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Old February 16, 2013, 05:47 AM   #1
MLeake
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Frustration with the Kansas City Star

Some of you probably read the email exchanges I had with Barb Shelly (opinion writer) and Derek Donovan (public editor) at the Kansas City Star.

They never did get back to me, with regard to my offer to let them shoot an Evil Black Rifle, a shotgun, and some handguns on my property. Nor has Ms Shelly responded to any subsequent emails.

She has, however, posted several anti-gun OP-ED pieces in the interim. She had a heyday comparing Oscar Pistorius to Jovan Belcher, just the other day.

So, I submitted the following letter to the editor, and I am very curious as to whether it will ever see the light of day:

Quote:
In Castle Rock v Gonzales, in 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the police are not responsible for the protection of individuals. (NY Times June 28, 2005)

According to the website www.familywatchdog.us there are nine registered sex offenders near my home; there are 344 registered sex offenders in the St Joseph area; and there are 2,321 registered sex offenders in Kansas City.

If the police are not required to protect my wife or child; if they are not required to protect your family; then why should any of us allow the government to deny us the right to defend our own?

Barb Shelly has had multiple editorials, lately, deploring the horrors inflicted by evil men with guns. I pointed out to her that Professor Gary Kleck's studies at Florida State University found nearly 5,000 cases of self-defense, using guns, occur every day in the US.

Even using the conservative study figures used by the CDC, successful self-defense cases involving guns occur a quarter million times a year in the US.

My question for Ms Shelly and the Gun Control lobby is not why I should be allowed to own guns. The question is why do you not want me to?
Edit: The Star's submission standards allow a maximum length of 200 words, so I had to keep this short.
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Old February 16, 2013, 06:46 AM   #2
Pond, James Pond
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The problem is that they are not obliged to publish your letter: they control what they put into the newspaper and what they don't.

So it is most unlikely that they will publish something they don't have a good answer for given that they clearly lean toward gun legislation.

Seems to me that if one is pro-gun and publish in a pro-gun paper/magazine then it's preaching to the converted and so it's really a waste of time.
If one is pro-gun and try to publish in a pro-gun control paper/magazine then you'll rarely get any exposure, and so it's really a waste of time.

I can't help but feel that independent channels such as the internet or unedited channels such as live phone-ins are the best way to at least get one's message across to all to at least hear and then hopefully consider those views.

Never say never, but as you speculated, I think it unlikely that this will get published.
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:33 AM   #3
MLeake
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Pond, I suspect the same.

I was discussing this issue with a friend, earlier today. He feels that the far left and the far right are represented by today's columnists, but that an independent centrist editorial writer could probably find a large market.

So, I am going to look into starting up a site, or trying to break into the syndication racket.

I am extremely frustrated with the state of our modern media.
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:39 AM   #4
shootniron
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Quote:
I was discussing this issue with a friend, earlier today. He feels that the far left and the far right are represented by today's columnists, but that an independent centrist editorial writer could probably find a large market.
It will not work as those in the middle are not interested in details...aka "low information voters". If they are not paying attention now, there are not very likely to pay attention to anything in the future.
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Old February 16, 2013, 05:28 PM   #5
gunloony
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There is an old saying in the newspaper business, "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own the press."

As previous posters have stated, a newspaper has no obligation to publish opinions contrary to those of its editorial writer(s). Many will, in the interest of fairness, to present more than one point of view to their readers, or just to create an illusion of openness.

You may not get a letter opposing a published editorial printed, but if you don't send it you certainly will not. I have no idea what the newspaper situation is in Kansas City (too lazy to do a search), whether there is any competition or alternative to the Star, but that might be an option to get the pro-2A word out to the public. Not as good as being on the same pages as the Star's anti-gun pieces, but a letter in the "KayCee Free Classified Shopper Sheet" beats heck out of silence, IMO.
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Old February 16, 2013, 05:40 PM   #6
KMAX
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Unfortunately, too many of the so-called news papers and magazines have become not much better than the supermarket tabloids (National Enquirer, etc.) I only read newspapers to get a basic gist of a story. Facts and fiction get too mixed.
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Old February 17, 2013, 05:11 AM   #7
MLeake
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Using Bloomberg numbers to argue with the Star

My dad found a Bloomberg article that - amazingly - took a balanced approach to the gun control debate. I used it to buttress a complaint to the editorial staff at the Star (who still have not responded, and probably never will):

Quote:
A publication owned by Mr MAIG himself had this to offer in the debate, last December; amazingly, it received very little attention from such news sources as (for example) The Kansas City Star:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles...n-self-defense

The article points out that Gary Kleck's number of 2 Million per year is probably high, but that even David Hemenway (Harvard), a gun control advocate, concedes a number of 100,000 per year.

The Bloomberg article finds the more likely number to be between 250,000 and 370,000.

So, the CDC estimate of 250,000 seems to be on the low end of reasonable.

I find it very distressing that you, Ms Shelly, won't even deign to address hard numbers. I find it equally distressing, Mr. Donovan, that you don't see any problem with the steady assault on gun owners - in a nearly complete vacuum of facts - from Ms Shelly, Ms Sanchez, Mr Abouhalkah, and Mr Judge.

It almost seems like somebody in upper management or ownership is driving an agenda.

Regards,

Morgan Leake
LCDR, USN (ret)
defense contractor (Afghanistan)
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:17 AM   #8
Pond, James Pond
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With the Kansas Star I can imagine it would feel pretty great to get a response conceding that you indeed have a point, but I think you are flogging a dead horse.
Valiantly, but still futilely...

Going back to your idea of your own site:
I think the idea is good, but you'd need to design it in such a way that it does not become another site where the converted gather to read like-minded views, but rather something that will pique the interest of every end of the spectrum to get to those we want to convince...

No easy task!
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