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Answers from the NRA I am an elementary music teacher in Buda, Tex.; also, I am a life member of the NRA. I read [“Who’s afraid of the NRA?”] in a sample issue of The Texas Observer and do not agree with the writer; however, thank heaven we have the freedom of the press in the USA! You have probably read the communists’ list of ways to destroy our country. Some have practically happened, as young people involved in the extremes of sex, revolution in the young people, etc. However, I still believe that the minority of young people are involved. By the way, I’m 27. Another goal of the communists is to end gun ownership. It was mentioned in the article about remembering “almost every Saturday night . somebody would get drunk, get mad, go out and buy a gun and kill someone else.” I’m sure that’s true; it’s happening now. But you said they got drunk first, then killed someone. Liquor, beer, all alcohol cause more deaths than anything; as a school teacher, I know children whose parents can drink, carouse around, draw “unemployment” because they are too intoxicated to work as a true worker. Yet, you seemed to blame the NRA after drinking. I think an article about the many 24 The Texas Observer IDialogue harms of alcohol in your magazine would be great. W. H. Bowen, Box 248, Wimberley, Tex. Unhappy reader F you. NRA member, Alamo Iron Works, San Antonio, Tex. This letter has been blipped of a gratuitious obscenity. Ed. Keep on plugging I liked your piece, “Who’s afraid of the NRA?” in the Observer of Jan. 29. That is, I was pleased with all but the somewhat apologetic, pessimistic final paragraph. Almost everybody knows that something should be done about the excess of dangerous firearms in this country particularly handguns. No matter that the sloganeering NRA says that guns don’t kill people; only other people do there is no solace in such murky thinking. As things are heading, eventually even the NRA type of mentality will have to face up to the inevitability of tighter controls on and more severe penalties for the misuse of dangerous weapons. I would suggest that it is the NRA that is on the defensive, not those who are desperately trying to correct a sorry situation. Keep plugging away at it! George M. Sammons, 4002 Prescott, Dallas, Tex. 75219. No $ sense “Mexicans like to live in slums.” So said a prominent state official a few months ago. I now know how that can be remedied: just give them lessons on bank loan-stock deals and they can live in mansions, maybe even in an Austin mansion in “dignity” yet. I am the world’s worst businessman. Making a buck, other than salary book royalties lectures, is a mystery to me. I’ve nver bought stock. I would/ft know how to go about it. But I guess I could learn. After all, we have an old Spanish saying: “No le pido a mi Dios que me de dinero, solo que me ponga donde hay.” \(I don’t ask my Lord .to give me Maybe I could learn to borrow big money without collateral, what banks to borrow from, and what stocks to buy and when to sell at the critical moment. There, you see, I am naive for I am assuming that I wouldn’t have to put up a dime of my own money. I guess Frank is right we university professors just don’t have the know-how. Sigh. George I. Sanchez, 221 Sutton Hall, Austin, Tex. About those trout In his most recent self-embarassment before the readers of The Texas Observer, Humbert Mewhinney tries to make a big deal out of the fact that Dempsie Henley \(in his book, and I \(quoted but not named in a recent Observer “trout” in the Big Thicket. All right, let’s admit it: the Ticket has no trout. And let’s also admit the cause of the error: in East Texas bass are often as not called “trout” by local fishermen. Dempsie is guilty of using the local language and I of quoting him. The point Dempsie and I were trying to make, however, still stands: the Thicket region has extremely varied fish life and water ecosystems. You will find sluggish Southern bayous there replete with mud cat and alligator gar; and you will also find cold, swift-running streams which contain bass and pickerel a fish more at home in Michigan than in Texas. So what is true for Big Thicket trees, orchids, snakes, birds, mammals, toadstools, vines, fungi, and insectivores is true of its fish life as well: The Big Thicket is the Biological Crossroads of North America. Let’s save it. Pete Gunter, 1903 Locksley Lane, Denton, Texas 76201. Love Story I object vehemently to “The Austin Journalism Review” Obs., Jan. 29. Is Steve Barthelme the same snob who wrote about “Susie Creamcheese” in the back of a UT lit course a while ago? Perhaps the reason that girls seem so empty-headed and interchangeable to Mr. Barthelme is that he doesn’t approach them as human beings, but only as realizations of his preconceptions. Damned if I’d share my blanket with him on Boston Common. Frances Karttunen, Radcliffe ’64, 1714 A Rockbridge Terrace, Austin, Tex. 78741.