Following up on last week’s story concerning the outrageously offensive comments made by Jayne Lyn Stahl, equating NRA and its members with a murderer (“Another Poster Child For The NRA,” http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=3271), comes Ms. Stahl’s latest screed. She couldn’t just let sleeping dogs lie.
In this week’s installation (“Silencers are for Guns not People,” 10/30/07, http://ladyjaynestahl.blogspot.com/), Ms. Stahl writes:
“Earlier this month, I wrote a piece called ‘Another Poster Child for the NRA’ in response to a horrific and disturbing account of a young police officer, in a small town in Wisconsin, who apparently went insane, out of jealousy, and killed his girlfriend, and several friends. [It] was never my intention to rant against the National Rifle Association…I was besieged with hate mail, most of which came from National Rifle Association members, some from law enforcement, and the military, all of whom mistakenly seemed to think that I was targeting them with my comments.” (emphasis added)
Never her intent to rant against NRA? Mistakenly thinking she was targeting us? Come on! Anyone who can read could come to no other conclusion. Recall her words in her original column:
“While one often thinks of Charleton (sic) Heston when thinking about the NRA, in this age of the cowboy, any gun-toting madman will do just as well. [This] officer who fired his gun, and took the lives of six isn't the only poster child for the NRA; each of his victims is, too.”
All Ms. Stahl had to do if she was sincere was simply apologize for her inappropriate choice of words. Instead, she chose to try to tell us ignorant NRA folk that we’re too stupid to understand that she didn’t really mean what she said!
There isn’t space here to rebut and correct every misstatement of fact in Stahl’s latest piece, so let us just address a few.
Stahl notes: “If it’s true, as we hear, that guns don’t kill people; rest assured that ignorance does. Awareness, and education, are essential steps in the direction of finding a solution…” Of course! That’s why in last week’s Alert, we noted: “[NRA supports] preserving the rights of law-abiding citizens to choose to legally own guns, while also calling for the strict enforcement and punishment of those who break the law…[and the fact that we have] 62,000-plus certified instructors train[ing] 1,000,000 Americans annually in firearms safety and responsibility…” Sounds like the exemplification of awareness and education!
And for the “I have a First Amendment right, but those who disagree with me don’t” files, Stahl notes, “Silencers aren’t only being used for firearms; they’re now handy ways to stifle dissent, too.” This is in apparent response both to NRA members contacting her to express their outrage and to our willingness to actively participate in a system of government where our elected officials work for us, and not the other way around. Of course, we respect Ms. Stahl’s right to express an opinion (no matter how offensive). But her right is no greater than the right of those who disagree with her to express their objection to being equated with a murderer.
It is our hope Ms. Stahl will choose another topic on which to write in the future, and also keep in mind the cardinal rule of getting oneself out of a hole—stop digging!
Those who choose to contact Ms. Stahl to try again to educate her should be respectful and courteous. There is enough factual information to use against Ms. Stahl in making our case to prevent lowering ourselves to her level of discourse.
(Editor’s Note: It appears the caption that accompanied Ms. Stahl’s original piece was inserted by the Atlantic Free Press, which posted a subsequent, rambling defense of Ms. Stahl. Those wishing to comment to the Atlantic Free Press on its inappropriate use of NRA’s seal and for the offending caption should direct their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, not to Ms. Stahl.)