Advertisements, Guns, Celebrities

The San Fransico Chronicle's recent advertisement calling for the impeachment of several members of the U.S. Government enraged the majority of readers. Those who responded praised Eric Burns for bringing this issue to the forefront and for sharing his mutual disgust over the issue.

Other topics that received much attention were Wendy McElroy's discussion of gender and gun ownership, as well as Mike Straka's opinion on the egos of celebrities and the high regard that certain journalists deserve.

Here is a sample of this week's mail.

In response to Fox News Watch:

Jeff Bickerstaff writes:

An increasingly missing element of freedom of speech is the responsibility of speech. Those that choose the public platform to express their opinion assume the full weight of the response. It seems that those with the loudest voices are the same people that bellow when their speech is repudiated. By all means, avail yourself of your rights but don't whine when others choose do to do the same.

Bob Heroux writes:

You don't know where to begin? Try not being so understanding; say it as it is. The right to free speech should no longer be a shield to hide behind. Ads should be run if they are true (good, bad, ugly, or politically incorrect), and a reporter's opinion should not be run as news. Some day, I fear, the old saying, "I may not agree with what they say, but I'll defend their right to say it" may not continue to be passed on to future generations if what they say is not truthful. Most people will tend to believe the first account of what they read or hear. Changing their minds after that is going to be difficult to say the least. Truth is what the freedom of speech is all about. Truth is needed to educate, and the truth will set you free.

Glenn Zausmer writes:

A more accurate measure of true indignation would be the effect the ad had on subscription rates. This is also the only criteria the SFC management will care about. If it lost business because of this it, it would be very appropriate for the national dialogue if you'd include that piece of information in a follow-up piece. If it didn't change (probable given the SF demographics), then drop it. It would just reinforce capital over morality.

R.E. van Patten, Ph.D. writes:

Read these words and wonder what other elements of the media you would like to see under the censor's thumb:

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President...or that we are to stand by the President right or not only unpatriotic and servile but is morally treasonable to the American public." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Tony Baron writes:

"No mater how hard you try, you can't fix stupid." I have found this saying explains why some people think the way they do. When I accepted the premise, I found that I no longer became upset when confronted by people who do not seem to apply common sense.

In response to ifeminists:

Wendy Lewis writes:

I think being a women that carries a gun makes me smart, not a feminist.

Chris Tipton writes:

As a retired police officer and firearms instructor, I saw many women who were exceptionally skilled with firearms. Others, overcoming their initial reluctance, became quite proficient, no more or less than with men. I can think of a couple of ladies I would be very happy to have back me up in a gunfight. Admittedly, some firearms are more suited for the large (race no barrier) male hunter, but often with some modifications, the same firearms can be made to "fit" a woman. Keep 'em honest.

Andrew Barbeau writes:

Yes, the use of a Ginsu knife as a weapon runs contrary to its intended purpose -- that is a misuse. The problem with this argument is that, if a gun IS used correctly, a person is killed. The intended purpose of a gun is to fire a projectile with such speed and accuracy to fatally injure a living being. Any other use of a gun is a misuse, as it runs contrary to its intended purpose. In society, we often accept guns as means to threaten or to maim, ifnecessary. We can accept these under certain accepted notions of the need to protect personal security. To say, however, to threaten or to maim is the intended purpose of a gun is to be disingenuous. The question we must ask, as a society, is whether we wish to accept the notion of legalizing an item whose intended purpose is to kill. And, if yes, where do we draw the line?

Dale A. Raby writes:

I have long held that feminists ought to be promoting gun ownership, not opposing it as many do. In the final analysis, a gun really is the "Great Equalizer."

Mike Glaser writes:

As a veteran of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era (I did not serve in Vietnam, but ended up working at the Pentagon), a former police officer, and an NRA Member, I enjoyed the common sense perspective demonstrated in your recent editorial piece. But wouldn't we all be safer if only the military and police were allowed to possess firearms, and the general population was proscribed from owning guns? The point that I am trying to make is that when the self-discipline and morality of a society erode, no amount of disarming the citizenry will ensure safety. The debate over gun control will rage as long as people can continue to be convinced that strength is the equivalent of violence, while helplessness and cowardice are virtues.

In response to Strakalogue:

Eric McGuirk writes:

I think Jordan from CNN is the ultimate hypocrite. They knew about horrible treatment of Iraqi's yet they did not feel obligated to report. Yet, if one of George W.'s daughters gets drunk, America must know. They reported that our President was no better than Saddam early in the war, but now they say they knew the truth all along. That's hypocrisy at it's finest.

MC Garrett writes:

If Jordan knew about the atrocities of Saddam and at the same time knew that the antiwar protesters denied any and all salient facts about Saddam, doesn't that make him culpable because he allow and perpetuated their stance. I will never understand those who adjust reality to meet their standards.

John Trentes writes:

Although I think Sean Penn has other personality issues, being concerned about his personal safety does not equate to hypocrisy in my eyes, even if I strongly disagree with his public stance regarding the war. The real hypocrisy is that in the state of California, you can only get one of these permits if you have a famous name like "Sean Penn," are politically connected, or have lots of money for a lawyer to sue to get your permit. The great, unwashed general population routinely gets turned down for such permits by the California authorities for no good reason.

Chris Hendricks writes:

I think you forgot a point. Mr. Jordan states that he feels terrible about knowing what was going on and was worried about his journalists. Why doesn't anyone ask why his journalists were not concerned about the Iraqi people? I know they try to be objective (email does not bring out dry sarcasm well, but there it is anyway) but with all of their pro-Iraqi women and children reporting you would think they would have developed an agenda to get out of Iraq and stop supporting that dictator through theirpro-Saddam reporting!

Anonymous writes:

Anyone that thinks Eason Jordan kept the atrocities in Iraq a secret to protect the lives of the journalists do not see the big picture. The same result would have occurred if he would have pulled his staff out of Baghdad and had the integrity to put the spotlight on Saddam's cruelties rather that pander to the regime in order to keep a presence in Baghdad to try to gain interviews with the "top dogs" of the regime. As far as I can logically reason, this has cost CNN what credibility they had as a factual news outlet.

Melissa M. Graham writes:

Eason Jordan would have shown courage had he refused to keep quiet about the crimes against humanity that he knew were being perpetrated against the Iraqi people by Saddam. Instead, he opted for a Baghdad Bureau and ratings at the expense of untold lives. Just because he is having an attack of conscience now does not make his admission courageous. It makes his admission expedient.