Letters for December 12, 2002

Let’s see the sticker
Re "Living it up in smoke-free California" [RN&R, View from the fray, Nov. 27]:

I’ve come up with a sticker for restaurant tabs that reads, "I smoke, and my money is spent where smoking is allowed."

The 53,000 people who die annually of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease related to secondhand smoke would have developed those diseases regardless [of their proximity to secondhand cigarette smoke]. "Related to" means the doctor doesn’t know why your 50-year-old, non-smoking Aunt Ella developed lung cancer. It couldn’t have had anything to do with all the toxic chemical substances in our world. It wasn’t all those years of bug sprays, oven cleaners, diet sodas, lawn fertilizers, soap scum removers, paint thinners and more.

Cancer and heart disease strike humans because of the chemical-saturated, sedentary, overweight, fast food-eating lives we live. The Forest Service puts far more secondhand smoke into your lungs with just one of their out-of-control controlled burns. They’re just cigarettes, not flame throwers. If you don’t like my smoking, move three feet away, and you’ll be fine. Better yet, move to California. There’s no secondhand smoke there, and Californians never die. Oh, wait, my mistake, it’s that whiny, politically correct California propaganda that never dies. That pain in my ass is related to listening to it.

I’m going to smoke. You’re going to die whether I do or don’t. Sorry to break it to you. Blame me if you want. If I get lung cancer, I’m blaming the Forest Service. It makes about as much sense.

Jennifer Nelson
via e-mail

California Carpetbagger
Re "Under the gun" [RN&R, News, Nov. 14]:

I’m a firearm instructor certified by the state of Nevada and the NRA. I teach firearm safety classes for beginners, advanced instruction for those who want to be better shooters, and I teach concealed weapons classes.

Like Jim Calkins, I can’t claim to be a Nevada native, having only lived here since 1949. Still, I have some problems with him. He’s attempting to take the moral high ground using sleazy Clinton tactics. "For the children!" What a battle cry. What he really wants to do is frighten people. Who wouldn’t want to protect the children? From what is he protecting them, noise?

I first shot on Peavine Mountain about 1958, and I’ve been shooting there off and on ever since. I’ve never heard of any shots ever having been fired into or even near a dwelling. Think about how many hunters and shooters have used the mountain for recreation in all those years. There’s no way to count the number of rounds that have been fired, but hundreds of thousands is a conservative guess.

So Calkins and friends buy houses close to the mountain and a year later decide to infringe on the rights of others. Scream safety for the children and ignore the facts.

Another problem I have with Calkins is his self-righteous posturing about the litter on Peavine left by shooters. He whined about picking up shotgun shells and brass, as if he’s the only person concerned about the problem. I realize he knows nothing about Nevada, range protocol or shooting, and I’m certain he will never understand an outdoorsman’s love for Nevada, but there are thousands of us who take garbage sacks and clean up after the slobs every time we go out.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean nothing to Calkins, unless it’s his own happiness.

Second Amendment rights of others mean nothing to Calkins.

First Amendment rights of others to protest his behavior mean nothing to Calkins; he goes around tearing down "vaguely threatening" posters that offend him. Three for three is a pretty poor record even for a California carpetbagger.

Buddy R. Morton
Virginia City Highlands