An Open Letter To Chris Bowers of Daily Kos


The following e-mail was sent to Chris Bowers of the Daily Kos this afternoon.  It is in response to an e-mail he sent around after the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Chris Bowers
Campaign Director

Daily Kos

December 18, 2012

Dear Chris,

We have both been elected as members of the State Committees of our respective political parties and states. You were a member of the Democratic State Committee of Pennsylvania and I serve as a member of the Republican State Committee of New Jersey.

We are also both bloggers, Americans, human beings, and so on. In short, more joins us than separates us.

An e-mail you sent around recently caught my eye. The subject line reads: “We can’t stay silent and just hope this will never happen again.” The issue you were writing about was the murders that took place last week in Newtown, Connecticut.

I agree with you.

In the body of your e-mail you wrote: “Please click here to sign our petition asking President Obama to lead the way in a serious national conversation about gun control.”

I agree with you that we need “a serious national conversation”, but “gun control” is only a part of that conversation. I believe the real issue that faces us is the cultural violence that affects so much of American society.

You wrote that “a major shift in favor of increased gun safety regulations is taking place”, but seriously Chris, do you believe that any “gun safety regulation” short of confiscation would have prevented what this emotionally deranged young man did? Under New Jersey law he committed a felony by stealing a firearm from his mother that was legally owned by her.

How do you propose to stop people from stealing firearms unless it is by the total elimination of all firearms? And do bans actually work? If the bans on cannabis, cocaine, or a few dozen other “banned” substances that should not in theory be available are anything to go by, it is very doubtful.

Then there is the moral hazard that our nation (yes, mine and yours) would face if we opened up the Bill of Rights for pruning. And think of the process of rounding up all those firearms: House to house searches, arrests, imprisonment - think of the cost to build all those prisons for all of those formerly law abiding citizens.

In your e-mail you wrote: “We have to stand up to the political power of the NRA, and we have to do it right now while their support is weakest.” Scoring points when a political opponent is down? I hope that is not what you are about.

Chris, if you want to have a real, honest and open discussion about the violence that besets our society, let’s have it. Put everything on the table: Gun control, the marketing of violence to children, the criminal justice system, addiction - everything.

Let’s put together a few of us at a location in Philadelphia, where this whole experiment of ours started, and let’s have a discussion. Not a debate, mind you, a discussion. Nobody is going to be scoring points, no cheering section. If there are any “points” to be made it will be in the courtesy we extend to other points of view and the charitable license in opening our minds and in actually listening and considering what others have to say.

Let’s meet on the level. Let’s discover what we can agree on. Maybe even decide to do something about it.

Please get back to me on this so I can line up a location and time that will be acceptable to you.

Thank you for your concern.

Rob Eichmann



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  1. truther says:

    It will be interesting to see if he responds. It would be nice to see sane people come together on this. The problem is our world is not made up of too many sane people. Read on…

    Malkin: The Post-Newtown Witch Hunt

    By Michelle Malkin December 19, 2012 Commentary

    In the aftermath of the horrific Newtown, Conn., school massacre, Americans from all parts of the political spectrum agree that we need to pay more attention to mental health issues.

    Public death threats and incitements to violence must be taken seriously. The incendiary witch hunt against law-abiding, peaceful gun owners is neither noble nor effective. It’s just plain insane.

    Over the past week, I’ve witnessed a disturbing outbreak of off-the-rails hatred toward gun owners and Second Amendment groups. Whatever your views on guns, we can all agree: The Newtown gunman was a monster who slaughtered his own mother, five heroic educators and 20 angel-faced schoolchildren.

    He ignored laws against murder. He bypassed Connecticut’s strict gun control regulations, and he circumvented the Sandy Hook Elementary School’s security measures. Every decent American is horrified and heartsick by this outbreak of pure evil.

    But tens of millions of law-abiding men and women own and use guns responsibly in this country. The cynical campaign to demonize all armed men and women as monsters must not go unanswered. What’s most disturbing is that the incitements are coming from purportedly respectable, prominent and influential public figures.

    Consider the rhetoric of University of Rhode Island Professor Erik Loomis. He teaches “U.S. environmental history, the Civil War, late 19th and early 20th century America, labor history, and the American West” in the university’s history department. Online, however, Loomis is a militantly unhinged foe of all things conservative.

    This week, the nutty professor took to Twitter to rail against law-abiding gun owners and the National Rifle Association. “Looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children,” Loomis fumed. “Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick,” he added. (LaPierre is executive vice president and CEO of the NRA.) Loomis was just warming up.

    “F**k the National Rifle Association and its policies to put crazy guns in everyone’s hands,” Loomis tweeted. “You are g*dd*mn right we should politicize this tragedy. F**k the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison,” he spewed. “Can we define NRA membership dues as contributing to a terrorist organization?”

    If all that wasn’t clear enough, Loomis also re-tweeted the following message from a fellow left-winger: “First f**ker to say the solution is for elementary school teachers to carry guns needs to get beaten to death.”

    When the conservative group Campus Reform called attention to the craziness, Loomis whined about a “right-wing intimidation campaign.” Sane university professors shook their heads.

    University of Tennessee law professor and blogger Glenn Reynolds explained the anti-NRA syllogism at work:

    “(1) Something bad happened; (2) I hate you; so (3) it’s your fault. This sort of reasoning has played out in all sorts of places over the past century, with poor results. One would expect a history professor to know better.”

    Unfortunately, Loomis is not alone. Famed author Joyce Carol Oates also took to Twitter to blame the entire membership of the NRA for one evil-doer’s massacre.

    “Another NRA-sponsored massacre for Christmas 2012,” Oates wrote. She then accused any politicians who supported the NRA of “felony homicide.” And then she mused hopefully for mass shootings against the NRA: “If sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims themselves, maybe hope for legislation of firearms?” Shockingly, actress Marg Helgenberger of the TV show “CSI” cheered her on: “One can only hope, but sadly I don’t think anything would change.”

    In Texas, state Democratic Party official John Cobarruvias threw fuel on the fire. Cobarruvias is the Democratic Party precinct chair in Houston, Texas, and holds a seat on the Texas State Democratic Party’s executive committee.

    On his Twitter feed, Cobarruvias labeled the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization” and called for the assassination of NRA leaders and supporters: “Can we now shoot the #NRA and everyone who defends them?”

    So, it’s come to this: Advocating beheadings, beatings and the mass murder of peaceful Americans to pay for the sins of a soulless madman. But because the advocates of violence fashion themselves champions of non-violence and because they inhabit the hallowed worlds of Hollywood, academia and the Democratic Party, it’s acceptable?

    Blood-lusting hate speech must not get a pass just because it comes out of the mouths of the protected anti-gun class.

  2. Andrew says:

    “Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA. Ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.” — Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) of Nazi Germany