A Look at White's Older Writings

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A Look at White's Older Writings

by Bruce Tiemann

[The following reply was submitted June 6.]

Ari, You lectured some gun owners/gun rights advocates, writing about Pamela White: "Just because she disagreed with gun ownership, doesn't imply she was bigoted toward gun owners" and "Just because Pam took the time to counter stereotypes against gun owners, doesn't mean she previously bought into those stereotypes or perpetuated them."

While the above statements are clearly true, whether she was actually bigoted against gun owners or bought into or perpetuated negative stereotypes about them remains unanswered. Fortunately, these questions are simply and quickly answered by looking at her past writings.

In "Guns for teens? Only in the U.S.," Published in The Colorado Daily, 18-21 Jun 1999 Pamela wrote, among other things:

"The US is the only western nation in which citizens view gun ownership as a sign of freedom rather than what it truly is - the symptom of an illness...

To the National Rifle Association, [government registration of all gun-show sales and bans of all firearms sales to those under 21] are a violation of everything sacred, a rape of the Constitution... If they were smart, NRA lobbyists would have been the first to offer a gun bill to Congress... But, thankfully, the NRA isn't as savvy as the tobacco lobby. It's members are fighting congress tooth and nail on these measures...

Imagine, if you will, what kind of thought process is involved in arguing against background checks at gun shows. In order to oppose this measure, you'd have to find delaying a potential sale for 72 hours more detestable than keeping guns out of the hands of a killer.

For that matter, imagine believing that selling guns to 18- and 19- year olds is vital for the preservation of freedom. Who thinks that teens, still unable to drink beer legally, should be able to stock up on semi-automatic weapons? Whom are they supposed to be ready to kill, and for what reason? ...

The NRA should relax. Even if both measures pass and are signed into law, the US will have the most liberal gun laws of any Western nation [...] and the American arms industry, the largest in the world, will still be able to make a killing...

Still, every gun represents potential death when placed in the hands of a human being, here and in peace-loving Denmark.

In summary: Gun ownership is the symptom of an illness. The NRA is thankfully stupid, sorry, "not savvy," for thinking that additional gun restrictions curtail freedom, and for fighting these measures. Only people who want guns in the hands of killers could possibly oppose background/registration checks. The only reason teens could possibly have to be armed is to be ready to kill people, for unknown and presumably unsatisfactory reasons. The US gun industry knowingly and willingly profits from criminal misuse of guns. Every gun represents a potential death when placed in anyone's hands, meaning that guns emit evil rays that turn normal people into potential killers.

I submit to you that this article easily shows that Pamela was indeed bigoted against gun owners, and did indeed buy into and perpetuate negative sterotypes about gun owners. This column was printed as an editorial in a campus newspaper, with perhaps tens of thousands of readers, probably hundreds of which are still there. This wasn't her only anti-gun tirade, but it serves the purpose of my letter. (To her credit, I wrote a letter to the editor in response that was printed, though it was substantially edited.)

You give her too much credit by defending her against attacks as if her only past was "The Night I Would Have Killed" editorial, and her recent one after taking the gun training: In fact she has a much darker past than this with respect to her attitudes about guns and gun owners; she properly deserves the criticism you so rapidly defend her against.

Further, your comments at the start of this letter amount to attacks against gun owners for criticizing Pamela as if she were a gun-neutral or a closeted anti who, however, never made any effort to persuade another. Had that been the case, your remarks would have been appropriate, but that is not the case. She has taken a large step out of the darkness, but she has spread more than a little bit of that darkness to others in the past.

That said, I am very pleased she was willing to confront her fears and take the class, and that she responded to it in the way that she did. She still has some cognitive dissonance to overcome, I expect, but she has indeed taken a very large step out of the darkness.

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