Letters for April 6, 2000

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The Beating Goes On

In response to "Punch Palace," in the March 30 issue of Scene:

My friend from Boston has a lawsuit against the Basement as well, which we have been pursuing against the club since August of 1998. Same events: My friend tried to break up a fight and was jumped by the bouncers, held down, and beaten severely.

When we went to the police outside, the first car said they had another call and drove off. The next officers we found wrote down names and said they filed a report. However, that report was never found, and the detectives who said they would meet us at the hospital never showed up, even after we repeatedly called them from the hospital.

We are not fighters by any means. I'm a successful business owner, and my friend actually works for me from our Boston office. We're not the types to go out, get drunk, and fight. This was a completely unnecessary attack and nothing else.

We are pursuing the case and met with the lawyers and prosecutors last week, so I'm sure I can't go into too much detail. However, I'm really glad to see your article and have them exposed. We ran into nothing but brick walls for a year and a half. It's great to see things finally coming together. Hopefully, these beatings will stop.

Name withheld upon request
via the Internet

Danger Lurks in the Basement

Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your article about the Basement. You were dead on about the place. I used to frequent that place regularly from 1996 until last year. I stopped going there, mostly because of the problems with the employees. I was twice thrown out of the place for no reason, including once when I was just standing up against a wall, minding my own business. The story of the off-duty policeman was very similar to my situation. I just wanted to say thanks for shedding some light on the situation. It is about time everyone found out what I have known for a year: The employees at the Basement are arrogant and out of control. After the last incident (St. Patrick's Day 1999), I have never been back to the place, and I will never go back again.

Name withheld upon request

Pekar Cracks the Starting Lineup

I enjoyed this week's Scene [March 30] because of the welcome additions to your comics roster. Harvey Pekar's a treasure, and I'm glad to see that his Rock Hall riff from a few weeks back wasn't just a one-shot deal. Keep comics coming from him regularly if you can. Also, Underworld is one of the best weekly strips out there, and I hope you keep printing it (although I wouldn't mind it being printed at a slightly larger size).

Fred Wright
via the Internet

Gun Collection Spares Its Owner

I have to respond to the letter written by Rosetta Craig that was titled "The Verdict: Guns Kill People" [March 23]. I own several firearms and have yet to be killed by one of them. The fact is, people kill people. If someone is stabbed with a knife, do we blame the knife? If I run someone over with my truck, are you going to blame General Motors?

You said that the gun was purchased from an unlicensed dealer. What if I want to sell one of my firearms? Do I need to apply for a federal license and become a dealer? You also mentioned no paperwork or background check was performed, then go on to say that a disturbed individual could fake being sane. Could it be possible to fake information on a background check as well and pass? Even if a background check was performed and Scott was denied a firearm, do you think that would have stopped him? I thought all criminals had a background check and waited seven days before committing a crime. And finally, the gun was used in a murder days later. It doesn't matter when the murder took place or with what weapon. What matters is, a life was lost.

Yes, we need several lines of defense as well as tougher laws for the criminals. Don't blame the weapon. Blame the lawyers, judges, and government officials for not enforcing these laws.

President Clinton and his colleagues want to take the guns away from honest citizens -- the same guns they depend on every day for their own protection. What about my protection? Maybe the last line of defense would have been for Penny to have a weapon of her own and not rely on a background check at a gun show.

Name withheld upon request
Boston Township

Associate Editor

Scene is looking for an associate editor who has a deft touch with copy and a firm grasp of magazine journalism. The ideal candidate will have a strong news background and solid writing and editing skills. If you work well with writers, can craft a compelling narrative, and are committed to the highest literary standards, send a snappy cover letter, résumé, and representative set of writing and editing clips to:

Christine Brennan
New Times Inc.
P.O. Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
Please, no phone calls.

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