COMMENT

MAILBAG

Gun-lovers draw a bead on McKenzie Porter / Why liquid diets won’t work

February 25 1961
COMMENT

MAILBAG

Gun-lovers draw a bead on McKenzie Porter / Why liquid diets won’t work

February 25 1961

MAILBAG

COMMENT

Gun-lovers draw a bead on McKenzie Porter / Why liquid diets won’t work

I have never in my life read such an article in a respected magazine as yours in which 98% of the so-called facts are 100% wrong. (Let’s outlaw guns, by McKenzie Porter, For the sake of argument, Jan. 28). Every gun collector, sportsman, wholeheartedly condemns the reckless use of firearms and would be the first ones to agree to weed out the careless hunter. [But] I would like to list below the errors that Mr. Porter made in his article:

1. You cannot get a pistol permit as easily as a driver’s license. It is very difficult. You are viewed as a possible murderer the moment you apply.

2. The statement made by Police Chief Mackey of Toronto shows he is a complete idiot; no criminal ever worries about getting a permit for a weapon.

3. Machine guns (of which I have one) have the barrel welded, so they are completely useless.

4. There is as much reason for firearm collections as there is for stamp collections or anything else that has history, beauty and workmanship connected with it.

5. His critical view' of the magazine. Guns and Ammo, is completely without foundation. This magazine is for the firearms collector and hunter and is very highly regarded. It continually urges safety first and is the leader in showing the way to the enjoyment of firearms in safety.

6. Anytime Mr. Porter would like to become a policeman not armed, and then go out and try to arrest some of the criminals that I have encountered, I will be the first to put flowers on his grave.

7. This is Canada, not England, and although our family are United Empire Loyalists, I am becoming sick and tired of transplanted Englishmen trying to disarm the public and leave us at the mercy of dictators as England was during the last WAR.-PAUL FUOG, EDMONTON.

A proposal to prevent accidental shootings by preventing people from owning firearms is about as sensible as trying to prevent automobile accidents by preventing anyone from owning or using an AUTOMOBILE.-D. M. DOIG, BRANDON, MAN.

* Mr. Porter writes that a shooting on the part of Cecil Terry was due to mistaking hunters for deer. The transcript of both the preliminary hearing and the trial itself would show to even the most careless reader that there was no mistaken identity but rather that a bullet fired at the deer disintegrated upon hitting a branch and particles ricocheted, hitting two men. There is no doubt that the accident is still regrettable but as counsel at trial, I take great exception to the misstatement of facts and resulting unnecessary embarrassment to my client.-EDWARD JAMES CONROY, SUD-

BURY, ONT.

McKenzie Porter is to be commended for his article. Unfortunately the simplicity of his proposals will baffle the authorities and consequently no note will be taken of this excellent account of tolerated homicide. As Charles Dickens had one of his characters remark, so aptly, “the law is indeed an ass,” therefore anything as sensible as this article will fail to register. Let me assure Mr. Porter that like him. trained in the use of firearms by the military. 1 shall continue to beg or buy my venison from survivors of the laughable annual deer hunt, rather than be caught dead in a woods full of “HUNTERS.”-EDWARD J. DUTKA, WINNIPEG.

* Maclean’s should outlaw Porter.—

SAM SHIELDS, HALIBURTON, ONT.

Warning for fatties

Most people who are overweight suffer from an unhealthy mental or emotional condition (Preview, Jan. 28). Their imbibing of the liquid “fad” diets only confirms this infliction; it does not solve their problem, which will still be with them long after the mushrooming “meal-in-a-glass” bandwagoners have been run out of business by a critical public.-HARCOURT ROY, CENTRAL FIT-

NESS COUNCIL OF B. C., NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.

Who fed the prisoner?

Shirley Mail’s The Twelve Days of Christmas (Dec. 17), was particularly interesting to me for several reasons. I am engaged in writing a biography of Charles Mair, who. like R. P. Ottewell, was one of Louis Riel’s prisoners on Christmas Day, 1869, and to whom Miss Mair may be related. I suspect that she is not, for otherwise she would not have resisted making, I am sure, some comment on Ottewell’s statement that the prisoners’ meal “was kindly prepared by Mrs. Charles Major, Mrs. George Young and Mrs. Crowson.” Mrs. Young and Mrs. Crowson, yes; but not Mrs. “Major.” The lady in question was Mrs. Charles Mair—a surname, somewhat ironically, the same as Shirley’s. I should be interested in Miss Mair’s sources for this particular ANECDOTE.-F. N. SHRIVE,

HAMILTON.

Shirley Mair’s reply: “Unfortunately l can’t claim to he a relative of the pioneer journalist, Charles Muir. On the

second point Mr. Shrive may he right. R. P. Ottewell didn't get around to writing about his prison Christmas until 1937, when he was 39. Quite possibly the name of his third Christmas hostess was blurred in his memory."

