Letters to the Editor

Gun ads should remain in paper

I have two things I would like to gripe about. The first item was on page A4 of the Nov. 23 Whidbey News-Times in the editorials under the heading, “68 reasons to be thankful.”

Reason number 14: “Gunmen can still hunt the island’s hiking trails.” For the last month I have been watching TV and making note of the appearances of the word gunmen. In every instance it has been used in referance to terrorists or criminals and not to hunters. Even my dictionary doesn’t define a gunman as a hunter.

My second gripe is with the Whidbey News-Times change in policy of the 7150 Guns/Ammo classified section. It states: “For the protection of our readers, we will no longer accept advertising by private individuals for the sale of firearms.” The WNT joins a few other newspapers around the country doing the same thing. Other papers claim that they are closing the “newspaper loophole” that allows criminals to illegally buy a firearm. The only reason mentioned in this paper is to protect the readers. Protect them from what?

If the Whidbey News-Times wants to protect its readers from items in the classifieds then I would like to eliminate other sections as well, for the protection of the readers from all potentially dangerous items. The used washing machine for sale could pose a shock, water or fire hazard. Any of the dogs for sale can cause a severe injury to its owner as well as others. Probably the most dangerous items are the many privately owned motor vehicles for sale. Has the WNT inspected all of them and certified them free of defects that may cause an accident? What could be the most dangerous part of the deal is the buyer of the vehicle — is that person an upstanding citizen? Has a background check been done on the buyer? Has the buyer ever driven drunk, run a red light, gone too fast for conditions, fallen asleep at the wheel or committed a crime using a motor vehicle? Have any of your readers ever sold a vehicle and checked to see if the buyer even had a valid driver’s license?

I have legally bought and sold numerous firearms through newspaper ads over the years and have had no repercussions from any sale. Preventing gun sales in this paper will not prevent a criminal from obtaining one. Most criminals prefer to get firearms cheaply by stealing them, not paying retail prices and having a seller see their face. Local gun and pawn shops will benefit from your policy change and the seller will get less for the firearm.

Alan Meaux

Oak Harbor

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