Published in Suburban Trends, June 26, 2016

Dear Editor:

Will people in the journalism field such as your writer Holly Stewart ever take a consistent stand on behalf of individual liberty and the Bill of Rights? If her op-ed of June 15th is any clue, I guess the answer would be no. It almost seems that the politicians and the media mouthpieces look forward to mass shootings to crank up the "gun control is needed more now than ever" machine.

The sad events in Orlando, Fla., are reported to create the idea that if you’re supportive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community you must be anti-gun and if you’re for the Second Amendment than you must be a "hate-filled homophobe." This is how the media frames the debate; alternative viewpoints generally get ignored.

For example did you know that there is a pro-gun group in the LGBT community known as The Pink Pistols (

Probably not since that story doesn’t "fit" the images the media wishes to create. My group, The Libertarian Party, and other related Libertarian organizations are 100-percent pro-individual rights on sexual freedom and gun ownership. There are not mutually exclusive positions, but the media doesn’t tell you this. To them all issues are in a false "left" versus "right" spectrum, instead of the more accurate "individual liberty" versus "authoritarian government power" position.

Back to your op-ed by Ms. Stewart, she states she wants another opportunity to explain why only the military and police should have assault weapons (which by the way she doesn’t define; just because a gun "looks military" on the outside, doesn’t make it fully automatic. A semi-automatic like the AR-15 requires a pull of the trigger each time to get off a shot).

The worst mass shootings in history weren’t done by "lone nuts" but by the military and police, massacres of Native Americans at Sand Creek, Colorado, and Wounded Knee, South Dakota, come to mind plus the killing of striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado, in 1914.

The first gun laws in American history that Ms. Stewart thinks are so great were motivated by prejudice and bigotry. Southern states passed laws keeping guns out of the hands of recently freed slaves. In the West people feared Native Americans, Mexicans, and Asians on the West Coast having access to guns. Even here in the "Liberal Progressive" Northeast, gun laws were often aimed at Italian and Eastern European Jewish immigrants who might be involved with "organized crime" or "radical labor unions" – so no guns for them either!

I find it odd that those who sound off so much against "hate" want minorities to be disarmed and defenseless against the state. Ms. Stewart concludes by saying how important it is to be tolerant and not to embrace hate. Well to have tolerance you must have liberty and to have liberty you must have the means to defend oneself. It’s that simple. It’s time to "live and let live" as we Libertarians often say and that applies to all – LGBT people and gun owners!

Mark Richards,
West Milford