On Sunday, July 26, you published an extremely offensive and very frightening political cartoon on your editorial page. The cartoon, by Jonathan Brown, showed an obviously "red-neck" NRA member with a zipper and lock on his mouth. The caption read, "The best place for a mandatory safety lock." Hundreds of thousands of NRA members are just like me: well-educated, responsible and respected members of their community. To suggest by this cartoon that we are somehow subhuman and that what we have to say should not be heard is offensive in the extreme.
However, the most frightening aspect of the cartoon was the suggestion that NRA members should be denied their constitutional right to free speech. I wonder how Mr. Brown would feel if someone suggested that political cartoonists should be muzzled and denied the right to express their opinions? I wonder how the editors of the Deseret News (who obviously approved this offensive and frightening cartoon for publication) would feel if someone suggested that editors and reporters should be denied their right to free speech and that editorials writers and opinion columnists should be muzzled with a zipper and a lock? Isn't it interesting that so many journalists would die for the preservation of their free speech right but seem to have no reservations in suggesting that others should have their free speech right abridged.Mr. Brown and editors of the Deseret News, as you watch the public's declining respect for the media, perhaps you can look to editorial opinions such as expressed in this cartoon for the reason. If you take a serious look at your elitist opinions, perhaps you will also see why subscriptions to newspapers continue to decline. If you take a serious look at the offensive materials you often print, perhaps you will finally come to understand why media all across the nation are presently in a crisis of respect and patronage.
Ellis C. Worthen
Salt Lake City