I must commend Seattle Weekly for your thoughtful coverage of the Capitol Hill massacre [March 29]. You resisted the urge to apply tired,>"/>
I must commend Seattle Weekly for your thoughtful coverage of the Capitol Hill massacre [March 29]. You resisted the urge to apply tired, knee-jerk puritan clichés and disparagingly describe Kyle Huff as a dope-smoking, slacker, outcast loner gunman who went on a rampage. As if anyone with one or more of those characteristics is automatically at great risk of mowing down the innocent. As the recent news has shown us, even a preacher's wife can go to a very dark place and do the unthinkable.
Very refreshing after all the "speculation" stories ["Capitol Hill Massacre," March 29]. Straight and to the point. There is no way to make sense out of a senseless act. Seattle Weekly did a good job of responding to the reactions of the various factions.
Glorifying the Worm
I am disgusted by your putting that murderer's face on last week's cover [March 29]. Who cares about seeing this guy's face? Why not instead show the faces of this loathly worm's victims? Oh no, once again, the media in its boundless cynicism prefers to glorify a killer. I wonder how many pathetic copycats will take encouragement from this guaranteed immortality.
Kurt E. Armbruster
The Berger-Bush Axis
I'm writing to express my dismay at Knute Berger's "Grisly Man" [Mossback, March 29]. His reaction to the events of March 25 is disturbingly similar to what I've observed in this nation over the last few years. "Less satisfying is the truth we all must live with: There is evil in the world, and no amount of legislating or second-guessing will snuff it out." These are words that sound like they could have easily come out of the mouth of George Bush in reference to Iraq, Iran, or any other member of the "axis of evil."
Berger seems to imply that while it might be natural to try to determine what led Kyle Huff to kill, it is ultimately pointless—he did what he did because he was "evil." This is again very similar to those who ignore the history of Western actions in the Middle East and South Asia when considering 9/11 or the larger questions of that region. In avoiding the complexities surrounding these events, we may comfort ourselves, but we do little to reduce the possibility of a recurrence.
What I find even more disturbing is the blood lust Berger displays. He states, "[Huff] did us all a favor" when "he blew his own brains out," thus saving society the time, expense, and uncertainty of pursuing his execution. Berger, like Bush, seems to view violence as the first, best solution to problems. I suspect that if questioned, both Berger and Bush would state that the difference is that governments have the right and the duty to use extreme measures in defense of society. This may be what they believe, but neither man should be surprised when they see the values they espouse reflected in the larger world.
"Less satisfying is the truth we all must live with: There is evil in the world, and no amount of legislating or second-guessing will snuff it out" [Mossback, "Grisly Man," March 29].
I think Knute Berger's found the nub of the issue. No additional layer of laws—gun, rave, curfew, or otherwise—will stand in the face of a determined killer who is already hell-bound to violate the most basic of human morality. Berger's declining to lash out indicates a genuine presence of mind that is too often missing in discussion of emotional issues. Congratulations.
My deepest sympathy goes out to all the victims and their families.
Machetes vs. Guns
No doubt someone who wants to kill will find a way, but personally I'd rather face a baseball bat and a machete than a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol [Mossback, "Grisly Man," March 29]. Sign me up for the nanny brigade; I say take away their guns.
I read Knute Berger's compelling piece on the "grisly" acts of Kyle Huff [Mossback, "Grisly Man," March 29]. As a left-leaning thinker and a psychologist, I wish to correct one of Berger's assumptions. My reason for wanting to understand a psychopath is not to suggest how to read the signs better, thus potentially preventing a crime in the present. It is not to understand motive, because a psychopath's motives are always irrational. It is to understand how a killer is made in the first place, thus potentially preventing a crime very early on in a potential killer's life.
Neuroscience is giving us some clues. For instance, we now know that lesions or damage to parts of the brain responsible for language are more common in incarcerated violent criminals than in the general population. We know that dysregulation in functions of the brain responsible for impulse control can lead to acting out behavior of all sorts. What a world this would be if we could identify, acknowledge, and treat mental disorders and imbalances as early as possible.
I believe that critical answers lie in work with the very young. This culture is still largely in denial about mental illness. It is still a taboo to discuss. Using the concept of evil to explain a deed is an intellectual cop-out, an act of navel gazing by people who don't want to have to do the hard scientific work of understanding the true bases of human behavior. The phrase "only outlaws will have guns" if we outlaw guns is obviously true. It is also true that many, or perhaps most, of the "outlaws" will be mentally ill.
Mary Lee Nelson
The review of The Pillowman at ACT was one of the most intelligent reviews I've seen in a long time ["Fearless Assault," March 29]. It's an amazing play, and I'm glad the writer said it without the usual qualifying which other critics seem to think is necessary to prove their own intelligence.
We are writing in response to the restaurant review written by Roger Downey, "As French as it Gets" [March 29]. There were inaccurate statements in the review that referred to Kaspar's Special Events & Catering. The first is that Downey referred to Kaspar's as a French restaurant. It never was and it never will be. Chef Kaspar himself is Swiss-born, and his specialty has been Pacific Northwest cuisine since opening Kaspar's 17 years ago.
Secondly, Kaspar's has not been "brought down." We are enjoying a thriving special events and catering business. In June 2005, we made the decision to focus on these two aspects of our business. Our staff excels at providing excellent service and outstanding food for groups of all sizes, both on-site as well as at off-site locations including patrons' homes and businesses. In addition, we offer Restaurant Nights the third Friday of the month, winemaker dinners, wine tasting dinners, our Concert Series dinners, Easter and Mother's Day brunches, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas Eve dinner, and New Year's Eve dinner.
In the future, please review the facts before making statements that could harm a business. Kaspar's is still located on lower Queen Anne, on First Avenue West and Harrison. Check out our Web site at www.kaspars.com!
Nancy and Kaspar Donier
Owners, Kaspar's Special Events & Catering
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