Letters to the editor are a mainstay of the newspaper business. Back before the internet, it was about the only way of sharing your opinion with the masses. Even today, it’s still a vital tool for political debate, especially on local issues.
Unfortunately, they’re only useful if they’re intelligently written and contain useful information.
A recent letter to the Northwest Florida Daily News doesn’t really do either, and instead shows the extent of the anti-gun argument.
The conversation around the tragedy in Kentucky is much quieter this time than even the last school shooting, which seems to be the growing trend with every new mass shooting. Nationwide numbness and complacency to these horrific events is setting in.
Now, let’s bear in mind that mass shooting outrage operates on a sliding scale. The outrage for a Columbine or Virginia Tech will always be greater than for what happened in Kentucky where two people were killed, 17 injured.
It has nothing to do with numbness so much as the fact that the magnitude of the act is a reflection of the loss of life. While those who’ve lost loved ones will always think about that shooting, the rest of the nation doesn’t have that reminder. That’s simply how these things go.
But the letter writer continues.
This reality makes my heart hurt on so many levels. I’m scared to send my kids to school. I am begging our elected officials to put a stop to the NRA’s control over the conversation regarding gun control. We have to stop these horrific events from happening. We need to look at other countries to see how we can create a nationwide reform to gun control and gun violence.
This is the crux of the anti-gun argument; the only thing stopping gun control is the powerful NRA.
I hate to break this to the writer, but the NRA is only powerful because it represents so many people. Even non-members look to the NRA’s grading system for candidates.
The NRA donates only a fraction of what many other special interest groups do, yet it’s presented as this monolithic entity that politicians cower before. That’s because they are the voice of legions of Second Amendment supporters. If the NRA disappeared tomorrow, someone else would represent that same voice within a week.
The writer then implores her elected officials to “be on the right side of history on this issue.”
First, history is nothing more than the recorded information on what events happened in a past time. It doesn’t have a “right side” or a “wrong side.”
Yet urging people to be on the “right side of history” is a common enough leftist tactic desperate to try and shame politicians into betraying their oath of office. After all, they swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Embracing gun control, something they believe goes against the Constitution, is to foreswear their oath.
But that’s the crux of the anti-gun argument. Appeals to emotion are the single greatest “weapon” they have, mostly because the facts really aren’t on their side and they know it.