In response to David Delp's Guest Editorial, "Defending the Second,” our concerned committee wanted to express a growing issue of inappropriate, hurtful and destructive words that continue to create fissures and fractures within our society.
We are not weighing in on gun rights or the Second Amendment given all the complexities and nuance that are beyond the scope of the space allotted for a letter. Our concern resides with the need to defend human rights whenever we go about defending other causes — including one's interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Watching news coverage on CBS-21, we were shocked, completely baffled, and ultimately distressed seeing signs demonstrators carried. For those who are interested, a few of the signs used are listed here as they were seen on the TV screen. Our focus is on these two that are most distressing:
1) "Plantations are gun free zones."
2) "Free people own guns. Slaves don't."
Perhaps Mr. Delp, who organizes these rallies and wrote your guest editorial, could help us understand the meaning of these two signs. It is distressing that people find it acceptable to carry signs with racial overtones. It is beyond comprehension why references to plantations and slaves would appear in their messaging and signage.
Our committee recognizes that we live in a community where hunting is prevalent and fully respect hunters. We are not opposed to responsible gun ownership and common-sense safety laws, like background checks. Please don't mistake this editorial being about anyone's right to a gun.
What we are clearly and strongly opposed to is language, messaging, actions and behaviors that demonize or marginalize our fellow humans ... people we call neighbors and friends in our own communities!. We call on all organizers of all movements to defend human rights first and foremost while defending whatever else we wish to defend.
Racial Justice Committee