To the editor: Ed Linkous’ Community Perspective column in the Sept. 7 Daily News-Miner really struck a chord with me. I was nervous as hell after graduating high school in 1971 because I had no idea what I was going to do. I ended up working as a delivery boy for a few months, then was offered a job as deckhand on a tug boat. I did that for nine months, then quit and went to work at the pulp mill in Ketchikan. That job lasted for about three years until I was fired for being drunk on the job. It seems to me I was making $8.37 an hour as a boat operator when I got fired. That was damn good money when a gallon of gasoline cost 35 cents, rent $80 to $300 a month, groceries $50 a week, and a new vehicle $3,000 to $6,000.
Back then we were too focused on living the American dream to even think about shooting up a school or department store (since shopping malls didn’t exist back then). Why, I’m so old I remember when the NRA was totally focused on gun safety instead of the right of every citizen to own and bear high-capacity military weapons.
I believe a great number of American citizens feel alienated and that the “American dream” is totally beyond reach, so why even try.