Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An Open Letter to Robyn Ringler

Dear Ms. Ringler:

I read with some interest your latest post in which you declare that you will no longer accept comments at your site due to the abuse you have received both in comments and on other sites across the internet:
If you google "Robyn Ringler"—my formerly good name—You will find many similar comments about me. I have been called a liar, a rapist, a moron, an idiot, a racist, a bigot, Hitler, stupid, and so many other names—it's enough to last a lifetime. I've been told I should be dead and how my death should take place. I've been accused of being singlehandedly responsible for the deaths of every Virginia Tech victim, as well as all other victims of gun violence because these children should have been carrying concealed weapons to defend themselves. The tired phrase "There is blood on your hands" has been repeated to me ad nauseum.
I'm sorry that this has happened to you, I truly am, but perhaps now you understand how many of us on this side of the fence feel when we are called precisely the same things. Oh, perhaps not the rapist part, but everything else, surely. Every time there is a high-profile crime committed with a gun, those of us who believe in a right to arms are painted with precisely those other descriptions, most especially the "blood on your hands" canard.

It's not pleasant, is it?

I was first pointed to your blog in May, and at that time - twice - I invited you, in the comments to your posts, to debate the topic of gun control. Unfortunately, after gleaning through your archives it would appear that you have deleted both, though I did find this one comment that refers to my invitations:
why are you so afraid of debating Kevin?

Comment by Leonidas — June 2, 2007 @ 11:03 am
Continuing on in your most recent piece, I found this heartfelt paragraph:
I believed when I started this blog that "Under Fire" would provide a venue for reasonable voices on both sides of the gun debate. I knew there would be passion, sometimes anger, but I thought these emotions would remain focused on the issues, not the people.
That, Ms. Ringler, is precisely what I offered you.

And other than the deletion of my invitations, I received no response.

But that offer remains open. I am willing to debate the topic of gun control with you; without invective, without ad hominems. I offer you clear, clean, honest discussion on the topic. All you need do is reciprocate. I'll even recommend a format. We can post each others pieces and responses at our respective sites so that the readers can check to ensure that no untoward editing is going on: no deletions or additions to our posts after the fact.

Let me be clear on this: I do not expect to convert you from your positions, nor do I expect you to convert me. This isn't about us, it's about our topic and our audience. It's about the people who are interested in the subject, but sit on the fence - the ones we each wish to reach. I certainly understand that hurling insults does not aid in persuasion. It has its place, but debate of this type is not the place.

I will, if possible, be posting this invitation to the comments of your most recent post, since in it you note that comments will be accepted through September 8. If this comment does not appear there, or is later deleted, I will know your answer.

I remain,

Yours very truly,

Kevin Baker

UPDATE: The comment is up, #39 in her most recent post. At least, I can see it.

Now we wait....

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Well, this is fascinating. Robyn didn't just delete my invitation, she apparently hid an entire POST - the one on "Let's Ban the Fifty Caliber Sniper Rifle." You can get to it if you have this link, but it does not appear if you click on her archives for May.

Interesting, that.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE TO THE... (you get the idea.) I'm informed by email that you can get to the "Ban the .50" post by going to "page 2" of her blog. I also found it by clicking on the ".50 Caliber Sniper Rifle" category. It would appear to be not so much a matter of deletion, but of vagaries in how the TimesUnion archives posts on its blog pages.

My apologies to Ms. Ringler for assuming too quickly that the both invitations had been deleted.

FINAL UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 12 - One full week has passed since the issuance of my open letter. Robyn's comments are closed now, but my invitation is still posted at her site. In direct contrast to JadeGold's last shot at me there, it would appear that I am not the one afraid of debate in this case.

Imagine that.

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