Letter: Balentine, mom push false equivalence

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John Balentine’s job is to provide issue-related commentary that often differs from other opinion writers employed by The Forecaster, and I salute him for the courage he shows in writing persuasive essays he knows many will disagree with. Having said that, I must respectfully take issue with his column of April 19.

In “Comparing civil rights movements then, now,” Balentine shares the thoughts of his mother, a retired teacher he describes, no doubt accurately, as thoughtful, worldly, and open-minded. He quotes her observations regarding civil rights advocates Martin Luther King, Whitney Young, Ralph Abernathy, and Andrew Young (full disclosure: not this Andrew Young), whom she respected as, to paraphrase, “thoughtful, educated, literary, Christian men.”

But then, having established her seeming impartiality, he presents her opinion on what he terms the “anti-gun” movement. It begins with, “About guns, I just want to break into the discussion and ask what happened when we banned alcohol?”

In the spirit of the respectful discourse Balentine professes to endorse, I want to break into the discussion and ask when he or his mom have ever heard anyone advocate for the total prohibition of firearms?

Comparing those working for tougher background checks and limiting civilian access to assault rifles to Prohibitionists is, quite simply, a false equivalency. It is also, sadly, typical of “conservative” pundits who, in the current age of “alternative facts,” are all too often put in the position of having to defend the indefensible.

Please, Mr. Balentine, you’re better than that.

Andy Young
Cumberland

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