400 Barney Fifes? | TheUnion.com

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400 Barney Fifes?

The column by editor Pat Butler (“Letter shouldn’t concern gun owners,” May 21) reminded me of Michael Gartner, who won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing a few years back when he was editor of a small newspaper in Ames, Iowa. The shortest editorial he ever wrote, he said, was three words: “Know your neighbor.” It was followed by a list of everyone in Story County, Iowa, with a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Mr. Butler wrote that the sheriff’s office was so alarmed that a newspaper was checking out public information that it mailed a warning to Nevada County’s 400 private pistol-packers. That cost taxpayers about $150 in postage. We should be thankful The Union didn’t ask to look at a much longer list.

Even if The Union published the names (why not?), why are those Barney Fifes on the list so fearful? They are the ones with pocket rockets. On the other hand, there’s probably nothing scarier than a shaky person with a gun.

Know your neighbor.

Rich Somerville

Grass Valley