, Newburyport, MA


February 1, 2013

Democracy demands conversation

To the editor:

On the very day that your editorial headline declared, “‘Conversation on guns was over before it started” (Jan. 22), I was ready to send a letter congratulating you for serving as an outlet for your readers’ personal and communal distress over the Newtown massacre.

In the weeks since Newtown, as was the case a year ago following the “stand your ground” shooting in Florida, The Daily News editorial page has offered numerous letters and columns reflecting a spectrum of views on the Second Amendment, access to guns, assault and automatic weapons, mental health and the glorification of violence in the media.

In Newburyport, the conversation regarding guns has been healthy, and you deserve credit for that.

Or you did until you called that very conversation finished, insinuating that it never existed, and mocked it with the charge that anyone seeking common-sense regulation wants only to “harangue law-abiding citizens ... on how evil and immoral they are.”

There are just three possible explanations for your about-face, any of which would explain why editorials — unlike all letters and columns — are unsigned:

1. The editor who wrote it pays no attention to the editorial page.

2. It was written by an editor at your parent company, the Eagle Tribune, turning the paper in Newburyport into a mere colony of the corporate empire based in North Andover.

3. It was the product of someone in the even larger corporate network of the American Legislative Exchange (ALEC), as identified with right-wing causes — including the NRA’s “stand your ground” laws — as the Eagle-Tribune. This would explain why the editorial was based mostly on two incidents that occurred in New York state, a far cut-and-paste from State Street.

To clear this up, I challenge you to give your readers a true record of the authorship of your editorials.

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