So Now I Am An ‘Ilk'

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Editor:

In reference to the letter by Mark Ernest Reza (Payson Roundup Sept. 21) concerning Mr. Castleman's letter of the previous week, Mr. Reza refers to "Mr. Castleman and his Ilk". I taught public high school for 30 years and have been called a lot of names, many unprintable, but never before an "ilk." Quite refreshing.

Strictly speaking, the word "ilk" means the same, or alike. But it can also be used in a somewhat derogatory manner or uncharitable way.

I've been voting for 50 years and mostly Democrat from the start. I voted for President Kennedy and would again under the same circumstances. Never did I vote a straight ticket, as I can think for myself. I haven't changed my thinking much in 50 years, but the political parties surely have. Can you imagine the Democrats of 50 years ago backing partial birth abortion under the guise of free speech? Would the Democrats of 50 years ago have been determined to disarm Americans and tell us that (our right to bear arms doesn't) apply to individuals? We could very easily end up like England and Australia -- no gun rights and no guns.

It seems interesting that Mr. Reza says President Bush "flip flops on major issues." but yet backs Sen. Kerry who's noted for this. Maybe Mr. Kerry is just on both sides of the issue at the same time.

As an example, Mr. Kerry says he is a gun owner, a hunter, and believes in the Second Amendment. In the Rifleman magazine (August 2004 issue), the NRA says, "Senator John Kerry co-sponsors -- along with the likes of Ted Kennedy, Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer -- S.1431, a bill that would 1) ban all semi-automatic shotguns; 2) ban all center fire and rimfire semi-automatic rifles that use detachable magazines, and 3) ban a lot of other guns newly determined to be "assault weapons."

Whom shall we believe? Mr. Reza doesn't seem to be concerned about his right to own a firearm. He may be a lawyer from the East here to enlighten we backward Arizonans, but I really don't feel I need it.

Oh, yes, that debate challenge Mr. Reza refers to, I have heard a few debates in my time and one thing is quite clear: the debater with the best line of B.S. usually wins.

Dale Thoen, Payson

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