By the National Rifle Assn.'s own sad admission, about 70,000,000 American gun owners do not belong to the NRA. We are responsible firearms users. We have resisted the NRA's membership calls because we have been turned off by that organization's rhetoric. And some of us still want to believe in the objectivity of the more responsible-appearing news outlets.

Now I'm not so sure. Wride and Lait's article appears to be one of those transparent projects that, under the guise of expressing horror over two killings, is actually a rather obvious anti-gun polemic. The Times doesn't publish similar, editorializing articles about the horrors of deaths by knives or by fires started with matches left lying around by adults, or about deaths caused by drunk drivers.

Imagine: "Easy access to cars caused this tragedy. How could such an event happen twice in one family? Obviously, the parents are to blame, even though the suspect's stepfather claims to be a responsible car owner and had expressed no remorse about continuing to keep motor vehicles at the home."

Now I think I'll go reread the NRA's membership pitch, especially the part about the media.



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