The article about the ostracism and silencing of gun writer Dick Metcalf, in The Times Argus (“Gun writer is ‘disappeared,’” Jan. 6), is a sobering message that 1) ardent defenders of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution have not bothered to look at the First Amendment; and 2) prophets of doom about the so-called liberal media’s control of published news and opinion have ignored the more powerful influence of corporate money in controlling content and opinion.
Perhaps the most telling statement came from Mr. Metcalf himself, when he noted that the article in Guns and Ammo, “Let’s Talk about Limits,” which ended his career as a “gun writer,” was too short: “Some topics you should never try to discuss too briefly because they can’t be dealt with like that.”
The message from corporate advertisers, magazine editors and TV producers is that Second Amendment orthodoxy is absolute, not discussable, and “my way or the highway,” to the point of silencing even voices of the faithful, like Mr. Metcalf, who express some reservations and concerns about absolutes in a world full of contingencies. Sadly, we are witnessing the breakdown of the possibility of discussion, nuance and compromise in much of our civic life, and we are much worse off because of that.
I am reminded of one of James Thurber’s Fables for Our Times, “The Peacelike Mongoose,” the moral of which is: “Ashes to ashes, and clay to clay; if the enemy doesn’t get you, your own folks may.”
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