To the editor:
George Allen’s Dec. 26 letter to the Journal “Pens and guns equally capable of injuring” began with a long litany of complaints about “Franklin College’s informal fraternity of political leftists oped writers” followed by quotes from those writers which portray President Trump in an unfavorable light.
It is not until the last two paragraphs of this lengthy letter that Allen gets to the real point of the letter: “Wonder how (above named) oped writing cronies would react to having their pens licensed? After all what’s good for the Second Amendment right ought to be OK for the First Amendment right, don’t you think?”
No George, I don’t think so.
Allen makes two points abundantly clear in this and other letters: He is a visceral Trumpist; and he is a staunch defender of gun rights. No, he is more than that. He is a person willing to give up the very protection that allows him the freedom to write and have published letters putting forth his political views. When journalists lose their freedom of speech so will the rest of us. Apparently carrying a pistol or assault rifle without government supervision or regulation is more important to Mr. Allen than the protections guaranteed under the First Amendment.
Allen, like so many on the far right, is a single-issue voter. His issue is gun rights. For others it is opposition to abortion. Single-issue voters often seem willing to make a pact with the devil in order to press their agenda. They view politics through the narrow scope of their single issue and select candidates without apparent concern for their overall qualifications or stance on other important issues.
In the recent Alabama senate race, half the voters were willing to overlook the fact that one candidate was accused by a number of women of abusing them as teenagers. Some of those who voted for him openly admitted that his stance against abortion was more important to them than the accusations of sexual abuse. Block voting by single-issue voters can greatly skew election results and put otherwise unworthy candidates in office.
The price of our freedom is eternal vigilance against those who would betray the very roots of our protection. The First Amendment is the bedrock of our freedoms. Weakening its provisions in any way will be the first step toward anarchy or totalitarianism.
I disagree with just about everything you write Mr. Allen, but as long as I live I will defend your right to freely speak your mind.