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Sam Pollak

March 9, 2013

Column on guns led to a barrage of (mostly) jeers


Several writers mentioned a bill offered in the Missouri legislature that would confiscate some weapons. The fact that it was presented by just a few Democrats in a state with Republican majorities in its House of Representatives and Senate makes its passage about as likely as me getting elected president of the NRA.

Plenty of emails and comments insisted that I had been wrong when I wrote that the victims of the Newtown shootings were killed by “a maniac using an assault rifle.”

A gentleman in Joplin named Beeler and I had an interesting exchange.

“Mr. Pollak,

“You state in your editorial that a rifle was used in the Sandy Hook school shooting. Since it has been widely reported that no rifle, assault or otherwise was used in the Sandy Hook shooting ... and since you make a living reporting the news, you have to know that no rifle was used in Sandy Hook. Yet you still state in your nationally published anti-gun column that an assault rifle was used. You sir, are a liar.”

I responded.

“Dear Mr. Beeler:

“Have you seen that commercial about believing everything you see on the Internet? The one where the guy says he’s a French model and the woman believes him because it’s on the Internet? Well, Mr. Beeler, before you believe something you see on the Internet, I’d like to make the following suggestion.

“Before you accuse someone of being a liar, you should get your facts straight. The fact in this case is that the AR-15 WAS used to kill all 26 people in Newtown. This is according to the Connecticut State Police.”

I sent Mr. Beeler a link to the Connecticut State Police media conference at which it was stated unequivocally that all 26 victims were shot with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, and he was classy enough to reply:

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Sam Pollak

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