Don't take our guns
What is all of this "we" stuff Lessenberry writes about in his recent column, "Under the gun" (Metro Times, April 25)? I certainly have not asked for murder. Our gun laws work as well as possible to keep nuts and criminals away from guns and still protect the individual right to own the means to protect oneself against nuts and criminals. But when you have laws that forbid the law-abiding, responsible citizens from carrying the means to protect themselves, well, you get Virginia Tech.
I understand that the elite members of society, such as Lessenberry and the Rev. Harry Cook, feel that us plebian slobs out here just aren't capable of making proper decisions or acting responsibly on our own. We need government men (with guns) to watch over us and protect us from ourselves sort of like in China and Cuba.
Well, responsible citizens use guns every day to protect themselves and others from nuts and criminals. That's the "truth" about guns. Lessenberry needs to check his facts before he demands that the rest of us be left to the mercy of nuts, criminals and government. Bruce A. Hoepner, Royal Oak
Trust the government?
Call me crazy (of a kind, anyway), but I'm a lot more frightened by our government deciding who can own a gun an uncharacteristically Big Brother-trusting idea apparently advocated by Jack Lessenberry than I am of the occasional kook shooting his way to infamy.
Almost as disturbing, however, is Lessenberry's snide, broad swipe at nonconformity. I would expect a little more sensitivity from someone with firsthand access to young people of varying social skills, the vast majority of whom he knows are harmless. Matt Futrell, Westland
Shine's dark legacy
Re: Jack Lessenberry's homage to the departed Neal Shine ("Remembering newspapers," Metro Times, April 11). Note well: I am not, nor have I ever been a worker for the Detroit Newspaper syndicate. I am merely a hardcore industrial unionist with an intense contempt for all forms of social injustice.
Why in the name of Joe Hill would Lessenberry expect the workers, former as well as current, to forgive a man who to no small degree was responsible for the destroying of their futures, or the losing of their jobs, their homes and, in some cases, their families? And the worst part, the very worst part, is that all of the despicable and immoral acts perpetrated upon the workers, every last one of them, was carried out due to the insatiable, unquenchable greed of the parasitic employing class, which Neal Shine served as a willing tool.
Lessenberry writes that the strike was a "terrifically wrenching experience for him," and that the carrying out of his dirty deeds "must have given him enormous pain." Well boo-bloody-hoo!
During all of the labor movement's great battles, I'm sure that there were straw bosses and other agents of management that felt the same pain at seeing what was being done to their loyal workers and their families. But that doesn't excuse them for the part they played in the atrocities, nor does it mean that those that they helped rape should forgive them.
Instead of forgiving, the working class should have a sense of social justice and moral decency, and be outraged. Jim Abbott, St. Clair Shores, member, Detroit branch, Industrial Workers of the World
Bravo to Eve Doster for her article on the Detroit Music Awards ("Rock this vote?" Metro Times, April 25). The entire program has become stale over the years, with the same artists being recognized, yet the public is supposed to recognize the awards ceremony as fresh and innovative. If we as the Detroit music community become apathetic regarding our scene, how can we expect the rest of the world to give us an ear?
The DMA has gone through a lot of criticism over the years, yet has failed to strongly look at revamping the voting and nomination processes. Perhaps it is time for a publication such as the Metro Times to join with local booking agents, venue owners and recording studios to have an annual "emerging artists" presentation so that fresh artists get deserved recognition each year, while letting the local music community know that the scene is constantly evolving.
Hopefully, some of what Ms. Doster states will fall on open ears. Matt Merta, Hamtramck
Watch the tax man
Re: Your recent News Hits column, "Fighting foreclosures" (Metro Times, May 2): How many people have lost their homes in Wayne County due to overbilling by the county? My winter property tax bill arrived with the summer bill reportedly past due. I sent just the winter tax, noting that the county cashed my check for the summer tax and mailed me the receipt. Surely if I hadn't kept and remembered my records, Wayne County would have accepted the overpayment without comment. After all, no apology was offered for the overbilling. William Geiger, Detroit
Re: The "Coffee and cigarettes" article in your recent food issue (Metro Times, April 11). Coffee shops are sanctuaries. In this day and age of rush hours, high tech, automatic everything and e-mails instead of visits, I think we lose sight of sitting down, having a good cup of joe, and just existing. In coffee shops, this becomes possible again. We are able to unwind after a long day or meet people we would have walked past on the street. Communities become whole again with neighborhood joints like these, and it is about time that someone made known of our local area and what is available. Keep the information coming. Jessica Kreyger, Warren
Send letters (250 words or less, please) to [email protected]. Please include your telephone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.