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Warsaw's Idea

From: AJMD <mailto:jstones@scican.net>
To: stateeditor@thestate.com
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2002 10:24 PM
Subject: Warsaw's Idea

Submission for letter to editor:

John Warsaw (Jan. 8th letter: http://web.thestate.com/content/columbia/2002/01/08/opletter/warsawweb08.htm) wants to impose a waiting period on the media to guard against misuse of their First Amendment rights. What Warsaw fails to realize is that unlike other issues, the "gun" issue has two facets, rendering his argument (or any other rational one) null and void. 

You see, the issue is so heart-wrenching and vitally important (because we have a "crisis" on our hands, don't you know!) that reporters must rush to get the story, and don't have time to get the basic facts right, much less present both sides. On the other hand, when calmer times prompt some to push for a more detailed exploration of the issue, it suddenly is NOT a very important issue, and valuable space/time cannot be used to debate "trivialities." 

Even doctors handle it that way - our journals do stories of "crusading physicians" who are out to ban guns, decorated with numerous sidebars of distorted and fabricated (but scary) "facts" supporting their position. At the end, ten anti-gun sources are given, and "the NRA" is the only citation on the other side; they don't bother to mention the thoroughly-documented research by Kates, Lott, Wright, Kleck, Rossi, Kopel, and other serious criminologists. 

Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws (www.dsgl.org) has that information in our "favorite links" for those citizens and journalists who care to broaden their horizons.

Andrew Johnstone, RPh/MD
Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws


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