What They Said … 

Letters and comments from Flyer readers... guns in Midtown, more Henri Brooks, Memphis pension issues.

click to enlarge GREG CRAVENS
  • Greg Cravens

About a letter to the editor on gun control ...

"Was that a gun?" My girlfriend asked, shortly after midnight one Friday evening. "No. Probably not," I said. It could have been a gun, but it could have been firecrackers. It could have been a dumpster slamming against a garbage truck. The three staccato reports following the first, however, confirmed her suspicions. 

"Time to go inside," she said. I reluctantly followed suit, a little frustrated that our pleasant evening on the porch was abruptly ended. We turned on the house alarm, turned off the lights, and went to bed, like we always do — with a loaded handgun in the bedside table and a loaded shotgun in our bedroom. 

After reading the last issue of the Flyer, I can't help but wonder who would be considered the bad guy in this situation: the person who presumably shot a gun in the middle of the night or the couple who went to bed early in a home full of (legal) guns? Judging by a highly opinionated letter to the editor, I wonder if there's even a distinction.

We're new residents of Midtown, part of the growing number of DINKs who are migrating from the suburbs back to the city's center to enjoy the great bars, restaurants, music, and architecture that makes Midtown a fine place to live. Crime and safety played a role in where we decided to land, and, we came to the conclusion that the danger of burglary or personal harm are at worst, no worse than what we already experienced in Cordova. From what I have seen of my peers and neighbors, we're all pretty similar — khaki shorts and flip flops, collegiate apparel, professional jobs. Ten years ago, we'd all be suburbanites. Several of my Midtown friends and new neighbors are gun owners and possess Tennessee handgun carry permits. We carry concealed handguns when we walk our dogs. Poop bags in one pocket, pistol in the other. We have loaded guns in our homes. They are tools for self defense as well as hunting and sport shooting.

We're part of the neighborhood for the long haul. So, when the Flyer sneers at political "gun suckers" or prints letters to the editor that suggest NRA members should be put on reservations, is it a cheap shot at the old, fat, white guy with a gun? I guess it doesn't matter, because legal guns are coming back to Midtown. Many are already here.


About Bruce VanWyngarden's Editor's Letter on Henri Brooks ...

I'd like to know how it is possible that a family that includes a former county mayor and a campaign manager among its three attorneys did not know Commissioner Brooks was residing outside her district. I have never worked for any politician when I did not know where they lived and slept. I have never heard of an attorney outside of certain pro bono cases who did not have a billing address for their client. I have never heard of a mayor who did not know where the district lines were drawn. Something really stinks here.Autoegocrat

The Henri I know and love was a gentle soul. I remember on lazy autumn afternoons, after screening old Fellini movies and cooking Italian meals in my kitchen on Crump Boulevard, I'd take her in my arms and softly sing my favorite Manilow tune in her ear:

"Time in New England

Took me away

To long rocky beaches

And you by the bay ..."

Then she'd dump an entire bottle of vintage Latour on my head, call me a Mick, and drive back to Cordova. Special times, man. Special times.

Dave Clancy

About Toby Sells' story "Memphis City Council Cuts Employee Benefits" ...

The city lowered the amount they were contributing to the retirement fund years ago. That is part of the problem with the pension being short. That was a Herenton change. It is hardly good business to take away insurance when these employees are not able to pay into Social Security. That is one of the reasons the city offered insurance coverage for retirees: the employees could not get Medicare unless they paid SSI for the right number of quarters. Many have not had enough hours under SSI to qualify, as they were possibly in the military and then on to the police dept.

Don't Be Sad

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