Maclean’s on the brink

In the Editorial (Jan. 28, 1961 ) you use the word “brinkmanship” and Ian Sclanders uses "brinksmanship” in the second paragraph of his article on Cuba. This is a new word to me and does not appear in either of my dictionaries under either spelling. Which is the correct spelling? Is one the plural of the other? It sounds as if it has been coined to provide a $10 word to replace the vernacular “cliff hanger.” Does it have anything to do with ability to steal from Brink’s trucks? Would it be proper for me to state that I am anxious about your brinkmanship in the proper use of the word BRINK(S)MANSHIP?-HAUL W.

HAEBERLIN, AMHERSTBURG. ONT.

The expression was coined after the late John Foster Dulles’ famous speech in which he said the U. S. was willing, if necessary, to go "to the very brink” of war. There is no right or wrong spelling. —The Editors.

MORE MAILBAG ON PAGE 6

continued from page 2

With the earth buiging, we may have to go to Mars When do Winnipeggers really get out of BVD’s?

1 was shocked to read the article by N. J. Berrill. Space travel is for the birds (Jan. 28). Space travel and all it entails will undoubtedly be costly in the way of money and lives, but consider where we would be now if we had not gambled for the sake of progress. Our planet is already bulging at the seams with its ever-growing population and . . . we may have to colonize other worlds in the future. “The value of discovery becomes clear only in the wake of the discovery itself,” says Wernher von BRAUN.-DOUGLASS BALL, MONTREAL.

Gilmour on the move

I have collected Clyde Gilmour’s movie page for many years and I was disturbed when 1 did not see it in the last number. Gilmour gives good information about the new films, grades them expertly and therefore you can enjoy the movies more fully. I almost cannot sleep thinking you may discontinue the Gilmour movie page! Oh please, please leave it as it always has BEEN!-FANNY

PERKINS, PORT ARTHUR, ONT.

Having moved to the new Entertainment page at the back of Maclean's without missing an issue, Gilmour is using about as many words as always (but in less space) to keep movie fans informed.— The Editors.

Warmer now in Winnipeg

Congratulations to Hal Tennant for his excellent treatment of a very dull subject (What winter does to Canada and vice versa, Jan. 7). However, regarding Mr. Tennant’s quote on Manitoba weather from an 1882 issue of the Northern Pacific Railway settlers’ guide: as a native Manitoban I must set the records straight. Things have warmed up somewhat since 1882 and the natives now take off their long underwear before May 24; policemen have shed their buffalo coats and, on occasion, the girls venture out in mid-winter without their blizzard bloomers and overstockings. They no longer have “seven months Arctic weather, five months cold weather.” Obviously Mr. Tennant has been no farther west than Long Branch and should take a trip to the sunny prairies to see for HIMSELF.-M. A. GILES, TORONTO.

How Preview blew a frame

An item written by Cathy Perkins, Can Roy Thomson bowl the British over with fivepins? (Preview, Dec. 17), mentions Marg Bentley as “a grandmother who recently was named TV Bowling Queen of 1960.” Marg Bentley ended up as champion on the 1959 CBC-TV Show from O’Connor Bowl. Then a qualifying tournament for the ladies’ division was run off at O’Connor and this tournament was won by Audrey Young. The first TV show in 1960 was between Marg Bentley and Audrey Young. Audrey Young defeated Bentley and she (Bentley) did not appear in any further bowling shows in this series. How, then, can she be called the TV Bowling Queen of 1960?

Reference was made to Don Walker as being “perhaps the nation’s best bowler.” Don Walker is a bowler of low majorleague calibre from Oshawa who was hired by the CBC as a field representative when their organization started up last year. I believe after the organization became fairly well established he was hired by Double Diamond and is still with them. Walker bowls in the Toronto City Major League and is certainly not one of the better bowlers. There are perhaps 500 better bowlers in Toronto ALONE.-R. P.

ELCOMBE, TORONTO.

Foolproof formula

In Mailbag (Jan. 7) the formula for computing interest given by a reader is obviously faulty. By inspection one can see that if there is no interest, the formula will not produce zero answer. Further, interest is a ratio of surcharge to principal, not of payment to principal. That formula could be used easily as a slick gimmick to “prove” low interest rates. If the reader sent it in good faith, he should get a lawyer to investigate the people he's buying from! Perhaps something was left out of the formula, and it should read:

Annual interest =

( nD — P ) 2m

x - x 100%

P (n + 1)

Where P is price (less down payment), n is number of payments to discharge debt, m is number of payments in one year, and D is the dollar value of each payment.

1 have no mathematical proof for this formula, which I developed empirically, but found it to conform very closely to geometric analysis. In words it would be, “Take the computed surcharge, divide by the price, divide by number of payments plus one, and multiply number of payments in two YEARS.”-F. M.

HEWETT, LONDON, ONT.

We'll take your word that it works.— The Editors.

A Swiss movie

In Clyde Gilmour’s movie guide (Dec. 17) he described the film It Happened in Broad Daylight as coming from Sweden. This movie is one of the very few Switzerland has produced. Most of the actors are Swiss and the film was made entirely in SWITZERLAND.-B. A. BISHOF, MONTREAL.

Mr. Bishof is correct. Gilmour explains that his typewriter, after years of tapping out movie reviews, now completes the word Sweden every time the ,STF keys are hit.