|SouthSanJose.com: The Community Web Site Serving Santa Teresa, Almaden Valley, Blossom Valley, Coyote Valley and Evergreen|
|Saturday, January 8th, 2000 @ 9:56 PM|
Subj: (No Subject)|
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Raymond Masiclat)
I am very disappointed in your 12/31/99 article titled "Dog's death highlights culture clash." Your premise that the "shooting illustrates pressures greeting sprawling suburbia" makes a good headline, but is inaccurate. Your article suggests that this is a new housing tract that is clashing with a rancher who has been on his land for 35 years. The truth is, most of the homes within a hundred yards of the foothills have been here for over 33 years (including my home). Richard Vargas had been leasing the Water District land for only TWO years prior to the housing developments.
The area being leased is a narrow strip of land surrounded on all sides by homes. He is leasing land that is essentially an island in the middle of a city, and I find it appalling that he is permitted to fire a high-powered rifle in this area.
I believe this rancher is a sick individual with license to kill our pets and potentially harm our loved ones by using a high-powered rifle to protect his "livelihood." He could have used a pellet gun, he could have fired a warning shot, he could have used less extreme measures... but he shot to kill. Richard Vargas is acting out his "cowboy fantasies" in the year 2000 and the law, unfortunately, supports him instead of the thousands of tax paying citizens who live within firing range.
It's time for our government to pass laws that protect the rights of the majority instead of a few individuals on the fringes of society. Just as plantation owners fought against the abolition of slavery citing the "protection of livelihood" argument, Richard Vargas must find a new way of doing business in the 21st century.
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