Cox
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