Category Archives: Mike’s blog

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.

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.

Website blasts ‘complicit lapdog media’

Editor laments lack of  ‘Occupy the Roundhouse’ coverage

Mike Scanlon

Rio Grande Digital

Grassroots Press, a Las Cruces-based website that focuses on social and environmental issues, had harsh words last week for New Mexico’s news media. At issue, said the website’s editor, Steve Klinger, was a lack of coverage of the Jan. 17 Occupy the Roundhouse rally at the state capitol in Santa Fe as the New Mexico Legislature opened a 30-day session.

I went to Juárez, and it was good to be there

Commentary

Mike Scanlon

Mike Scanlon

Rio Grande Digital

Two by two, truckloads of tetocops slowly crawled the side streets and alleys, their lights flashing red and blue. They crossed Avenida 16 de Septiembre about every two blocks. They were the Juárez city police — tetocops, as some people call them in a reference to Mayor Hector “Teto” Murguia.

An old man squeezed a melody from an accordion. A woman standing beside him brandished a cup for tips. A cabbie held his position on a Juárez Avenue corner. “Taxi, amigo? What are you looking for?”

Time fades some things, brightens others

wp_flash_img_show will display here (config: default)

Click an image to enlarge.

Old building evokes memories of a youthful explorer

Mike Scanlon

Mike Scanlon

Rio Grande Digital

I’m sure the photos I’ve taken of the old Kress Building in Downtown El Paso number in the thousands. I can visualize the photo I want, but it somehow always eludes my camera.

If I had the artistic eye and the technical knowledge of a great photographer — like my friend, Joel Salcido, for example — I’d have that photo after all these decades of trying. But what I’ve been able to put on film, or pixels nowadays, never has been the image that made me say, “That’s it!”

Why to get behind the Occupiers

Editor’s note: This column is my personal opinion. Whether you agree or disagree with it, your viewpoint is probably as valid as mine. I welcome your thoughts, which you can send to me as a “Letter to the Editor.” Please review our letters policy by clicking here or visiting the “Letters” category under the “Opinion” tab above.

Mike Scanlon

Mike Scanlon

Editor, Rio Grande Digital

When the Occupy Wall Street movement first began to stir this summer, its message seemed obscure. Initially — to the less attentive observer, anyway — there were but a few keywords, “corruption” and “greed” among them.

As the days and weeks drew on, images of the movement began to develop. Some saw it in a hopeful light with optimism that it could bring genuine change to our country — not the “Change” of empty campaign promises but real, palpable change. For others, the images harkened back to the anti-war protesters of the 1960s — a hairy, smelly nest of ungrateful hippies ready to pounce with disdain on returning war veterans.

Powered by WordPress