Mailbag | National Review

Mailbag | National Review


President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870 (Mathew Brady/Library of Congress/Wikimedia)

Steph Curry, of the NBA, has set a record — a record some say will never be broken. I lead with this in Impromptus today. When I was growing up, they said that the great unbreakable record was Lou Gehrig’s. And then . . .

In today’s column, I also discuss the streets of San Francisco (that was a television show in the 1970s), politics and the young, January 6, and other issues. Now, let’s have some mail.

Earlier this week, I touched on a very, very touchy subject: guns. Some congressmen are sending out Christmas cards showing themselves and their families, all armed to the teeth. Unto us a Saviour is born!

I wrote,

When I was growing up, lots of men had guns. Some of these guys were veterans — who once had to kill people with guns, overseas. They never preened about with guns. They never posed with them on Christmas cards. They would have regarded that as nuts.

Things are very different today.

A reader writes,

Look, I’m from Texas, born and bred. My late father was a big gun collector. We went hunting together and competed in NRA-sanctioned rifle matches. It would never have crossed Dad’s mind to carry one of his rifles into a public setting, unless it was a gun range. That would just be nuts. And his rifles were beautiful — works of art, almost. Beautiful grain in the stocks, diamond inlay or what-have-you on the bolts, silky smoke-like blues. Not at all like these weekend-warrior guns one sees nowadays.

Our reader adds, “Harrumph!”

In that same column, earlier in the week, I touched on the subject of “trans” athletes — such as the college student who swam on the men’s team for three years and is now swimming on the women’s team, smashing all records. Is this fair? (I don’t see how it can be.)

My friend Dave records a comment made by his grandson’s girlfriend: “If it had happened while I was competing in sports, my father would be in jail.”

In a blogpost, I wrote about the word “niblings,” which is a “gender-neutral” way of saying “nieces and nephews.” I said,

I’m afraid that, by the time I’m outta here, I won’t be able to understand my fellow Americans at all. Even now, I have to explain half my idioms to the people around me. (I think I got a good number of them from my grandparents.)

A reader writes about her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, all of whom hailed from Philadelphia. A portion of her letter:

My father also said, “He did that faster than Grant took Richmond.” When his company made him manager of the Charlotte office about 1948, he had to take care not to say that in earshot of Southerners.

Finally, several readers wrote something like this: “‘Niblings’ may be newfangled and politically correct, but my family likes to use it simply because it’s a fun word.” Yes, I’ll grant that (not Grant that).

Thank you, everybody. Again, for today’s Impromptus, go here.





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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.