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Coming to Duke's defense.

I was just reading the Whinery letter --love the pink color!--(Speak Out, Jan/Feb 2016) where that idiot was talking about Mr. Venturino. Since he gave a Kentucky area code, and I live in Kentucky, I feel the need to apologize for his lack of mental awareness. Y'all keep up the good job.

Kevin Ramsey

Via e-mail

The Whinery letter concerning Mr. Venturino's nickname "Duke" really blew my skirt up. That writer must not know Americans of Italian parentage who were born here, are as American as he thinks he is, and we were completely absorbed into American society, and we're proud of it. We don't consider ourselves Italians, we just happen to have parents or grandparents who came from Italy. He sounds like he's a total stuffed shirt and a bigot!

What really chaps my rear end is he didn't even have the guts to give you his name. I don't believe you need to call him and offer him a rebuttal, because he's not important. Duke's written rebuttal was quite sufficient! He had the right to question Duke's sources, but he was way off base putting Duke down about his American-sounding nickname. It's none of his business what Mike's nickname or his "Italian-sounding" (his words) last name is!

By the way, I don't really wear a skirt, and two of my sons--and three of my grandsons--have Anglo Saxon names, and one of them just happens to be Wayne.

Tony Rosetta

Via e-mail

Molto Bene, Tony!--RH

As I read the letter under the heading The Whinery in your Jan/Feb issue, I wondered why you would publish the rambling diatribe contained in the letter. But when I read Duke's response, I understood: You gave Duke the opportunity to expose the letter writer for the ignorant, nasty, bigot he apparently is.

I've never had the good fortune to meet Duke. But from what I conclude from his character, as revealed through his written word, I know I would be pleased and proud to call him a friend and/or neighbor.

R. Andrews

Via e-mail

Duke's a real gent, as are all our staffers ... well, except Aimee Grant, who is a real lady!--RH

I find it highly irregular the--lucky for him--unnamed reader/writer is offended by Mike Venturino going by "Duke." His reasoning is Venturino is not an "American" name. If I'm not mistaken John Wayne's given name at birth was Marion Morrison. He was given the name John Wayne to make him seem/sound more "American Cowboy."

This all reminds me of the famous saying, "Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Jeff Hutchins

Rangemaster Gunworks

Lebanon, Oregon

Even if Handgunner wasn't the best gun mag in the business, I'd still subscribe just for the kick I get out of some of the letters ending up in The Whinery section! "Name withheld" reminded me of a pedantic little jerk in school who was always the first to wave his hand to answer the teacher's question, and to correct any misstatement another kid made. Of course, he also made himself the target of every other boy in need of a "volunteer" to be dumped in a garbage can or stuffed into a locker.

Nevertheless, the Italian "gun 'riter" you have seems fairly capable of looking out for himself. Duke should have told that clown he was actually descended from old Italian nobility and thus was entitled to be called Duke--and then let the little sissy boy prove he wasn't.

By the way, Roy, you and my bride share a distaste for ugly guns. She's very partial to Kimbers, nickeled Cobras, S&W model 27's, blued Pythons, Browning .22 autos and anything with SIG on it. It was a long time before a GLOCK darkened our door. Of course, with her taste in guns, we do drink cheap wine.

Be nice to Connor and that Italian kid.

Lee Fowble

Via e-mail

I've never written to any kind of magazine before but I feel compelled to address this jerk who thought it was okay to make an unprovoked attack on Mike Venturino. I'm from the same part of the country as Duke and there are graveyards here full of deceased coal miners with very Latin names. Why would someone do that to Duke is beyond me. Haters are gonna hate, I guess. I really look forward to Mike's writing every month and I'll bet thousands of others do too. I enjoy all of you guys, and if an article doesn't interest me, I just don't read it. But I'll confess most of the articles suit me just fine!

Hang in there Duke, as you've got a bunch behind you.

Mike Bradley

Oakwood, Virginia

I would like to comment on the reader who chose to offer his expertise on nicknames for Americans of Italian descent. My father-in-law (whom I dearly love) is of full-blooded Italian descent. Like Mike's family, his family came to America and settled in the Pittsburgh area in the early 1900's. Unlike Mike though my 84-year-old father in law is of olive complexion, brown eyes and still has much more dark brown hair than gray. He's Italian from head to toe and proud of his heritage. His name is Guerrino Navaroli. His nickname is "Duke" by the way. I asked him once how he got the name Duke. He said; "'Cause Guerrino is too damn hard for people." I guess nobody checked with Mr. Whinery in order to get permission for my Italian, Korean War veteran, raised six kids, put two through college and loves my-mother-in law like nothing else in the world father-in-law if he could use the name Duke. Go figure.

I'll double check with my father-in-law but I believe the nickname he would use for Mr. Whinery would be "Stunad." I may have misspelled it but I think we all know what it means. Thanks again for a great magazine.

Bill Lammie

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Stunad: Italian for stupid, light-headed, crazy or even an idiot. I'm just say in' what it said when I looked it up!--RH
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Author:Ramsey, Kevin; Rosetta, Tony; Andrews, R.; Hutchins, Jeff; Fowble, Lee; Bradley, Mike; Lammie, Bill
Publication:American Handgunner
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 1, 2016
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