OK, let’s get this out of the way: I’m a gun owner and hunter, 46 years worth, deer, elk, and sometimes grouse, all here in Colorado. So, speaking of grouse, let me grouse a bit about the meandering, condescending, error-filled, and hopelessly overstated letter from the man in Carbondale who seems militantly in favor of assault rifles and who is writing from an NRA template.

 For starters, you really ought not to be preaching about civics to student protesters. They don’t need your permission to speak their minds, nor do they need to hear from you that they’re being manipulated.  

Next, don’t put “gun violence” in quotes. It actually exists. Check the body count.

And don’t put “assault rifles” in quotes. That’s what they are, civilian versions of military weapons. With aftermarket accessories, they can be virtually identical.  

Also, don’t insult my intelligence by comparing death by firearms to death by hammers or cars.  Hammers and cars have a useful purpose. Assault rifles are not designed to get you to the store or whack down a spike. They’re designed to kill people, period. Check paragraph 4. They came from the military.  

Now, here it comes: “We use assault rifles for hunting and target shooting and self-defense.” No you don’t.  

OK, you can shoot it at a target, but come on, who are you fooling? That’s not what it was designed for. You can also use a switchblade to slice tomatoes. Do you need a 30 round magazine because you’re just too busy to reload? Did you miss the word “tactical” in all the advertising?

And what are you going to hunt with a typical .223 round, which by the way is not legal for big game hunting in Colorado? Are you really so inept you can’t kill an elk with one or two shots? And if you’re hunting small game, then it’s game over in the food department, unless you like fur, feather, and entrails soup. 

You might need an assault rifle for self-defense, but that would be defense against your own fantasies; you won’t be attacked by a horde of lawless intruders. Otherwise, it’s more likely that someone in your family will commit suicide with it, kill someone accidentally, or, in the case of Sandy Hook Elementary, kill a whole classroom of first-graders. Twenty children who will never have another peanut butter and jelly sandwich or another birthday.

And that’s what this is about: children being allowed to grow up, and adults having the sense to reign in this gun insanity. I have friends around here who are going to hate this letter. So what? I won’t be part of a knucklehead fraternity that would rather see children die than have some totally constitutional, Supreme Court-tested limitations on weapons with massive firepower that never should have been allowed into a civil society.  

 And I don’t need self-appointed patriots protecting me from the police state, thank you very much.


Frank Peters, Aspen