Printed letters, Sept. 4, 2011

I am concerned over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ recent punitive actions against Jim Wilcox and his business, A Pawn. BATF confiscated A Pawn’s entire inventory of firearms, and revoked Wilcox’s federal license to sell guns.

A Pawn is a pawn shop, but served a much more important function for Grand Junction and the surrounding area. It was our traditional source for affordable new and used firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories.

If you visited A Pawn at any time you would find it virtually packed with hunters and other shooting enthusiasts. This was because Jim is a very likeable person with a deep knowledge of all firearms that he shared with each customer to ensure that he received the perfect gun for his needs. Also, if one was buying a new gun, Jim would order it and sell it to you for approximately 10 percent less than you could buy the identical gun at Cabela’s.

I am frustrated that A Pawn is no longer in business, but my main concern is the way it was put out of business. BATF presented no evidence that Wilcox committed any crime. There was no proof he sold firearms to minors, criminals, terrorists or Mexican drug cartels, unlike BATF itself. It appeared that the reason for revoking his license was that, several times each year when Wilcox sold a gun, he “filled out ATF form 4473” imperfectly.

Things that concern me about this case: Why is it that a federal agency has the power to put a man out of business? Why can this be done without a criminal trial and presentation of proof that the man committed a crime? Where is it stated in the Constitution that the government has the right to come into a peaceful town like ours and attack our means for exercising our 2nd Amendment rights and do it with such vaporous justification.

But, finally, I wonder if there isn’t some unstated reason for shutting down A Pawn. Could it possibly be that the current administration in Washington might sense a threat if every citizen has easy access to firearms?

KENT R. CARSON

Grand Junction

Herzog deserves thanks for exposing duplicity

We want to thank columnist Denny Herzog for exposing the duplicity of our current administration and, in particular,  the NLRB and Wilma Liebman in his recent op-ed in The Daily Sentinel.

What in the world are these people, public servants, thinking of by slowing the start up of the Boeing production facility in South Carolina and delaying the hiring of 5,000 workers? We are outraged by this hypocritical behavior.

FRED AND SANDRA ZIMMAT

Grand Junction

National news should not trump local news stories

Denny Herzog’s recent commentary that belittled cable news was predictably slanted, what you might expect from a “retired executive editor of The Daily Sentinel.” Before I get carried away, I should make sure the op-ed wasn’t meant as a comedic interlude. Is that what Herzog intended?

I make no apologies for being an avid devotee of conservative cable news.  Some cable news programs, like most printed news, is not considered “news” at all. Both mediums are prone to adjective-and-adverb-laced attempts to promote the personal politics of the correspondent and his employers. But truth surfaces occasionally through lively cable debate.

Here’s one example: Through cable news, I was alerted to the billions and billions of taxpayer dollars that fund the very enemies that attack us. Newsworthy? Oh my, yes.  But it’s not easy to tattle on those kinds of abominations when the government conveniently “leaks” bits of tasty morsels to reporters who willingly play ball with the administration.  (Does anyone think “feeds” from the Associated Press are actually impartial news reporting?)

On Aug. 16th, the Sentinel gave front-page coverage to bombings in Iraq. Wow. National news. However, tucked away on Page 10 was an inconsequential little article mentioning a $1.2 million grant to fund an environmental study at the local Grand Junction Regional Airport.  The study has to be completed before the existing runway can be replaced. Mesa County will co-sponsor the study along with the city of Grand Junction.  (What happens if they find Ken Salazar’s three “endangered” flowers under the tarmac?)

Would cable news consider this ethical political reporting?  I hope not.

GAIL SCHULTZ

Grand Junction

AP’s Bachmann story was mostly opinion

The Daily Sentinel’s front-page article challenging Michele Bachmann’s statements regarding energy in the United States should have been placed in the commentary section, as it was saturated with opinion and was not subjected to any fact check of its own by an opposing viewpoint.

The article also had the unbelievable byline of The Associated Press. Why did a supposedly unbiased news agency take it upon itself to denigrate a GOP candidate for president by offering questionable opinions on a very complex issue? And why did it appear on the front page? AP should stick to reporting news stories and leave political opinion to the pundits.

JACK HOUSEMAN

Grand Junction



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