Letters: Drawing A Gun And America's Boom Towns

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listeners' comments on previous show topics, including the experience of drawing a gun, the evolution of TV villains and America's new boom towns.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. Last week, we asked you tell us what happened after you drew a firearm. One caller, Alexander, said he shot a karate expert trying break into his house after wrestling over an assault rifle.

Lois wrote us: I'm disappointed you allowed callers to tell such propagandistic stories under the guise of telling their experiences with having to point a gun at someone. The fellow with the story about defending himself from the karate fighter was maybe the biggest whopper I've heard on NPR, astounding this account of his success against this karate fighter. Why did you allow it? It was unprepared of the host not to question him about whether there was much media coverage of the ordeal, et cetera. He clearly lied and embellished, as he felt affirmed by the host.

Ezra in Pennsylvania wrote: I heard your segment on gun owners using their weapons in self-defense today and wanted to thank you. I'm a strong proponent of gun control laws, not prohibition, and usually roll my eyes at the self-defense argument due to the statistical inconsistencies contained within it. But I was very pleased to hear the argument fairly aired and described.

We also spoke with Washington Post critic Hank Stuever about television's bad guys that audiences love.

Jerry in Woodside, New York, sent us his big takeaway: I think that people like more complex characters because we are so complex ourselves. Even if we're all the heroes of our own lives' stories, we recognize that we aren't always good. We make many bad decisions. But it's the overcoming of these toward a trajectory of general goodness that makes us heroes, because just going bad or becoming apathetic would be so easy.

Yesterday, we talked about boomtowns alongside big oil and natural gas discoveries, and one of our callers mentioned high ozone levels in Pinedale, Wyoming, and concerns about air and water pollution.

Judy Boy(ph) wrote with a descent: I live in Pinedale, Wyoming. My husband's family is one of the founding families of the town. I want to refute what the lady in Beaufort, South Carolina, said. She said the land was being ruined by the gas fields and something about a big, brown cloud. I have to disagree. Today, the sky is beautiful blue, completely clear, as it always is, unless it's stormy. I don't recall it ever being smoggy here or a big, brown cloud at all.

We enjoy being outdoors, camping, fishing, skiing, et cetera, with no problems. We do have some issues with ozone. But for the most part, it isn't anything we can't deal with. The boom has made it possible for both of us to make an excellent income. My husband drives a cement mixer and I run a licensed home daycare, both of which pay very well. The biggest problem is the cost of housing. But personally, I think the benefits far outweigh the costs.

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