To the editor:

First, I would like to apologize to the Leavenworth Times and any readers who may have mistakenly felt I was attacking the editorial staff or any part of the first amendment. Our Leavenworth Times is the fairest and most even-handed of public forums, especially on the controversial issues of our time.

To answer Mr. Ohlstein, who misquoted me, I have read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and am a student of The Federalist Papers. I recommend them to anyone who would know what it means to truly be an American. The genius of our founders is nothing short of awesome.

I may have seemed a bit provocative, but I set out to accomplish two goals with my letter. As far as the first goal, it appears I left the door open and the wrong dog came home. The second was to put the shoe on the other foot to share with the liberal progressives a bit of their ‘lovingly constructive criticisms’ of conservative Americans over the years.

During the Clinton years, progressive liberals in the Capitol called us yahoos, the great unwashed masses and unnecessary eaters. Obama affectionately referred to us as ‘bitter clingers’ because we bitterly cling to our God and our guns and in 2016, the very charitable Mrs. Clinton gave us the loving compliment of being ‘a basket of deplorables.’ Do you remember that? Can you feel the love? I can assure you we did and we do.

Mr. Ohlstein, I think I know you from a somewhat shared past. But that discussion is for another time. For now, I’d like to answer your challenge with a challenge. To start, don’t misquote me. I did not make an unqualified assertion. I said that progressive liberals are morally spineless. Nothing you or any of them has said has given me any reason to change my assessment of their collective character. Now, I ask you, are you prepared to defend the rest of the First Amendment and the other nine amendments as vigorously as you defended freedom of speech and the press? If not, how can you expect your criticism of my observation to carry any weight?

As was said before, Saturday night specials and semi-automatic assault weapons are nothing more than the contrivances of yellow journalists with the express purpose of demonstration of inanimate devices they don’t understand and fear irrationally. It’s called Hoplaphobia.

Semi-automatic firearms have existed since at least the 1890s. They aren’t new. To vilify them now for the sake of appearance or magazine capacity just demonstrates thinking at its lowest common denominator. A car that looks like a Corvette, but has a Volkswagen engine does not magically become anything it isn’t regardless of whatever its promoters or detractors might want. I’d like to close this letter with what I believe is a real constitutional observation. The Bill of Rights is the watchdog of our collective freedom. The First Amendment is the watchdog’s bark and the second amendment is his bite.