Dear Editor:

There seems to be of late no ending of this fervor and excitement and positive passion having been stirred up due to the recent announcements concerning the moving of the Smith & Wesson gun manufacturer to our town. Now, I am not naive and do realize that our area has in fact for most of its existence been mostly what might be referred to as a “rural” or “country” or perhaps in some places even “wilderness” region.

And this may naturally infer that the inhabitants of our region are perhaps justified in developing a position of opinion that is more hospitable toward the ownership of certain weapons, for hunting and possibly even for some measure of self-defense and preservation. But I, having been a citizen of this area for some three decades now, personally am of the opinion that this sentiment of supposed self-preservation largely has gotten carried away.

I have traveled much of this great nation and am now particularly of the view that East Tennessee specifically seems to have been infected with this grave sense of hysteria. This hysteria is in fact what drew these Northern capitalists to our front doors.

We may never know the full extent to which Smith and Wesson has aided the Grim Reaper all throughout the planet. Now I know that many of you believe that these incidents are just the natural sad result of errors in human nature, and that they cannot be avoided and that we must look into the light of eternity and heaven for any hope of curtailing all this.

But I would say unto you that this is in fact foolishness. You, my fellow mountain folk, are not in fact fallen beings sent down to this Earth from some distant perfect place. You are in fact creatures who came out of this Earth.

We have turned from our peaceful work and have gotten swept up in a culture of hatred and murder and mistrust toward our own families and neighbors. Is this honestly the legacy which you desire to pass down onto your children? These businessmen may bring jobs, but these jobs come at too high of a price. And Tennessee has already paid enough, in the blood of our children. These tools of murder that many so strive to proliferate and posses are but a sign of this misguided turn in our collective character.

Peter VandenHurk

Island Drive


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(1) comment


I can't tell if this letter is composed with tongue and pen firmly in cheek, or if the writer is serious.

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