An open letter to Bonnie Erbe

I read a column in the Seattle P.I. at work yesterday, titled “The Unbearable Fecklessness of Killing.” This article outraged me, and prompted me to send the following email to its author.

It’s too bad you didn’t write something that might’ve had a chance to be published. Might’ve done some good to get a calm rebuttal out there.

I really like the word “feckless.” It’s one of those negatives that doesn’t have an opposite. You know, you can be feckless, but you can’t have feck. Kind of like defenestrate.

“She really got under your skin, didn’t she?” - James Mason in North by Northwest.

More outraged hunter reaction here.
All this uproar must have made the event that much more memorable for the little girl. “Not only did I get major press as the new Annie Oakley, but I got to be the national symbol for animal cruelty and fecklessness!”

Well, given that I only sent this directly to her email account, there’s no way what I have written would be published anyway. I don’t plan on writing to the P.I. or anyone more about this.

I’m sure a calm rebuttal will come along from someone more qualified than myself. I don’t particularly fancy hunting; I much prefer to shoot paper. I just find the attitude that she conveyed disgusting, especially since I feel it is a direct attack on a very important aspect of American culture.

Well I’m sort of with the article. An 8 YO killing a bear? Why, for Og’s sake? Why does she need to be steeped in blood before she’s even had her own period and bled her own blood?

I do not see what this is going to teach her.

Now look. I am not in favor or banning hunting at all…not even for 8 YO kids, but I do find it personally disgusting. It’s her parents’ choice in the end, but I understand why the article’s writer is getting upset.

As for “attacking a part of American culture”, I’d say the biggest and best part of American culture is the ability to attack parts of it.

I’m sympathetic to your argument, but realize that the above section makes you sound like a total gun nut. That was a major issue? It looks like a pretty minor fact of basically no importance to me.

What I’d like to know is what added point the author is trying to make with this statement.

Girls should be extra pure? I’m not sure.

Oddly enough, I only just recently saw someone use the word “fenestrate” in a sentence. Can’t remember the context, but the sentence went something like, “Batman fenestrated Robin when he threw him into Harvey Dent’s mansion thorugh the second story window.” The difference being, apparently, that Robin was being thrown into a building, not out of a building.

And, I suppose, if Harvey had picked up Robin and threw him back out, Robin would have been refenestrated.

I am a gun nut. I don’t like the term, but its definition fits.

As far as why I consider it a “major” issue is that Erbe’s tone makes it sound like the girl was blasting this bear with a .50 cal. She wasn’t; a .243 is a relatively small round. It’s a smaller caliber than I would consider hunting even a black bear (which is not a particularly large animal) with. The girl’s hunt was perfectly sporting, and Ms. Erbe impies otherwise.


Good letter. Just enough knowledge to make her see what a moron she is. Just enough vitriol to make her feel like shit. Just enough truthful history to make her feel ashamed.

I feel better after reading that. But I’m guessing she won’t.

Oddlier enough, I just read it, too. It was in a link to a link to the new Clooney movie discussing the Soviet spies during the McCarthy era. Evidently, a lot of witnesses and people who were thought to be spies or Soviet sympathizers met untimely deaths on sidewalks, fenestration being a popular mode of “information control” at the time.