Welcome, new readers! We’re so glad you decided to pick up — or click on — our humble publication.
Here at the Alligator, we welcome criticism, feedback and communication from our readers.
Imagine our surprise when we gained so many new fans this week; we don’t normally get such national attention from all of you. It’ll take a few years to clean out our email inboxes and to cool our receptionist’s phone after she fielded all of your calls.
Quite a few of you were up in arms, so to speak, over Dallin Kelson’s column Monday, titled, “Loganville woman jumped the gun.”
The main point of the article was not a moral discussion of whether a mother should protect her children, which is what many of you appear to believe.
We understand how you could disagree with one of our opinions columnists because, as you can imagine, everyone has a different opinion.
Could we briefly define what an opinion is for you? Thank you!
An opinion is defined as “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge” or, “the beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing.”
An opinion isn’t news, and it doesn’t reflect the views of this newspaper.
OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can delve into the other bigger issue surrounding the response to this column: literacy.
Literacy is defined as “the ability to read and write.”
Reading can be difficult. As college students, our textbooks are often confusing and full of words and ideas that require more than one glance.
What many of you encountered is an article that may have taken you more than one reading to fully understand.
Perhaps we need to write our columns in a more linear fashion for those of you who have trouble understanding concepts.
The point of Kelson’s column was to say that, perhaps if the woman had opened the door, the entire violent and physical altercation could have been avoided.
The Alligator’s Opinions editor is a woman who is often home alone and, in fact, rarely answers the door unless she knows a pizza is on its way. She understands not wanting to open the door for strangers and jumps when a UPS delivery person knocks at the door — every time.
It’s an assumption, admittedly, to think that if the robber in that news story had thought someone was home, he wouldn’t have entered the house.
We still think of criminals as those two buffoons in “101 Dalmatians” who sneak around harmlessly. Maybe the burglar in this case was a bit more menacing than those fools and would have broken in regardless of evidence that someone was home.
Did he knock on the door with his crowbar in hand? Probably not.
Burglars aren’t like certain Mormon youth; there’s no uniform.
However, we’re allowed the benefit of the doubt when writing an opinions piece.
Would you like to know why?
It’s our opinion.
Whether it’s God-given or man-made, opinions are like climate change; they are real.
Opinions are like a rumbling belly; they can potentially annoy us before we do something about them.
Opinions are like dogs in a car with the windows down; they can give us a sense of fulfillment.
Opinions are like Cheeto dust on fingers; they can be something to savor.
Opinions are like gun control; they can snowball into a way bigger issue than they need to be.
In one of the dozens of emails we received this week, someone said: “I let my membership to the NRA lapse a couple of years ago. I think it is time to rejoin and maybe buy another firearm before dumbasses like you and Obama take away that right.”
Sir, no one is here to take away your guns. Also, can you help us meet Obama? If we’re supposed to be partners in crime with him, we’d have to be buddies first.
No one here is arguing for people to not own guns.
Wouldn’t it be cool, though, if we didn’t have to use them in our own homes in front of our children while we shot a man multiple times?
Now that we’re on the subject of the emails we received, let’s discuss literacy one more time.
Nearly all of you, while criticizing the writing of our columnist, made typos of your own.
If you’re going to pick a fight with a newspaper, spell your insults correctly.
“Your” and “you’re” are two very different words.
If you think we’re coming to take your guns, think again. We’re coming to put you back in school. So many children seem to have been left behind, indeed.
Neal Boortz, if you’re reading this, then you could have at least spelled our columnist’s name correctly in your first tweet regarding this issue. We understand typing can be difficult if you’re too busy fanning flames to do it correctly.
Are we perfect?
Are we entitled to our own opinion on things?
You betcha, don’t cha know.
There’s no need to spur on your ignorant followers to attack someone simply because you disagree with them.
“But there’s no privacy on the Internet,” all of you scream, with pitchforks made of iPhones and bacon gripped in your greasy hands.
However, dear new readers, there is a difference between a civil disagreement and egregious, misdirected and blind hatred.
Is it because words in the Bible are spelled funny? Is that why you can’t correctly spell out your arguments?
You are hilariously misinformed if you believe, for two seconds, that our columnists — or any other decent human beings — raised the burglar in Loganville to some sort of hero-status pedestal of worship.
We’re not pro-robbery. We, in fact, wish that he never tried to break into any house, ever.
The argument our columnist made was that a man wouldn’t have to be shot in front of children if we didn’t live in a society that runs to its gun cabinets first.
Again, this editor completely understands being too worried to open a door for a stranger and couldn’t begin to fathom what she would have done in that situation.
None of you could, either. Or ...
“Oh, I’d grab my handgun,” you drawl, “all while keeping up with the game on TV, as I am a red-blooded American.”
That doesn’t make us feel any better, and it perpetuates our terrible gun-first fear mongering society.
We understand that we’ll never get back to a time when we can live in glorious suburbia with latchkey children (not necessarily a great time to live, anyway, if you were a woman or a minority, but that’s for another time).
There’s no need to attack anyone, whether it’s for his or her opinion or to get into a family’s home.
We get it.