Letters to the Editor 


Thanks for Michael Finger's even-handed account of the concealed-carry issue ("On Target?," March 19th issue). I went through the Rangemaster course in order to obtain a license to carry a gun. To be honest, I really hate carrying a concealed weapon. I'm uncomfortable with it at my side, and I often worry someone else will become aware that I have it. It's also a very serious responsibility carrying a gun around, one that I would prefer to do without. I bet most people feel the same way.

The only thing that forces me to carry is the rampant violent crime in the area and my strong desire to protect myself and my family. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need this form of protection, and in such a world I might actually support a carry ban. But we don't have that perfect world — far from it.

David O'Rourke


Thanks for the article about obtaining a handgun permit. It is refreshing to see a story printed about this issue written in a non-biased, factual form. You and your staff are greatly appreciated.

Neil Taylor


I just read your article on Rangemaster, and I was very impressed and surprised. Thank you for an honest approach to getting a concealed-carry permit in Tennessee. It is time-consuming and expensive, but Rangemaster made the class entertaining and informative. Great reporting.

Steve Monaghan


My deep appreciation for the gun-permit article. It was accurate, factual, and well-written. Thanks.

Dale Sojourner


mud island

After denigrating Mud Island River Park (City Beat, March 19th issue), John Branston finally makes his point: "With the land bridge off the table and the Front Street promenade apparently tied up in court indefinitely, the most obvious candidate [for commercial development] is on the west side of the harbor." That is, Mud Island River Park! Were the Mud Island attractions Branston denigrates promoted like the others Branston names, visitorship would increase.

In slamming Mud Island, Branston ignores the monorail, which thrills visitors of all ages with immense, visible gears and spectacular river views; the terminal's incredible murals; a museum as visitor-friendly as any in the city; paddle boats; a steep embankment that, with a cardboard box, is a thrill-of-a-lifetime ride; and the model of the Mississippi. 

As a newcomer with many non-Memphis visitors, Mud Island is where we head, and repeat guests clamor to go there. As a founder and for 20 years CEO of a large children's museum in a major city, I have visited museums around the world. The Mississippi model is one of the best exhibits I have seen on any continent in any venue. 

The Riverfront Development Corporation seems determined to find someplace for commercial development.  Denied the ill-conceived land bridge and unable to grab the promenade, has the RDC now decided to bad-mouth Mud Island? Shame on the RDC for its ill-disguised attack on some of Memphis' best treasures! The RDC has had its day and failed. Its work should be returned to a Park Commission with no vested interests in commercialization of public lands.

Ann Lewin-Benham


The Financial Meltdown

Everyone, including the so-called left-wing press, has forgotten who allowed the AIG scandal and the Wall Street economic meltdown to happen. Three Republicans, back in the late '90s, wrote a bill that passed and was signed by President Clinton. It allowed banks and insurance companies to become like Target or Wal-Mart: one-stop shopping for all your financial needs.

The problem started when American voters put Republicans in total charge of the government. They then started to dismantle regulations that had protected consumers for decades. To make the matter worse, oversight became a thing of the past. President Bush appointed an anti-regulation Republican congressman, Chris Cox, as the fox to guard the henhouse. As head of the SEC, Cox cut regulators and failed in his duty to oversee Wall Street and the greedy crooks who were undermining our economy.

Now, the same Republicans who allowed this mess to happen want to blame President Obama and anyone else they can think of. That personal responsibility they want the rest of us to display has no place in their own failure to govern.

Jack Bishop


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