Note this column in yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times:
If you wish to email Ms. Washington in response, here is her address:
I have today sent the following letter:
Dear Ms. Washington,
Just a few comments on your diatribe against private gun ownership and your deliberate libel of those who support it.
First: I have no doubt at all that you have intentionally deceived your readers about the nature of pro-gunners' communications to you. I am sure that you did receive some abusive letters--but I am equally sure that a very great many, if not indeed the ovewhelming majority of them, were, like this one, polite, well-reasoned and perfectly rational.
One would not know that from reading your column; on the contrary, one would assume that all who support concealed carry by private citizens are dangerous, ignorant, abusive yahoos. No doubt that is what you believe, in spite of evidence--including your own mail--to the contrary; and by your words, you intend to foster that prejudice and reinforce it among your readers.
Isn't it intellectually dishonest of you to engage in that kind of negative stereotyping? If that kind of prejudicial lying-by-omission were directed at any other group, would you not be outraged?
Further: You were no doubt told, over and over, about the evidence, both statistical and anecdotal, that essentially prove that armed citizens make a community safer and not more dangerous. E.g., that in every jurisdiction in the U.S. where concealed carry has been instituted, the rate of violent crime has dropped sharply; that the number of license holders arrested for gun crimes has been infinitesimal; that only a tiny percentage of licenses have been revoked for misuse; and so on.
You were no doubt also told, in first-person accounts, of numerous instances wherein a crime was PREVENTED by the presence or use of a citizen's weapon--like my own experience: my home was invaded by criminals who fled as soon as they became aware that I possessed a handgun. No shots were fired and no one was harmed, but that was ONLY because I was armed. I have little doubt that you read many such stories, and were referred to many such statistics. But did you so much as acknowledge these arguments in your column, much less address them?
No. Not at all.
Be honest about your correspondence, even if you have to admit to seeing arguments that you find hard to refute. Pretending there aren't such is, as I said, intellectually dishonest. At best. At worst, it is intentionally deceptive, cowardly, and contemptible.
The same might be said for your remarks about citizens "packing heat". You imply that armed citizens are a danger to those around them; but the opposite is demonstrably true, considering the facts presented above--and this:
If you were "standing in line for gas, popcorn or a gallon of milk," and some maniac like the Virginia Tech killer showed up, prepared to murder you and everyone else in the place, I suspect that you might be very glad indeed to be standing next to a trained, responsible and law-abiding armed citizen.
It's no accident that that killer chose a place where no one else was allowed to be armed. We don't see many massacres at police stations, banks, or other places where responsible people are armed, now do we?
To a criminal or maniac, "gun-free zones" are "free-fire zones" where no one can shoot back and they are free to murder innocents at will. It is apparently your goal to transform the entire United States into such a place.
Bottom line: Do you believe in honest, open, factual debate? Or only in avoiding inconvenient facts and smearing your opposition? If your arguments against the private ownership of weapons are so rational and convincing, why must you engage in this kind of stereotyping and deception? Why can you never address the actual arguments of your opponents, instead of merely pretending we are all violent thugs?
I would wager a year's pay that you will not even acknowledge this email, much less answer it. And that will prove my point--even, though you will never admit it, to you.
Have a nice day.
Charles Norman, Dallas