A Gentlemanly Debate on Gun Control

RECEIVED Wed., Jan. 2, 2013

Dear Editor,
    Doubting this letter will be published, because the editorial staff traditionally gets the last word, I decided, nevertheless, to write once again to respond to Mr. King's reply to my letter in the Dec. 28 issue [“Postmarks”]. As expected, Mr. King falls straight into a defensive crouch to justify his comments while trying to invalidate mine. He says that "Adam Lanza was no Timothy McVeigh," somehow thinking that Lloyd Bentsen-esque statement would justify his position about gun control. As I wrote before, to which no cogent argument was made, no one in his right mind could possibly argue that a disturbed mind bent upon death and destruction would immediately abandon that path just because there was no gun handy. Besides which, I seriously doubt that Mr. King's bold statement that Lanza would not have attacked without a gun obviously does not come from a solid background in psychotherapy or counseling the mentally disturbed. That is nothing more than a specious argument and a personal opinion thoroughly ungrounded in fact, but is apparently offered because it looks good in print.
    Secondly, Mr. King accuses me of hoping "to wish [the matter of violence] away" with my "willful blindness," or at least I suppose that was his purpose, his logic being somewhat difficult to follow. But once again, Mr. King, innuendo and presupposition about what I believe is all you have to go on. Slinging barbs at me to justify your opinions is unworthy of an accomplished journalist. In fact, I do believe there can be great strides made in the gun debate, but assuming that any such action will keep weapons out of the hands of those who seek to possess them for evil is either an unfortunate wish or pure folly.
    Third, the minority is also not uniformly "gun-crazy," Mr. King, and apparently, once again, it is impossible for you to offer written content without name-calling. The minority, I think of which you speak, could be and likely is nothing more than many good Americans who seek to keep their right to own firearms, just as you hope to keep your right to free speech within this periodical. And, like me, most responsible gun owners would be the first to agree that the problem with guns is a desperate one, and that there could be many roads to a solution, some of which they could easily endorse.
    Finally, a word of courteous advice: My name is more appropriately Mr. Wilson, just as you may observe I have been gentlemanly enough to refer to you as Mr. King.
Bill Wilson
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