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Media bigotry

Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 11:01:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: robert n lyman <rlyman@u.washington.edu>
To: pulse@gr-press.com, jdouglas@gr-press.com
Subject: Latest anti-gun comment from John Douglas

To Mr. John Douglas and his editors,

Mr. Douglas' latest column about gun ownership was just as full of bigotry and nonsense as his last one.

To begin with, the term "gun nut" is as offensive as the term "nigger" or "faggot." All three are derisive terms used by people who think themselves superior to denigrate others who are different. All display intolerance and ignorance. None are appropriate for use in rational or polite debate. Mr. Douglas makes the insult worse by referring to himself as a "recovering gun nut," and claiming he was "cured," implying that gun owners are sick and in need of treatment. Again, the implication is incredibly offensive. Aren't liberals supposed to be tolerant, or do you only tolerate people who agree with you?

Looking beyond Mr. Douglas' bigotry, which was already well known, I must say that calling oneself a "gun nut" because one once handled and considered buying a pistol is just plain stupid. No one claims to be black because he has a suntan, or homosexual because he kisses his father. This lame attempt on Mr. Douglas' part to reconcile with people he so publicly reviles by claiming to be one of them will be rightly rejected by the shooting community.

Finally, Mr. Douglas expresses his hope that other "gun nuts" will join him in renouncing firearms. I suppose he imagines this will somehow make the world safer. Again, he insults the honest gun owner by implying that he or she is somehow responsible for violent crime.

Let me say this clearly, so that even Mr. Douglas and other similar bigots at your paper may understand. Law abiding gun owners are NOT responsible for violent crime. Indeed, their willingness to defend themselves and others from criminals makes them valuable assets in the struggle against predators in society. No fewer than 80 million people in the country own guns. These people deserve your respect, and indeed your thanks—they stand ready not only to prevent crime, but also to preserve the freedom of speech that your paper uses to insult them.

Violent, radical, tax-protesting gun nuts founded this country. You owe them a debt too large to ever pay off. You could pay it in part by treating present day gun owners with the respect that all human beings deserve.
Instead of renouncing guns, Mr. Douglas should renounce hate.

Robert Lyman
Seattle, WA


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