Letters: Reaction To Gun Series

Mar 22, 2013
Originally published on March 28, 2013 7:17 pm



Our Series this week on guns in America have sent many of you to your keyboards. And every day, a new batch of stories sparked conversation and some heated debate at our website. Some listeners complained that our coverage was pro gun control, some that it was pro National Rifle Association.


And, Melissa, your story Monday about the shooting death of Charles Foster, Jr. drew praise from many, including Joy Paccini of Houston, Texas. She writes this: I didn't expect to hear about a District Attorney who believes that background checks are not a panacea, a coroner who carries two guns for protection but would readily give them up if necessary, or a reverend who, as a result of his crusade against gun deaths, now must protect his own life with that very same weapon.

BLOCK: As with everything we did on this tough subject, the story also drew complaints. One common them among them, guns don't kill people, people kill people. Stop blaming guns. Arizona West in Carney, Missouri writes: I wish NPR, as well as the other participants of this national discussion, could refocus on the root issue at hand, violence. Not gun violence. The death of Charles Foster, Jr. is a tragic event but what caused those shots to be fired?

West continues, solving the root cause of these violent outbursts instead of focusing on inanimate objects would be more productive for the nation and civilized people the world over.

SIEGEL: Pamela Cant of Cheyenne, Wyoming wrote in response to reporter Kirk Siegler's story about suicide by gun in Wyoming, and she wondered why we didn't address the relationship between suicide and alcohol abuse. Can writes this: as a chaplain with a front row seat to these tragedies, I can say unequivocally that every gun suicide of an adult male that I've witnessed involved alcohol. The victim was so intoxicated that when the impulse to suicide hit and the gun was readily available, the individual had no restraining defenses. If we are to seriously address our raging suicide rate, we need to start being honest about the lethal mix between booze and guns.

BLOCK: And finally, listener Hank Gray of Phoenix City, Alabama wrote in response to my story yesterday, which took me to a shooting range in Virginia.

SIEGEL: He says: as a competitive shooter in Olympic-style competition I was excited to hear Melissa discuss this being her first time actually handling and firing a firearm. I'm not sure how many reporters would actually go this far for a story. No matter what her views on guns, it is nice to see her willing to try something new. Keep up the good work NPR.

BLOCK: Thanks to all who wrote in and please do keep the letters coming. Go to npr.org and click on contact us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.