To the editor:
There is no act more explicative of our right to exercise the First Amendment, freedom of speech, than to write a published Letter to the Editor. We live in the legacy bought with the blood of our forefathers and those fallen in our wars. Unless you yell "fire" in a crowded theatre, it is pretty much anything you want to say. The only restraints are self imposed values of respect, courtesy or sometimes reverence.
I feel expression of restraint is an expression of maturity. I can read someone else's letter and think "that is bunk" "BS" or "that just doesn't make sense" "that is really good" "insightful." I say that is a writer's opinion but do I have a meaningful explanation for my assertions. If I feel strongly, I will get together my facts, figures, my logic, and writing skill to respond in kind. I, in all my due diligence, will try to express my ideas in the way our forefathers intended, with accurate words. I know that I lay bare myself to the public and so they will judge the perspicacity of my thoughts. Sometimes, I say, after hitting the "send" button, " I should have said this or that," or "can't believe I said it that way," or any other self appraisals.
I feel that this forum is not for protracted personal arguments.
There is a difference between meaningful explanation and excoriating emotional bluster without fact or reason. Both are protected by the freedom of speech, however. The forum insulates any discourse and writer from enjoying the immediate feedback "face to face" would have. I have to remind myself that just because I believe this or that, does not make it true. My research or logic should dispell doubts to a reasonable degree, but even facts and figures are in context which can be misinterpreted.
There is a pride in exercising our First Amendment, a pride in composing a salient comment, being funny or silly, expressing something others find interesting. No matter what your opinion, the odds are that there are some that agree, disagree or just don't care. And of course, like a mouth, most everyone has one.