Competitive hiking is travesty
This letter was received as an online comment regarding the trails challenge article in the July 31 Sports section. It is being printed with permission. — Ed.
I have never commented on a way of life or politics on social media, but I cannot stand to the side on this one. Competitive hiking is a travesty, right up there with competitive sex, coffee drinking or dancing. Sunset watching. I daresay I have sat quietly with my hands in my lap and watched as many sunsets as anyone in Wyoming, but I do not expect a prize for doing so. If John Muir finds out walking in the woods has turned into a sport, he will throw up in the dirt, even after being dead 105 years.
Guns and freedom and death
It was sadly representative of the distorted logic used in support of the Second Amendment when you ran the article and photo last Friday about the upcoming “celebration” last Saturday in Jackson with the smiling British organizer in front of handguns in shoulder holsters and simplistic poster slogans.
Sad because 31 innocent people died that same day in two mass shootings, distorted logic because they died from bullets coming out of guns and simplistic because no one in the USA is more free because of those guns.
These were the 250th and 251st mass shootings in the United States this year. Does that make us more free than residents in Canada (a single mass shooting this year) or Mexico (three shootings this year)?
And let me add that I write as another Brit resident in Jackson, an American by choice long ago, and I can state with full confidence that the vast majority of British people, both here in the U.S. and over in the U.K., would be horrified by the pro-Second Amendment celebration statements by the British organizer.
Any gun in the U.K. is required to be always kept in a locked cabinet and generally used for sport shooting.
By contrast, it is a sickening suggestion that we are more free here because of the Second Amendment and its overt manipulation to allow any kind of gun to be owned by almost any kind of person. Why not ask some people in El Paso or Dayton about that.
Cyclists need to obey rules
You never think it will happen to you. I am sure Jim Rooks had that thought until it actually did happen — a car hit him while he was out for a ride. We can all lay blame on the driver, which is justified: an abysmal judgment of distance necessary to pass on the left.
To me this is also a reminder to all cyclists to obey traffic signs. If the sign says “Yield,” then yield. If the sign says “Stop,” then stop.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have been driving home, needing to turn left into Rafter J and some jerk on a bike blows through the stop sign crossing the entrance into Rafter J, causing me almost to get rear-ended by a car behind me that is going 55 mph or more. For God’s sake and mine and everyone else’s, obey the traffic signs when you are on your bike before there is another accident far worse than what happened to Jim Rooks.
Wake up and vote
I believe the time has come for all Americans to wake up and take a look around. I care not what your political affiliation is, or what your friends do, I’m speaking of what is in your heart, and what you know is the right and moral thing to do. At 63, I have seen fear and hate to some extent all my life – indeed, I grew up in the South, although hate and fear have no regional headquarters. But never, ever have I seen it to the degree of where it’s at today. You may sit at home and think, “There’s not really anything I can do about it, hopefully it will fix itself”. I assure you that it will not, without your help. Hoping that most people have common sense, I don’t believe I have to be explicit on what is happening in our country — it is pretty blatantly clear. We all have a power that is underrated by many. I assure you it’s most certainly not. It is like a kryptonite to those who do and speak evil things and try to instill fear in others. It is the tool that will make this ugly sect quake in their boots and wail when it is used. It is called your vote. I have had enough, and I hope you have too. I cringe to imagine that the world thinks this is who we are!
In particular, I would like to address Christians (I am one), and simply ask — if Jesus were around, would he approve of what is being said and done to fellow human beings? You don’t have to ask your priest, cleric, pastor, president of church or any so-called religious leader. We were all given the gift of our very own conscience, and you know what is truly the right thing to do without anyone else’s help. To all others, hopefully your own morals and sense of right from wrong will direct you. Please, please let’s take off the blinders and look around us. America needs our help, not tomorrow, but right now. You have a voice, don’t be afraid to use it.