As a hunter and owner of a hunting rifle it bothers me that your paper used the phrase “gun fans” as a way to speak of those who own guns (“Feeling misunderstood, even demonized, 5 Maine gun owners speak out,” March 18). A “fan” is an enthusiastic devotee, and ardent admirer or enthusiast. It derives from the word fanatic.

My rifle is a tool. It is a well-crafted, carefully cared for tool that is accurate when I need it to be. I am not ardent in my admiration of it. I am not a fanatic about guns. I am not devoted to it.

While there may be those out there who fit this description in the way they enjoy their guns, this way of speaking about gun owners promotes the very false image that the article is exploring. Why do gun owners at this time have people who think we hate or that we love killing? Language counts. I am the owner of a rifle and I enjoy hunting. I am not a gun fan.

Carla Heisten


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