As a Payson resident who has been leading hikes, under the name "Payson Packers," in this state for more than 13 years (without a gun), I am outraged about the story of Humane Society volunteer Grant Kuenzli being shot and killed by an "armed" hiker at the Pine Trailhead on May 11.
Members of the Packers "C" Group have seen the late Mr. Kuenzli with dogs at least two times in the past month -- once in the area of Bear Flats/Green Valley April 6, and again in the Preacher Canyon/Hwy 260 area April 13.
Mr. Kuenzli and his dogs were very friendly, with the dogs being well behaved. Mr. Kuenzli even showed the hikers an exercise area he had made for the dogs to enjoy.
As a former national park ranger, I find the gunman's claim that he flagged down an off-duty U.S. forest ranger to report the killing a strange event, an act to make himself look good.
Just as disturbing is The Arizona Republic headline, 5/20, "Who's got a gun," "1 in 82 Arizonans has a concealed weapon permit" story.
It's about time these "gun nuts" stop re-living their childhood fantasies of "cops and robbers" and "cowboys and Indians," games I hope children no longer play, and throw their grown-up toys away.
David Engleman, Payson