Friday, April 21, 2006

Megaphone Man

Doing a newspaper column is like having a giant megaphone.

And what happens if you disagree?

You get to send an email or call my reader line (215-854-2714) or write a letter to the editor, which -- if you are lucky -- will be edited for length and run in the letters section of the editorial page.

It doesn't seem quite fair. My loud voice versus your whisper of a reply.

To take a small step towards correcting that imbalance, I plan to offer a sort of point-counterpoint in this blog.

I'll post my original column, along with the most cogent (i.e. not a rant) reply.

I'll begin with a piece I did the other week criticizing some legislators for trying to pressure anti-gun activists to accept what they considered a watered-down version of a bill to limit handgun sales in Pennsylvania to one a month.

By the way, though they didn't write a letter, Vince Fumo's people complained to me that I was unfair to their guy by implying that he was acting at the behest of the NRA. They say he wasn't -- and that he proposed a compromise only after the bill's sponsors came to him asking for help in getting it passed in the legislature.

Here is the original piece.

Here is state Sen. Leanna Washington's reply.


Anonymous YT said...

Ah yes, the "trust me I really care" line from a politicain. With a touch of indignent prose.

I have an idea, instead of drawing a salary to respond to columnists who critisize her performance, perhaps Ms. Washington might try doing somthing to curb gun violence.

These people opposing a one handgun a month law are not hunters, they are corporate stooges.

What a joke.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YH -
what a patronizing response. I don't know where you live, but if you told someone who lived in a neighborhood beset by gun violence that they could have one of two things - more of the same, or a five year respite - I imagine they'd take the break in a heart beat. how is that not progress???
- jh

3:16 PM  
Anonymous YT said...


You addressed your comment to YH, but I am going to assume you were refering to me.

Calling me responce "patronizing" is your right. As it is my right to patronize those who draw a six figure salary while screwing over their own constitutuents.

I am from Philly as a matter of fact, and I lost a dearly beloved friend to a car-jacker with an illeagal gun all too recently.

What reprieve will come from a law with no teeth? None!

If you simply outlaw sales in Philly you increase sales in MontCo. and Bucks. Don't kid yourself.

Progress is when gun dealers are held accountable for selling dozens of handguns to people they doubtlessly know will resell them on the street.

But that won't happen as long the NRA owns Harrisburg.

This law is sound byte for an election campaign, not progress.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

I don't know, Tom. Does Leanna really believe "...this issue hits home for us personally. We live it every day"? They live with it? Do they live with handgun violence and the things that their constituents really live with?

Living with something and hearing about it from people who really live with it are two entirely different things.

6:33 PM  

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