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More Gun Bigotry in Chicago

Whether or not you read the following letter -- published here because the gun bigots at the Chicago Sun Times likely do not have the journalistic integrity to print it -- definitely read the editorial that produced this response, and consider sending a letter of your own.

Chicago Sun Times Editor
Mark Brown, Gun Bigot

Heed the rants of gun nuts before you vote
(SunTimes, October 8)

Angel Shamaya
Founder/Executive Director
National organization with members in every state and throughout Illinois
(928) 522-8833

October 9, 2002

We continue to be amazed as the vile, bigoted statements about gun owners published in the Chicago Sun Times. Mark Brown's latest attack on gun owners -- all gun owners, not just the small percentage who criminally misuse firearms, mind you -- includes repeated use of the term "gun nuts" to describe gun owners.

That your paper continues to promote such grossly bigoted statements against an entire community of lawful, peaceable people because of the actions of a statistically few is almost as alarming as the sheer hatred your columnist exudes. We do not see you vilifying the black community by calling them "black nuts" or "violent rap music nuts" -- even though a disproportionately large percentage of unlawful shootings, both locally and nationally, both shooter and victim roles, are members of the black community. We do not see you smearing the entire police community when some of their members clearly have problems; when law enforcement officers go sideways, the term "law nuts" or "enforcement nuts" or "authority nuts" are absent from your publication. Of course you donít do that; it wouldn't be right, fair, decent or sane.

Yet you seem to think it's somehow acceptable to use slurs against the 83,000,000 gun owners who have never misused their firearms and never will. You may call this journalism, or an expression of your "First Amendment" right to denigrate, but we see, feel and experience it for what it is: oppressive hate speech designed to make lawful people into enemies and to pit our own neighbors against us. That makes your publication much like the KKK pamphlets of the 50's, only this time instead of black people, the targets of vindictive and punitive verbal assaults are people who legally own objects specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

On October 1st of this year, a 53-year-old Detroit woman used a handgun to save herself and her friend from injury or death. At 11:30pm, they were surprised to have their home invaded by two younger men. One of the men was armed. The women hid in the bedroom closet, hoping the intruders would leave. Only when one of them opened the closet door did the armed citizen open fire. The perpetrator is in serious condition, and although the self-defending woman is certainly scarred for the experience, she doesn't have a scratch on her body -- as it should be.

When we see you maliciously attacking gun owners with such debasing animosity, that's the kind of person we see you attacking -- innocent women who reserve the right to be secure in their own closets. If you find that type of "reporting" righteous or even remotely acceptable, we find your judgment to be deeply impaired.