In response to the recent letter from Lawrence J. Braico, I’d like to make clear I have no use for guns in the hands of the public. I speak as a 29-year resident of Hoboken and Jersey City who has been jumped three times, seriously weighed arming myself, and instead has made the choice that to do so would consist of living in fear. Had any of my attackers had a gun I likely would be dead. (On these occasions, I was returning from a party, a job interview, and work. Had I made the choice to keep a gun, it would not have been appropriate to have a loaded firearm at any of these events.)
There is a place for serious debate and discussion regarding gun control. In light of the recent shootings, there is a need for this discussion and for appropriate action. The Reporter’s decision to publish the letter in question did not fill that need. I found the letter to be nearly incoherent, internally contradictory, and inarticulate. It came across the page as an eccentric rant. I have to believe that’s how it read in the Reporter’s offices as well. For The Reporter to run such a letter, which invoked the Newtown shootings, showed a willingness to use a great tragedy for purposes of cheap entertainment. That decision is not only regrettable, it is offensive. We need our local paper to be more discerning. We need our local paper to be better.
There is a place for humor in the Letters section, intentional and unintentional. Passionately defended extremist views and the pretzel logic of our neighbors can be diverting. The violence at Newtown begs serious debate and action, not comedy. If in that debate, Mr. Braico feels ostracized for having increasingly unpopular sentiments questioned in the midst of the needed attention, so be it.