Readers Respond

Guns and hardware

“Gun thieves will resort to any means to achieve their goal. Dealers take multiple efforts to prevent the thieves from access and slow the theft (these include vehicle barriers, steel doors and curtains, in-store safes and in-store bank vaults) to allow time for the police to respond. The truth is if someone wants to steal something and they are intelligent, they will figure out a way to do it or at least try.”

— Bruce Pfuhl

Sales manager hardware/industrial/AG Benchmade Knife Co.


“As an NRA member, gun collector, avid shooter and former store clerk/manager at a mass merchant retailer that sold guns here in Oregon, I am of the opinion that the rules should be something like what Bi-Mart stores had in place when I worked there some years ago. The procedures were fairly intense: Remove handguns from vault and inventory every morning before putting them on display, remove from display and put back in vault at end of every day. Rifles and shotguns were locked in special gun racks, and all trigger guards were woven with a security cable.


“The store was alarmed, of course, and the vault was a secure room in the center of the store. It would have been difficult — if not impossible — for any after-hours robbers of the store to get at the firearms in that room. During the day, the firearms display cases remained locked and the counter attended at all times by an employee.


“I can’t ever remember a gun being stolen. It was a simple matter of sensible mechanical security measures combined with employee vigilance.”

— Chris Clements


Home Depot and Lowe’s in Q2

Several readers commented on a video clip of Mad Money’s Jim Cramer arguing that Home Depot was out-executing Lowe’s. Here are two of the responses:



“Since the beginning of Home Depot, our industry has said that if they ever figure out customer service we’ll be in big trouble. My trips to HD in the last year for a few items have me concerned. I’ve actually had real quality help and fast checkout. My trips to Lowe’s have been OK, but less inspiring customer service. Lowe’s still has cleaner stores, but it appears to me that HD is doing a better job of taking care of the consumer and figuring out how to sell fill-in and construction accessories to the contractor.” 

— Mitch James

James Lumber & Ace Hardware

Poulsbo, Wash.



“Both Home Depot and Lowe’s have a place in the home improvement industry. Cramer only addresses the performance of the two companies from the stockholder’s point of view. In my humble opinion, one business has cleaner stores, inside and out. One has neater dressed employees. One has friendlier sales staff. One has more knowledgeable sales staff. One displays its merchandise in a more desirable fashion. One tends to locate in more desirable locations. As an independent, we compete, for some products, with both of these businesses. So the more threatening competitor to me by far would be Lowe’s.”

— Tony Calistro

Ring’s End Lumber


The feds and rental housing

The following comments relate to an article about the Treasury Department’s idea for turning foreclosed homes owned by the government into rentals.


“I imagine the government won’t be renting those houses out at market rates, and/or the government will subsidize the cost of the rent to the renters in some way.


“It is not hard to believe that in my neighborhood 4,000-sq.-ft. and 5,000-sq.-ft. homes will be subdivided into duplexes. This will then further reduce the value of my home until I’m so upside down that I in turn decide to default and hand my house over to the government. Plus, some HOAs have limits and/or restrictions on renting. However, these issues are nothing that an executive order can’t remedy.” 

— Name withheld


“[This idea is a] recipe for disaster.


“Show me one government housing project that has had a positive impact on the property values of surrounding houses.


“The ‘Projects’ coming to a neighborhood near you soon.” 

— Randy Childers


“If they plan on owning and managing the properties, bad idea! The federal government should not be in the business of renting properties.


“If they plan to assist in providing these homes to new owners who will in turn own and manage the properties, I’m all for it!”

— Derek Watt