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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My letter to the editor, what the paper actually posted, and the letter that I was replying to.

This letter was recently posted in my local newspaper, The Reading Eagle.

The tragic death of Deputy Sheriff Kyle D. Pagerly by a mentally ill man using a semi-automatic AK- 47 spotlights the inadequacies of Pennsylvania's gun laws ("Violent end to life of duty," Reading Eagle, July 1).

Can just anyone get a gun license? Hunters certainly don't use AK-47s.

This gun is used to kill other humans and is able to pierce body armor worn by law-enforcement officers.

I wish our legislators had the moral courage to enact some needed gun laws. Are they so dependent upon campaign donations from the National Rifle Association that they can't become leaders for saner legislation?

Maureen Gorney
Marion Township

My immediate reaction to this letter was one of what is this lady talking about? Does she know nothing about local and national gun laws that she is currently questioning? Has she done no research before firing off this ill informed letter? I decided that, for the sake of not only gun owners, but for anyone that has had any of their rights trampled, that I should respond so that the public not be fooled by the ignorance of this letter.

Here is the letter that I submitted to the editor, addressing the issues

Editor, this is a response to Maureen Gorney in a letter titled “Killing of deputy raises gun issues”

The author of this piece must have done zero research before writing this and the ignorance of the topic certainly shows.

First, in PA there is no such thing as a gun license because guns are not licensed; people are licensed. In order to be licensed there are extensive background checks done by the Sheriff and they go through a National system as well as a PA system and check for all manner of violations, including being deemed mentally unfit to own a firearm. In PA you do not need to be licensed to buy a firearm, however the same background checks apply in order to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms dealer.

Second, the AK-47 is not the issue here and while hunters do not use it in PA because of PA Game Commission restrictions, it can be used in other states to hunt. The point though, is moot, because the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. The gun doesn't really matter, because the bullet that it fires is fired in many different guns and the bullet fired from the AK-47 IS used for hunting. The bullet used IS NOT an armor piercing round and will not penetrate National Institute of Justice Level III or Level IV body armor.

You ask for more legislation and yet there are already some 20,000 laws on the books. Legislation would not have changed the outcome here as he was already prohibited from owning a firearm legally. You wish for saner legislation, and I wish you would have actually done your homework. Don’t use a tragedy to advocate infringement of the rights of other’s.

I thought that response to be very clear and address the concerns of the initial writer, and ensure that others were not confused. I was glad when the Reading Eagle called me and told me they would publish it. They also told me they would have to edit the parts where I talk to the initial author because it was supposed to be a letter to the editor. I reviewed my letter and decided that the parts where I spoke to the woman were acceptable to edit out and consented to have the letter printed.

Imagine my surprise when I saw an incoherent and heavily edited letter in the paper with my name attributed to it. Here is the letter that was posted

Editor:

Maureen Gorney must have done zero research before writing her letter, and the ignorance of the topic certainly shows ("Killing of deputy raises gun issues," Reading Eagle, July 8).

In Pennsylvania there is no such thing as a gun license because guns are not licensed; people are licensed. In order to be licensed one must undergo an extensive background check done by the sheriff, who checks national and state records for all manner of violations, including mental fitness to own a firearm.

In Pennsylvania one does not need to be licensed to buy a firearm, however the same background check applies.

The AK-47 is not the issue here. Although hunters do not use it in Pennsylvania because of game commission restrictions, it is used in other states to hunt. The point is moot though because the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting.

The bullet that the gun fires is fired in many guns, and that bullet is used for hunting. The bullet is not an armor-piercing round and will not penetrate National Institute of Justice level III or level IV body armor.

Legislation would not have changed the outcome here as Matthew M. Connor was prohibited from owning a firearm legally.

I was a little perturbed by the heavy hand of the editor, and believe it makes me sound like I can not put together coherent sentences or ideas in order to make solid and valid points.

I give the Reading Eagle a big F on this one and wish they would have posted my original letter.

Anthony

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Your letter was much clearer and better stated. The editor butchered it and for someone who should be good with words - not so much here! Makes me wonder if they do that to all Letters to the Editor? You're a very good writer Anthony! And scary intelligent!

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