Letters from the Issue of May 19, 2005

Shark killers, whimpering liberals, and demanding drag queens

Bullet Time: Off Target

Errors mar otherwise lousy article: Regarding Francisco Alvarado's "Bullet Time" (May 5), I must point out some factual errors. Taking a class at a gun show does not allow one to simply walk out with a concealed-weapon permit. Rather upon successful completion you are presented with a certificate to be sent in with a standard application to the state division of licensing. Applications require one of eight forms of certification, of which this is one.

Additionally it should be made clear to readers that even with a concealed-weapon permit most citizens (notable exception: off-duty law enforcement) may not carry a weapon into a number of locations, including "any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose." Sorry, kids, that means most of us will have to leave our jeweled Beretta at home when we hit the South Beach clubs.

Movie trivia: It was not the .357 Magnum immortalized by the character of Dirty Harry, but the substantially more powerful ".44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world" -- or so it was then.

The statistics given in the article about the use of firearms in crimes have little to do with the article's topic; the association simply is not valid. I would like to add a key statistic from the Florida Department of State: "Right-to-carry license holders are more law-abiding than the general public. The firearm crime rate among license holders, annually averaging only several crimes per 100,000 licensees, is a fraction of the rate for the state as a whole."

Last, on a personal note, I take quite seriously the responsibility of carrying (legally) on a daily basis. If not for my grandfather exercising his right to keep and bear arms, it is highly unlikely that my mother, and therefore I, would be alive today.

Darren De Silva

Miami

Bullet Time: Misfire

Gun owners, blood-sucking lobbyists demonized: It has happened again. New Times and Francisco Alvarado once more have succeeded in providing readers with falsehoods, mischaracterizations, and slanted reporting. I believed "Bullet Time" was going to be an informative discourse on those individuals who possess "concealed carry permits" in the great State of Florida. Yet Mr. Alvarado chose to glamorize and demonize guns, gun ownership, and gun owners.

What journalistic purpose was served by using photographs of so-called gun models sporting bejeweled ordnance with their fingers on their respective triggers? Why is PETA not in an uproar over an animal so close to a possibly loaded weapon? Are you not encouraging the mishandling of dangerous firearms to your readership? (Please note sarcasm.)

Furthermore, in the part of the story that incorporated gun-crime statistics, you failed to mention that just one-tenth of one percent of those who possess concealed-carry permits in Florida have had their licenses revoked. Was it your intent to imply that "blood-sucking lobbyists" and "greedy developers" are the perpetrators of these crimes because they carry concealed weapons?

Finally, you blatantly lied to your readers by stating erroneously that you can walk out of a gun show with a concealed-weapon permit in hand upon completion of a short course; you walk out with an application to send to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Licensing Division.

Damschroder Boothe

Miami Beach

Bullet Time: .44 Magnum

Wrong gun, right model: Francisco Alvarado should be better informed, or at least watch Dirty Harry on late-night TV. Harry Callahan carried a .44 Magnum, not a .357.

But at least "Bullet Time" was different, and the model named Kristin was outstanding. Keep up the great cheesecake shots.

David Rozental

Miami

Dead Meat: Despicable

Celebrities need to get a clue: Thank you for Tristram Korten's article "Dead Meat" (May 5) and for once again bringing to the public's attention the ruthless butcher Mark "the Shark" Quartiano. While his lifestyle and the way he flaunts his despicable behavior is shameful, even more appalling is the number of celebrities and famous people who payhim to participate in this abhorrent bloodlust.

If there is anything to the concept of karma, Mark will meet his maker slowly and agonizingly, courtesy of several large jaws full of razor-sharp teeth.

Steven Spierer

Hollywood

Dead Meat: Sharks Slandered

Why won't the media pay attention? I want to congratulate Tristram Korten for writing "Dead Meat." People like Mark the Shark are really at the bottom of the chum bucket. I wish government officials would do more about those kind of "fishermen."

I've been trying hard to catch the attention of the media, but very few journalists want to write the true story about sharks. Most prefer to write horror stories about sharks. I wish I could find someone who is willing to portray sharks for what they really are -- among the most highly developed and oldest creatures on Earth, and essential for maintaining the balance of the ocean ecosystem. Why is it so difficult to get media exposure for that?

Please take a look at my Website (www.sharkprotect.com), and thanks again for a wonderful article.

Josef Baron Kerckerinck

Chaumont, New York

Dead Meat: Shut Him Down
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