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Sun offers only diatribe on gun background check dispute

After reading "Badly targeted gun gripes," the editorial published in the Sept. 10 edition of The Baltimore Sun, any reasonably objective person would be left asking the following question: Is this an editorial from the editorial board of The Sun? It appears to be. It purports to be. But is it, really? If it is, then The Sun ought to reconsider the distinction between "editorial" and "polemic" (to say nothing of the distinction between "editorial" and "rant").

You should be embarrassed for publishing something this unprofessional. Glib, smug, sanctimonious and unsupported commentary like this is probably the single biggest factor in the decline of the prestige and relevance of the print press in general and The Sun in particular.

As with any issue, there are always points to be made on both sides. The Sun simultaneously fails to make these points while reinforcing its reputation as a shrill mouthpiece for Maryland state government propaganda.

A point-by-point refutation of your editorial would be an exercise in futility, given the absurdity and manifest condescension of many of your statements. You demonstrate a total absence of professionalism throughout the editorial, beginning with your very first sentence, characterizing the debate over Maryland's undisputed delays in processing background checks for prospective purchasers as "crying." You go from there to label Marylanders who want to exercise their constitutional right to purchase and possess firearms as paranoid in an obvious attempt to relegate gun owners and would-be purchasers to the fringe of society, even though the number of applications alone is clear evidence that such a characterization is as intellectually dishonest as it is transparently dismissive.

Finally, you say that average gun owners "probably aren't all that worked up by the backlog…." "Probably?" If the average gun owner or would-be gun owner is relying upon The Sun for information about the security breach inherent in the state's decision to allow employees outside of the Maryland State Police to help process background checks, he or she would remain woefully uninformed and thus unlikely to have feelings, strong or otherwise. I read The Sun as a daily subscriber — print and electronic — yet the only news coverage of this issue was buried deep in an article Saturday evening covering "a small group" rallying in Baltimore to call on Congress to reduce gun violence.

Had The Sun actually investigated the story, it might have learned that the personal information of handgun applicants scattered around to various government agencies for input included their home addresses, drivers license numbers and Social Security numbers. Instead, the editorial board of The Sun feels so strongly about this issue that it pushes its opinion that gun owners would be paranoid to care about state functionaries tossing such deeply personal identifiers around like Frisbees rather than fairly cover that news event and let the public decide for themselves. Shameful.

If The Sun ever is willing to publish an editorial bereft of this unprofessional sarcasm that dealt with the actual issues at stake with respect to the backlog of unprocessed background checks, the Maryland State Police's ineffectual efforts over the past few years to deal with that backlog, and what that portends for the looming October 1 implementation date of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, perhaps then a dialogue might be fostered and your readers may be rewarded.

Instead, you have published a churlish screed totally devoid of journalistic integrity. The Sun should be held to a higher standard, and Maryland and its citizens deserve a better newspaper, or at least a better effort from the paper they have. You have the audacity to write about hidden agendas. To which one can only reply, really?

Sky Woodward, Towson

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
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