To the Editor:
The December 1st edition of The Newtown Bee included an insert from Bass Pro advertising a “compact pistol” deemed to be “ideal for concealed carry.” In the deeply disturbing layout, the rather large gun in the picture is pointing directly at an adjacent ad, depicting a small child on Santa’s lap. I acknowledge that this reckless layout was not designed by the compassionate and talented staff at The Bee. I acknowledge that advertising, selling, owning, carrying and, under many circumstances, using guns is legal in our country. I also acknowledge that these are difficult days for those in the business of print journalism and that advertising dollars are hard to come by. However, I would argue that these are even more difficult days for our Newtown community, as the fifth anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School approaches.
I see far more guns than I want to see: in movies, TV shows, sporting goods stores, and advertisements. I see the gun culture advertised on bumper stickers, websites, and social media. I understand that this is the environment in which I live and I accept that to a certain degree. However, I don’t want to see a big picture of a gun when I open The Newtown Bee onto my kitchen table. I just don’t. The fact that the gun is pointing at a child made it particularly upsetting to me. I’m sure there are people in town with PTSD who experienced even more adverse affects when they saw it. I, and many other Newtown residents, want our homes to be free of guns and even images of guns.
I love The Bee. Many national papers could benefit from studying the standards of decency set by The Newtown Bee. I greatly admire how our local paper, indeed a beloved Newtown institution, has continued to cover the aftermath of that awful day with integrity, sensitivity, and compassion. However, I believe it would be wrong for the newspaper that comes into so many of our homes, to continue receiving advertising dollars from Bass Pro.
Sawmill Ridge Road, Newtown December 5, 2017