Fish Case Should Not Be Tried On Opinion Page



I must have read at least three letters by Mr. Dave Engleman which you have published regarding the shooting of Grant Kuenzli by Harold Fish. In his last letter, which you published on July 22, it was said to let the court system do its job, but then you virtually let Mr. Engleman try this case in your otherwise fine newspaper once again. The clincher was where Mr. Engleman says that Mr. Kuenzli did what any dog lover would have done, to rush Mr. Fish to disarm him.

Now, really, if Mr. Kuenzli was enraged enough to rush the armed Mr. Fish, then it is quite reasonable for the original investigators, and for a future criminal court, to decide that Mr. Kuenzli was enraged enough to shoot Mr. Fish, if he got ahold of Mr. Fish's gun. That would make this tragic shooting legally justified. Mr. Engleman assigns no irresponsibility to Mr. Kuenzli's actions, and that is not right.

Mr. Engleman's hatred of guns spills over into an extreme prejudice against gun owners, which permeates all of his letters that you've published so far. Mr. Engleman mentions some very unspecified remarks attributed to Mr. Fish towards his neighbors. Such alleged remarks do not support Mr. Engleman's twisted conclusion that Mr. Fish never should have been authorized to carry a concealed weapon. I think Mr. Engleman really wants to condemn Mr. Fish in your newspaper forum for simply carrying a gun in the forest, regardless of the facts in all.

The violent society we live in today is not caused by otherwise benign gun owners, any more than it's caused by people who keep packs of dogs. Nor is it caused by the "shall issue" system of issuing concealed weapons permits, neither.

As a practical matter, perhaps people like Mr. Fish could carry some pepper spray and hiking staffs, if they choose to carry their concealed pistols in the forest. This would be so that a gun would not be their only means to respond to a potential threat.

Sure, we can assume that Mr. Kuenzli would not have been shot, if Mr. Fish had not been carrying the pistol. We can also be sure that Mr. Kuenzli would not have been shot, if he had not rushed at Mr. Fish in a fit of rage, nor even if Mr. Kuenzli had somehow kept his pack of dogs restrained.

People like Mr. Engleman should have no objections if Mr. Fish had hiked with his own pack of dogs, but, of course, they would have to be on a leash or otherwise restrained, I'd imagine.

Seriously, however, I would prefer that you truly let the legal system handle this case, without so much disinformation and prejudice appearing in your otherwise fine newspaper.

Jim Berrier, Payson

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