Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The Gunslingers
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The Gunslingers

Robert Downes - August 30th, 2010
The Gunslingers
You have to wonder if Second Amendment activists are going to shoot themselves in the foot in Royal Oak this weekend, because they’ve finally succeeded in pissing off even the Republican establishment, along with the business community and the average American family.
An organization called Michigan Open Carry, Inc. is encouraging gun owners to carry their holstered pistols to a family festival called Arts, Beats and Eats in downtown Royal Oak on Labor Day weekend. The festival hopes to draw 25,000 people or more.
But many families are telling the Detroit media that they’ll stay away out of fear for their safety and that of their children.
That‘s because the open-carry crowd are setting themselves up as ad hoc citizen police officers, “protecting“ the public -- although without any police training or background checks as to their level of lunacy.
An ongoing fantasy for a person inclined to carry a gun around in public is drawing down on some bad guy in a public place and being the hero of the day to an adoring crowd.
But in real life, that could mean serving as judge, jury and executioner on a mouthy bunch of teenagers, spraying bullets around a downtown street packed with festivalgoers. And you know, our hero just might be more of a Nervous Nelly than a Deadeye Dick.
On the Detroit-area blogs, even a number of gun owners who have concealed weapon permits think that parading around with a holstered pistol at a festival is a stupid idea.
The Royal Oak City Commission struggled for weeks with the legality of its ban on open-carry handguns at the festival. Ultimately, the city attorney ruled that Royal Oak had no choice but to allow gun owners to carry their weapons in plain view downtown and the city voted 4-3 to avoid a lawsuit.
That’s because under state law, any person over the age of 18 who doesn’t have a criminal record can legally carry a holstered firearm in any public place except at a bank, court, entertainment venue that seats more than 2,500 people, theater, church, sports arena, day care center, hospital, bar or federal building.
L. Brooks Patterson, the Oakland County Executive who launched the charity festival in Pontiac 10 years ago, is furious.
“These guys want to make a point and don’t give a damn about the charities the festival supports,” Patterson told the Oakland Press. “I have a problem with these gun-toting zealots.”
Patterson is no gun-control liberal. The former gubernatorial candidate is a far-right leader of the Republican Party in Michigan, who could make the legislative wind blow in a new direction in Lansing if he chooses. As in, enacting laws to repeal dingbat ideas like carrying handguns at festivals packed with thousands of people.
And Patterson is not pleased with the idea of turning a family festival into a version of the Wild West. As he puts it: “If they want to carry guns, why don’t they join the army and get their asses over to Afghanistan?”
For their part, open-carry gun owners claim they’re only trying to protect themselves in a dangerous world by wearing pistols on their belts. That’s understandable in an edgy place like suburban Royal Oak: Possibly some latté-sipping hipster could lay a sneer and a really snarky remark on a pistol-packer from behind the shelter of an iPad at one of the many coffeehouses lining the town.
So if you‘re planning to parade around Royal Oak this weekend with your .44 strapped on your hip, expect to receive a healthy dose of the evil eye and plenty of “attitude“ from people who don‘t appreciate your cowboy act.
Closer to home, Michigan Open Carry held a pistol-packing picnic at Sunset Park in Traverse City in late June -- an event which drew more yawns than criticism, possibly because they were sequestered in a small park. It will be interesting to see the local reaction when the group decides to show up at future events in the region. Will the pistoleros be welcome at the Bay Harbor Art Fair or the Cedar Polka Festival? How about the Cherry Festival turtle race?
So, chalk the open-carry movement up as another one of life’s little irritations -- like the wanna-be teen gangbangers who wear their pants down around their knees, or the yahoos who drive through town with lewd rap music blasting out of their windows. Add to that the party poops who will soon be strutting around with pistols on their belts, demonstrating how “responsible“ they are as gun owners.
The difference is that the Pistol Petes may be crossing the line on a public safety issue that Michigan citizens will no longer be willing to tolerate.

 
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