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July 14, 2020
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When Will this End?

Published Jan. 08, 2020

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I’m writing in response to the letter by Debra Paulson, regarding her objection to the Courier publishing an advertisement from a local gun store [Jan. 2 letter “Gun Ads Unfit for Community Newspaper”]. She mentions her objections to advertisements featuring guns, in particular handguns, and she describes handguns as those “whose purpose is to kill people.” As a law-abiding citizen who has held a Connecticut-issued handgun permit for more than 30 years, I find Ms. Paulson’s comments very disturbing. Guns, including handguns, are used for many purposes, including target shooting, hunting, self-defense, collecting, and many other legal purposes.

When will this end? Is a local business not allowable to advertise its legal product because someone would be offended? If we go to that extreme, there can always be someone who is offended for any product or service. Can a local package store not advertise because someone may be offended with alcohol? Can a local bait and tackle shop not advertise because someone may object to fishing? Can a church or religious group not advertise its message because someone else of a different religion may object? Should a doctor or surgical center not be allowed to advertise because someone may object to a certain surgical procedure?

Without taking a political position on Ms. Paulson’s statement of First Amendment rights and her right to speak out, there are other Second Amendment rights that come into play, and I won’t even get into that here because it’s a much longer discussion. I do find Ms. Paulson’s statement that gun ads are “hardly fit for a community newspaper” to be wrong, and simply her opinion having nothing to do with facts. I’m very appreciative of the subsequent editor’s note stating the Courier’s reason to go ahead with the firearm advertising.

Dave Berardis
Deep River