The Fox News report putting the number of weapons at 17 percent has more holes and doublethink in it; I bet D.S. sent it to them…hmm, Don Shanity, perhaps? Anyhow, like all conflicting calculations by parties with different vested interests, the glorious goblet of truth lies somewhere in between. And given the sources of both figures, as well as the fact that there are as many as 6000 commercial gun stores on the U.S. side of the border (3 per square mile) and 0 in Mexico, I’ll bet my bottom peso the actual number’s a bit closer to that of DHS.

All of this misses the point once again: given the fact that, since the Cold War, we have been steadily exporting far larger amounts of weaponry each year to the rest of the world, including dictators as vile as Pinochet and Somoza, and are now far ahead of any other nation as the world’s chief arms exporter — we, as citizens of the country with far more beneficial and virtuous talents and contributions to offer history, should, at the very least, be ashamed.

Bryan Varela
via email

Raising The Wrong Bill

I enjoyed “Church on Sunday?” (Cover Story, April 9) by Matthew Lickona and found it to be interesting. I must say, though, that there is some misinformation, perhaps just a name mixed up with another name. In the paragraph “By Whose Authority Do I Speak for God?” there is reference to a Pastor Bill Britton in Springfield, Missouri, who raised a man, whom Britton refers to as his father, from the dead the night before in a service.

I would like to clear the record on this. Pastor Bill Britton from Springfield, Missouri, is my dad, and we never had anyone raised from the dead in our church, most specifically Britton’s father, as he has been dead for many years. There was no reference of date when this trip to Missouri was taken. I would be interested in the author’s sources. Britton died in 1985 in Riverside, California. Perhaps this is simply a wrong name inserted into the story. There are a few other Bill Brittons (none in Springfield, Missouri), and my dad was often confused with Bill Bright, one of the founders of Campus Crusade for Christ. If this story of the man raised from the dead was metaphorically speaking, it was not clarified as such.

For the sake of my dad’s memory and ministry, I would prefer that he is not credited to the story in your recent cover article. Please follow up with a correction.

Becky Britton Volz
via email

Matthew Lickona responds: My source for this story was Father Jon Braun, who visited Pastor Bill Britton in Springfield, Missouri, in the early ’70s. I contacted Father Braun with regard to your concern, and he replied: “The story is exactly as printed. The most I would grant is that it is possible that he said, ‘He died last night and was raised from the dead.’ I can perhaps understand Ms. Volz’s concern, but I am not mistaken.”

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lallaw May 13, 2009 @ 3:41 a.m.

Dear Neil Allen of Talmadge, in re: Ms. Atassi's cover article of April 30, 2009. I find the need to slightly mangle a well-worn portion of verse: me thinks you doth protest too much. What could have possibly set you off to pen that vivisection of this author, both as an author and a human being? The article documented Ms. Atassi's struggle to extricate herself from her own predicament of joblessness, semi-hopelessness, and ennui...likening it to the sea turtle that can't seem to leave the warm water effluent of San Diego's treatment plants even though it too knows it doesn't belong. At least that is what I read in that article. I saw none of the unpleasantness you complained of.

I was entertained and bemused when I read it and it reminded me of that time I think many people go through, that period of life post high school (sometimes post college) but before the heavy hand of adulthood gives us a shoulder tap, when we still aren't sure what we want to be when we grow up. Or if we can grow up and grow away. We know we have to, and we want to be independent, but something - either a lack of frontal lobe development, low blood sugar, or fear - something holds us firmly in place. Both longing and loathing the comforts and security of childhood we can't seem to leave. Again, much like the misplaced sea turtles along our shores.

Could you not read her own self-loathing for her lack of motivation and direction? And it is she who seemed to despise the idea of marrying simply to have a purpose, as I recall. Furthermore, I would point out that she is doing at least one thing constructive: she is writing; writing well, and getting paid for it! I didn't pick up the intentional slacker in her tale. I could be wrong, but the article had more of a calming and sober effect on me as opposed to inspiring a call to arms against a presumed malingering post pubescent!

With all due respect, you were a bit hard on the gal and it makes me wonder if you have a 20 (or 30)-some living in your basement who thinks the delivery job you got him at Pizza Hut is beneath him while he steals your loose change left on the dryer. Even wayward sea turtles deserve a little love...and a second chance.

Lisa A. Leitter La Mesa

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