To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, December 2, 2022


An Open Letter And An Apology



Sharon MartinThe right to keep and bear arms is a right, not a requirement.

I believe in the Second Amendment. We have the right to hunt and to protect ourselves. We have the right and responsibility to join and support the National Guard. The Second Amendment does NOT give us the right to intimidate citizens, overthrow a legally-elected government, or to murder. It does not force any citizen to be armed. It gives us a choice.

If rights were demands, every citizen over the age of 18 would be forced to vote.

I am outraged and embarrassed that Mr. LaPierre, Mr. Cotton, Fox News, and others are blaming the minister and his politics for his death and the deaths of his fellow worshipers. Not only can we choose whether or not we arm ourselves, we can choose our beliefs and voice them in this country.

The Reverend Senator Pinckney is not to blame. A radical racist hater is.

When you blame the victim you condone the evil. When you condone the evil, you aid and abet the evil. That means that those of you who stand in the way of meaningful debate and commonsense reform must own part of the blame. Not the victims. You, the bullies!

To the families and friends and neighbors of the victims, forgive us our arrogance. Forgive us our ignorance. Forgive us for not standing up and declaring that gun owners, who have the legal right to keep and carry arms, do not have the right to bully, intimidate, own our legislators, or otherwise infringe on anyone’s right to a safe, secure, gun-free home or church or school.

The gun lobby’s drive for power has made all of us less safe. They have stymied real conversation in one of the most dangerous countries in the world. I beg your forgiveness for not using my voice to stand against them.

As for all you power nuts out there, own your responsibility for the violence – your fears, your racism, your need for power – but quit blaming the victims.

I stand up for the victims and stand up against your bullying. And for the record, the families of the victims in Charleston seem to have more forgiveness in their hearts than I do.

Who will stand with me against the culture of gun violence in this country? Let’s raise our voices. Let’s vote our determination to make this country safer and more sane.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.