I found this excellent Op Ed in the Roanoke Times:

A voice for gun rights

Bill Henderson

Henderson, of Roanoke, is a retired associate warden of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

I wish to be respectful to your opposing view on gun rights, but your editorial staff and reporters have the unfair advantage of choosing the articles favoring your side of this argument. In that regard, I can only say shame on you for using the freedom of the press to unjustly mock the citizens who have taken on the serious responsibility of their own protection.

Recent articles went too far in describing citizens with concealed permits as irresponsible and dangerous Wild West gunslingers if given the right to carry firearms in places serving alcohol.

The Roanoke Times staff does not have the right to keep up this campaign against Second Amendment supporters using their own rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

Of the 27 Amendments to the Constitution, the Second Amendment, which enumerates the right to keep and bear arms, was one of the original 10 proposed and ratified. Why did The Times find only four common folks in the Roanoke Valley who have opinions about the change -- 3 to 1 against ("Voices of the Valleys: What do you think of the bills that would expand gun rights in Virginia," Feb 28)? Couldn't they find an equal number of opinions to balance the story? Readers would find that to be honest reporting.

Also, why can you accommodate a majority of liberal university professors and national columnists print space to write opposition pieces on this one amendment? Doesn't The Times look for an opinion from Second Amendment supporters in these professions? This is unfortunate, since it would build support for your paper from folks like me.

My firearm is like my home's smoke detectors; I hope they will never be needed, but they can and do save lives when used as intended. The rules are already written -- you cannot consume alcohol and carry a concealed weapon or you risk losing that right and face possible criminal charges. It is that simple. Concealed carry permits are a privilege that is not easy to acquire. Permit holders are held to strict training and compliance.

Chicago and Washington, D.C., where gun ownership has been banned for residents for years now, have higher gun-related robberies and murders than any other similarly populated city in America. Those statistics speak volumes in regard to gun control laws.

Listening to an opinion contrary to your own with an open mind can be very difficult at times. Having the power to censor those with an opposing opinion, and utilizing that power in an unfair and unethical propaganda fashion, is not what the Founding Fathers intended for future generations when they proposed all the amendments.

The Times would well serve itself by providing its readers with fair and unbiased reporting -- giving the same amount of time and space to all views on any particular subject. You utterly fail your readers by not doing so.

The Times staff should watch the cable TV series "I Survived." Watch the real-life stories of victims of crimes who survived life-and-death scenarios. Perhaps only then will you understand the trauma a crime victim goes through and the difference that a responsible Virginian carrying a concealed firearm can have on the outcome.

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Replies to This Discussion

Well stated but he's probably wasting his effort trying to change the editorial policy of a leftist news paper.
What makes this newspaper leftist? Having an anti-gun slant doesn't make one leftist, and being leftist doesn't make one anti-gun (myself and many of my colleagues and friends being prime examples). They printed Mr. Henderson's editorial, so I'd say that makes the staff fairly open to constructive criticism.

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