Letter of the Week
Re J. Hoberman’s review of Apocalypto [“Mel Gibson Is Responsible for All the Wars in the World,” December 6–12]: I understand that Mel is not the most popular person in the world today, and he deserves that reputation for his actions. But as an American Indian, I found the spillover of Mr. Hoberman’s dislike for Gibson into his review disturbing.

I think we deserve better than the monikers “noble savages” and “Sugar Tit tribe.” My people can have good looks and family values. Even though the true hell of our existence started with the arrival of Christians, our traditional good looks and traditional family values will continue to exist.

Mel was drunk when he made the anti-Semitic comments. What is Mr. Hoberman’s excuse?
David Brown Eyes
Castle Rock, Colorado

Ammo, amas, amat
In "Guns Gone Wild" [December 6–12], Sean Gardiner mentioned that NYPD cops tend to be poor shots. Partly this is because the NYPD doubles the resistance of the trigger in the Glocks they use [a point noted by Gardiner—Ed.], making the guns less likely to fire accidentally but also more difficult to shoot accurately. Another factor is the lack of experience with guns among NYPD recruits. Even after joining up they rarely practice because the NYPD now prefers to hire cops who don't like guns. This dislike for their own gun can add to their panic in a gunfight.
Frank Silbermann
Memphis, Tennessee

The guns did what guns are supposed to do: They fired when sufficient pressure was applied to their triggers. People—in this case, members of the NYPD—"went wild."

And what was described as "undercover officers' unwillingness to give up a gun collar to the uniforms [uniformed cops]"? Seems as if the undercover cops were the only ones armed. As for the rest of it, the numbers game inherent in "giving up a gun collar" sounds suspiciously like the rubbishy antics of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE), which your paper might well spend some time investigating.

By the way, I lived in NYC for more than 30 years, and I'm not criticizing the entire NYPD. But there are a goodly number of truly rotten apples therein, no small number of them in management positions. "Stuff" tends to flow downhill, as you might have noticed.
Alan Schultz
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"NYPD gunfire goes up while crime goes down."And you don't see a connection there? The street criminals don't give a rat's patootie about going to jail, but they are a little worried about being shot up by the cops!

I fail to see a problem here.
Richard Carlson
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

On at least three occasions, the Times has had headlines like "Number in Prison Grows, Despite Crime Reduction." Despite? No, schmuck, crime was reduced because criminals were kept in prison for a longer time.

Similarly, the Voice front-page headline "NYPD gunfire goes up while crime goes down" is clearly meant to expose some sort of paradox. Perhaps. But it may well be that NYPD's greater readiness to use gunfire has deterred some would-be criminals.
Steven Goldberg
Retired chairman of the department of sociology, City College

And what about all of the police officers injured or killed in the line of duty? My friend Patty Parete, a Buffalo, New York, police officer, was just shot by an 18-year-old. Where is her story? Police officers don't just sit around waiting for innocent bystanders to shoot.

We need to support our police officers, not condemn them for making critical decisions with no time to mull it over. I think they should shoot far sooner than they do—one warning, then fire. If you are not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
Tiffany R.

I was shown a copy of this week's Voice showing what appears to be an NYC police officer holding a belt-fed pistol. I am not sure what type of message the illustration is supposed to convey to your readers—maybe that of having fear or distrust for the NYPD. However, as liberal a piece of propaganda as it is, I wish to tell you that your illustrator should inform himself that Glock pistols are not belt-fed nor automatic, except the Glock 18, which is not available in the U.S., and the ammunition belt attached to the gun and wrapped around the "NYPD officer" is rifle ammunition.
Frank M.
Miami, Florida

I very much enjoyed seeing Howard Huang's fanciful cover illustration that depicts a handgun that takes standard magazines plus linked belts.

Where can I acquire such a weapon?
David Voth
San Diego, California

Apocalypto reflux
In the Apocalypto review ["Mel Gibson Is Responsible for All the Wars in the World," December 6–12], J. Hoberman writes: "Mel's sense of history does have a logic: JP's trip to hell ends when the Christians arrive."

Ah, there it is in the very last sentence. Bush Derangement Syndrome sufferer Hoberman finally tips his mitt on what really, really irks him about Mel's flick: Christians save the Indian.
TJ Pierce
Alameda, California

Your writer's diatribe on the Mayan civilization (of which he obviously has no concept or awareness ) shows nothing but a shallow brain with a vocabulary no better than the moronic qualities he assigns to Mel.
Sali Safe
Los Angeles, California

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