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Letters: D.C. Gun Ban, Town Dump

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Listeners sound off on the interview with the lawyer who argued successfully before the Supreme Court to have the District of Columbia's ban on personal gun possession overturned, and on the popularity of the town dump in Wellsley, Mass.


This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Michele Norris.

A brief look now into our e-mail folder, lots of letters about guns and trash.

First, the guns.

SIEGEL: On Friday, we spoke with the lawyer who argued against the District of Columbia's gun ban in the Supreme Court. Alan Gura already has filed suit in Illinois questioning Chicago's gun control law. One listener, David Gino(ph) of Cumberland, Ohio objected to the court's ruling and to Mr. Gura's reasoning.

NORRIS: Even more infuriating than a threat of Alan Gura to the public's safety is his cheerful reassurance that reasonable gun restrictions will be allowed to stand, for which he has not one shred of evidence. And listener Dan McCray(ph) remarks, it's ironic that we now have a confirmed constitutional right to possess a gun but not a constitutional right to vote. That right is only inferred but not guaranteed.

SIEGEL: Now, trash. The story from Friday's program that drew the biggest response was Tovia Smith's report on the town dump in upscale Wellesley, Massachusetts.

U: People take things before you even put them down...

NORRIS: In this town, people throw out stuff that, you know, is pretty valuable.

SIEGEL: Rita Tamarias(ph) in San Francisco writes, I kept waiting for a dumpster diver to say they were donating their great finds to charity. Alas, no such social consciousness was exhibited by any of the well-to-do interviewees.

NORRIS: Jamie Dennis(ph) of Silver Spring, Maryland took us to task for the report. Way to go, NPR, while the world lunges towards scenarios resembling "Mad Max," you took the time to cover yuppies squabbling over who has the picking rights over jade lamps at the Wellesley, Massachusetts dump. Can you believe that people accuse National Public Radio of being elitist? I do believe you owe us all a drink for suffering us with that.

SIEGEL: Well, Tim Patterson(ph) of Berkeley, California said he found the report thought-provoking. Couldn't help thinking about the garbage dump in central Manila where a million people live in squalor. Great reporting, he writes, and further proof that our society is way beyond the last days of the Roman Empire in sheer decadence.

NORRIS: Most galling for some listeners was the town's insistence that only Wellesley residents can garbage pick in the Wellesley dump. In the eyes of Cindy Knight(ph) of Honolulu, this is the very definition of junkyard dog behavior.

SIEGEL: And Amy Wright(ph) of Des Moines concurs: while the idea of recycling serviceable items remains a good one, the attitude regarding who is worthy of Wellesley's trash is not.

NORRIS: Well, new or recycled, send us your comments about our show. Go to and click on Contact Us.

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