Category Archives: Opinion

Biggest threats to gun freedom: Rigid denial, firearms fetish and the NRA

What gun-owners know: Guns are dangerous

Mike Scanlon | Rio Grande Digital

I’ve been a gun-owner most of my life. As a 13-year-old, I hiked the foothills and streams of northeastern New Mexico alone and unsupervised with a .22 revolver strapped to my hip, often carrying a .22 rifle as well. My parents were confident that I knew enough to be responsible and safe. I did, and I was.

Mike Scanlon

Mike Scanlon

I learned about guns at an early age. I learned how properly to clean a gun, how to safely load a gun. I learned about velocity and trajectory and the invisible gaseous burst that envelops a gun when the trigger is pulled. I learned never to shoot at something unless I knew with absolute certainty what was behind it. I learned never to aim a gun at something I didn’t intend to shoot and never to shoot something I didn’t intend to destroy. I learned not to kill anything. I learned that guns are not toys, and that “showing off” with a gun easily could cause a deadly accident.

I don’t claim to be a gun expert — far from it. I have no interest in being one. Most of my friends would be surprised even to know I have guns. I’m a gun-owner and sometimes target shooter, and that is my perspective on this topic.

As a youngster, I developed keen target skills. Even still, I have a liking for guns — the weight and balance, comfort of the grip, smoothness of the action, quality and detail of the frame, accuracy of the sights, the recoil that every firearm instantly delivers when the firing pin strikes a live round, the smell of gun powder. I own multiple guns of various makes, styles and calibers. I’ve owned handguns, rifles and shotguns and even an assault rifle that I no longer have. I’ve never had an accident, and I’ve never hurt anyone. I’ve never gotten into trouble with a gun.

So naturally, I’m concerned about the current threat to gun-ownership. That threat lies hidden in stubborn, disingenuous denial of the very first, most obvious — and by far, the most important — fact I learned about guns long before I fired my first round: Guns are inherently dangerous.

My wife and a trash-picker taught me something about kindness and gratitude

Mike Scanlon | Rio Grande Digital

It’s a moment that bears little significance in the history of human transaction, but it’s something that has stayed with me over the decades and something I feel — 30-some years later — might be worth blogging about.

The mirror.

The mirror.

It relates to a small round mirror about 4 inches in diameter, decorated with a frame of dark wooden beads. For years, it has occupied a prominent place in our home, now on the wall of our bedroom beside the bathroom door. We often admire it. We seldom talk about it. On one or two occasions, we’ve told close friends the story behind it.

Here’s the story.

Roxanne and I, when we first got together, were struggling financially. We both worked two jobs. We were recovering from a business venture that didn’t work, and we owed about a year’s pay to a banker, a supplier and a couple of others. Neither of us had finished college yet. We took the work we could get.

The contradictions of the California Dream

Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur | Commentary

For better or worse, if something happens in California please be assured it will soon come to a neighborhood theater near you. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Pleasant Valley Sunday suburban sprawl, the car culture, LSD, and acid rock all launched or took hold in the Golden State.

A new Bracero Program will hurt farmworkers

(Image courtesy of New America Media)

(Image courtesy of New America Media)

David Bacon

New America Media | Op-ed

Most media coverage of immigration today accepts as fact claims by growers that they can’t get enough workers to harvest crops. Agribusiness wants a new guest worker program, and complaints of a labor shortage are their justification for it. But a little investigation of the actual unemployment rate in farmworker communities leads to a different picture.

NSA spying casts open Internet debate in new light

Joseph Torres and Malkia Cyril

New America Media | Commentary

Our nation’s Internet freedom is under attack — and the consequences for communities of color couldn’t be greater. 

Immigration: What’s love got to do with it?

Braceros, or Mexican farm workers, toil in a California field in the 1940s.

Braceros, or Mexican farm workers, toil in a California field in the 1940s.

Stephen Pitti

New America Media | Commentary

As the Southern California harvest season came to a close in 1946, a young Mexican immigrant named Robert García paid tribute to the young women he had seen in the nearby town of Cucamonga:

Your beautiful women like flowers
are just like the women of my people
they show their love
and deserve respect on the street and at home

A St. Patrick’s Day immigration message

Frontera NorteSur

On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish-American organization strongly urged the passage of comprehensive immigration reform. The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) joined hundreds of Latino, Asian, labor, business, religious, human rights and other organizations that keep pushing for a reform in 2013.

Newspaper celebrates new home as another milestone quietly passes

Las Cruces Sun-News pressmen pause for a photo on Jan. 24, 2008, before starting the press to print the last daily newspaper ever printed in Las Cruces. After that night, printing was moved to El Paso, and the press was dismantled and moved to Farmington. (Rio Grande Digital photo by Mike Scanlon)

Las Cruces Sun-News pressmen pause for a photo on Jan. 24, 2008, before starting the press to print the last daily newspaper ever printed in Las Cruces. After that night, printing was moved to El Paso, and the press was dismantled and moved to Farmington. (Rio Grande Digital photo by Michael Scanlon)

Michael Scanlon | Commentary

The Las Cruces Sun-News building in downtown Las Cruces is contrary to today's trend of newspapers shedding their real estate assets. (Rio Grande Digital photo by Mike Scanlon)

The Las Cruces Sun-News building in downtown Las Cruces is contrary to today’s trend of newspapers shedding their real estate assets. (Rio Grande Digital photo by Michael Scanlon)

Rio Grande Digital 

Last week marked a milestone in journalism of the Paso del Norte region when the Las Cruces Sun-News — with much fanfare — opened its new building at the corner of Las Cruces Avenue and Alameda Boulevard.

Dignitaries gathered. A ribbon was cut. The governor said a few words. The revelry surrounding the new $1.3 million building eclipsed another milestone in the newspaper’s history that came and went without notice just four days earlier.

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