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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 11, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Holocaust Museum shooting

Don’t make new gun laws, enforce existing ones

Editor, The Times:

Since The Times is emphasizing the Holocaust Museum shooter’s fascination with guns [“Suspect in shooting linked to neo-Nazis,” front page, June 11], it is only fair for me to point out something.

As a felon, he is prohibited, under federal law, from even touching a gun. He was eligible for a long prison term just for having that rifle, and if he was observed with it, should have been arrested.

As a sportsman, I would like to see strict enforcement of the existing stringent laws, rather than bleating for yet another layer of new ones.

— Larry Clemens, Poulsbo

Right-wing media incite violence

In the past two weeks, we have witnessed two shootings by extremists — the murder of a doctor in his church and the shooting yesterday at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. In both cases, the media were quick to defend and absolve right-wing media from blame in these events.

I find this curious. When murder is committed by a youth or young adult, such as Columbine or the post-rave shooting in Seattle a few years ago, the media are quick to “examine” the music and lifestyle of the killers.

How often have we been warned about violent mediums, such as music, video games and television after youth violence, yet when the killing is done by an extremist from a right-wing view, we are quickly told that there is no connection between the violent act and the violent incitement by Bill O’Rielly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and the like?

It’s time to place the blame for the incidents of the past two weeks squarely where it belongs. Extreme right-wing media are inciting violence against society and trying to hide behind the First Amendment of the Constitution. These agents of hate do share the blame for these murders, and it should be reported as such.

— David Winnie, Everett

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