Caitlin Nolan, Bill Hutchinson, and their editors at the NY Daily News might want to consider switching to decaf:

An upstate gun nut went to church Sunday and walked out the winner of a high-powered assault rifle similar to the one used to slaughter 26 innocent people at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

But Ron Stafford, 42, an avid hunter and single father of two from Schenectady, said he didn’t see what’s wrong about owning a gun or a church giving away an AR-15 rifle.

“I believe it’s the right of the individual, I believe the church and our God-given rights and our rights to follow the Constitution go hand in hand,” said Stafford, who doesn’t even belong to Grace Baptist Church in upstate Lansingburgh, but made the 25-mile trek from his home for the gun drawing.

“I like to shoot,” said the Second Amendment zealot. “I believe that this shows the will of the people and what this country is all about.”

Stafford was so determined to win, he sat through the entire three-hour service — a requirement demanded by the church’s pastor, the Rev. John Koletas.

While the overall message at Sunday’s service was about God and guns, Stafford refused to ponder the question of whether he could imagine Jesus packing heat.

“I can’t answer that question,” said Stafford. “I’m not Jesus. I believe in my personal thoughts and to speak for him wouldn’t be very Christian of me.”

However, he castigated the media for “demonizing” gun owners and the government for “trampling” on Second Amendment rights.

Gee, Caitlin… I’m not sure where Mr. Stafford might have picked up the impression that the media demonizes gun owners.

Maybe it came because of your paper’s repeated front-page assertion that the owners of the single most common rifle purchased in the United States are nothing more or less than mass murderers in waiting.

Maybe it was from prior experience, reading stories that began like your opening line, where you called him a “gun nut,” before dragging forth the worn and battered cliche that called an AR-15 a “high-powered assault rifle” when it is neither high-powered, nor an assault rifle. Maybe, Caitlin, it was because he’s read enough hysterical, fact-challenged writing from the Daily News to know that you’d compare him to Adam Lanza in the very first sentence of your article.

Maybe Mr. Stafford understood you all too well, Ms. Nolan, while you didn’t understand him or America’s other 100 million or so other gun owners at all.

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