Don't use sniper to attack NRA

SATURDAY MAILBOX

October 19, 2002

Frankly, I am tired of paying to have personal insults delivered to my door, so I have canceled my subscription to The Sun.

The reason for my action is cartoonist Mike Lane's shameless exploitation of tragic events involving abuse of firearms to cast aspersions on patriotic, law-abiding citizens.

His Oct. 9 editorial cartoon insinuates that, by virtue of my membership in the National Rifle Association, I and fellow members of that upstanding organization are somehow complicit in the spate of random killings in the vicinity of our nation's capital.

That my motives for belonging to and supporting a reputable association that promotes the safe and responsible use of firearms, as well as defending my freedom to own and use them, should be impugned by Mr. Lane and by The Sun is patently reprehensible and beyond the limits of professional privilege or artistic license.

Lewis E. Porter

Baltimore

The recent Mike Lane cartoon that tried to associate gun dealers, the National Rifle Association and the sniper attacks was in very poor taste.

As a youngster in Pennsylvania, I learned how to shoot and passed the hunter's safety course in the sixth grade. Now in my 30s, I have twice been the victim of violent crime at home. I refuse to be a victim a third time.

I own a gun and am properly trained in how to use it. I am a member of the NRA.

Thousands of Americans belong to the NRA because they enjoy recreational hunting, want to protect themselves and their families, belong to the military or are members of law enforcement agencies, to which the NRA provides valuable resources and support.

I am tired of those who cannot recognize that organizations such as the NRA attract members with a wide variety of lifestyles and beliefs.

Just as Christian churches run the gamut from Roman Catholics to the "Holy Rollers" but all Christians claim to worship one God, NRA members identify with a larger cause for their own individual reasons.

But by implying that NRA members would support someone responsible for these abhorrent shootings, Mr. Lane has slandered some of the very members of the American public that defend his country and protect his streets every day.

Laura Townsend

Annapolis

Mike Lane's Oct. 9 cartoon, which aims to depict the National Rifle Association and gun shop owners as somehow responsible for the current sniper killings, was reprehensible and an insult to the victims of the shootings.

I find it sad that ultra-left-wingers such as Mr. Lane will stoop to any level, including the exploitation of recently killed victims and their families, to advance their agenda.

Richard A. Proctor

Forest Hill

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