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We Get It: You’re all very angry because you can’t read

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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 3:00 am | Updated: 9:50 am, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

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.

Crazy, right?

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.

That’s all.

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?

Absolutely not.

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.”

Cool. Awesome.

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.

Welcome to the discussion.

28 comments:

  • hamsterracer posted at 11:50 am on Fri, Feb 8, 2013.

    hamsterracer Posts: 7

    Dallin is a talentless hack, always has been, always will be. I've always thought his column was garbage and have said so on occasion. I'm glad other people are beginning to notice his lame, pseudo-intellectual, holier-than-thou writing style and topic choice. This article must be by his best buddy engineer major who never manages to get to the library.

     
  • Thomas58 posted at 6:25 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Thomas58 Posts: 1

    Yes, all gun owners are a bunch of knuckle dragging, illiterate, ignorant, Bible thumping Neanderthals. However, unlike you bedwetting, pencil neck, candyass, English major liberals, we do have enough common sense to defend our wives, children and home when a crowbar wielding intruder breaks in.

    I absolutely love stories of when lawful gun owners permanently end the careers of criminals. The Loganville woman’s only mistake is that her handgun was not of a larger caliber so as to leave no doubt about the demise of the pitiable intruder, whose intentions were undoubtedly totally benign.

    It is truly a shame that this unlucky burglar lives in a “society that runs to its gun cabinets first”. If it wasn’t so, maybe this unfortunate fellow would have been able to continue his criminal career unabated.

    By the way, the Earth’s climate has never in its 4.5 billion year history been static. “Climate change” is something that you, nor I, or even Al Gore can do anything about.

     
  • Grumpy Old Fart posted at 8:15 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Grumpy Old Fart Posts: 3

    So... we get it. You're butthurt because the fantasy world you think we *should* live in doesn't actually exist, has never existed, and in all likelihood cannot ever exist.

    Note: Part of "professionalism" is not taking things like this out on those around you. For that matter, it's part of being a grownup.

     
  • Grumpy Old Fart posted at 4:43 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Grumpy Old Fart Posts: 3

    "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."

    Perhaps. The point of the response is that, if she had disarmed herself and opened the door, she could not have found out whether it could have been avoided *until it was too late to do anything about it.*

    "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?"

    Apparently the author of the piece thinks it would be far more "cool" for the children to watch their mother get raped or murdered before their eyes. The burglar was given many opportunities to walk away. He could have gone through the entire house and gotten away with it, had he not continued all the way to the attic.

    By the standard you set, if he hasn't *actually bashed your head in* with his crowbar YET, you have no justification in considering him a threat.

    Have fun explaining to your daughters why you'd rather they be raped than summon the courage to defend them. Or maybe the world will be blessed and you'll never have the opportunity to breed.

     
  • theirritablearchitect posted at 11:44 am on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    theirritablearchitect Posts: 1

    Actually, we get, and you don't, and yes, we're very angry, but not because we can't read, it's because YOU can't THINK.

    Please, look into voluntary sterilization.

     
  • Grumpy Old Fart posted at 9:13 am on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Grumpy Old Fart Posts: 3

    Would you have expressed the same opinion to the Deacons for Defense and Justice?

     
  • my2cents posted at 11:36 pm on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    my2cents Posts: 16

    "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'”

    Wow, what a high standard you have set for the contributors to your editorial page.

     
  • grayeyedgirl posted at 5:00 pm on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    grayeyedgirl Posts: 4

    What a shit head. Oh wait, am I spelling that wrong? You should tell me because even though I understand that this is an editorial piece (for those of us in the know that means "opinion of one of the journalists - some people are just sooooo freaking stupid, aren't they?) I just think his opinion is full of shit.

    Shit shit shit Most of the time I think the Alligator opinion's are full of shit written by brainwashed children.

    But according to your headline here, your opinion is that I'm stupid because I can't read. Oh honey baby....grow up.

     
  • Rowdy posted at 4:49 pm on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Rowdy Posts: 22

    I commented earlier on this article. And again, I want to say with up most respect, I am sorry this has taken such a turn for the worse. I will say again simply, it was a very snide article and very offensive to a lot of people. However, I do enjoy reading the Alligator, it's a heck of a lot more interesting than the Odyssey, and I hope to see you guys writing articles that I will enjoy reading. Not enjoy reading because they align with my beliefs, but because they are respectfully making their case about how they see the world in a way that I can appreciate and learn from their perspective.

    Really, the Alligator is a great newspaper, and I don't want one really snide article to be it's ruin. If you can't apologize to the upset members of the public, please just don't reply at all and hope this blows over nicely so I, and many other of your readers, can enjoy your articles in the future.

     
  • Momof7 posted at 4:12 pm on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Momof7 Posts: 2

    "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."


    No, maybe the children wouldn't have to have seen a man shot, maybe the just would have seen their mother raped...

     
  • Momof7 posted at 4:03 pm on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Momof7 Posts: 2

    I got that it was an opinion piece. And when I responded to the article it was to tell the editor that opinion pieces are normally still EDITED. This ridiculous article should never have been printed/posted by any self respecting newspaper. Oh wait - there's my mistake... I got it.

     
  • Roosevelt posted at 3:13 pm on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Roosevelt Posts: 56

    @Ryan_Weiss, While I agree with your sentiment, the Alligator does not receive any direct funding from the University.

     
  • Ryan_Weiss posted at 3:01 pm on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Ryan_Weiss Posts: 1

    Does the Alligator have a PR director? Someone who cares at all about the image of the paper? I know there is the cliche, "there is no such thing as bad publicity," but that could not be more wrong. Especially in this situation.

    This paper prides itself on representing the student body (for the most part), and enjoys the liberties of not being the "official" University of Florida newspaper. But still, as a tie to your school, have some respect and show some decency. Your actions reflect the university, as well its students. Publishing an article that gets national attention for being insensitive is one thing. Having an editor write an article so unprofessional as this, calling out the rest of the country for being illiterate, and naming a detractor, who happens to be part of the national news media, is a complete and utter disgrace.

    Your actions make YOUR school and fellow classmates look pompous and dumb. You are backing co-worker, teammate, and/or friend. I can understand as much. Alienating any future readers, let alone bringing so much more negative attention is the WRONG course of action. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride, apologize/reprimand, and call it a day. Instead your editorial opened a can of worms. Now the university is indefinitely open to public and national criticism, bad publicity, and possibly enrollment issues. Yes, that may be a stretch, but think before you speak, or type in this case.

    Even as a management standpoint, this was also a horrendous decision. Keeping your stands on campus will be the least of your worries. I do not see how funding can continue when a paper stands behind such ideals. After this incident, I cannot see the university holding any ties to The Alligator, and your future looks rather bleak.

    A simple apology probably would have assuaged critics, and your pr nightmare would have subsided. Nope. So now the entire city of Gainesville, and ALL of its affiliates, are worse off.

    Maybe next time The Alligator won't rebut criticism with hate mail. Or maybe next time, The Alligator will read and edit (and hopefully think rationally before publishing) its opinion articles, specifically the ones that a. is apathetic towards a topic rivaling the controversiality of rape and abortion b. makes callous and insensitive similes on such touchy subjects c. are way too informal for a "respected" newspaper and d. are just plain dumb. Oh wait... there probably won't be a next time.

     
  • Annexation_of_PR posted at 1:33 pm on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Annexation_of_PR Posts: 10

    Speaking frankly the manner in which this was written and the fact that it continued on a second page, I can not tell if this article was written to "troll". This made me wonder if the original opinion piece was written to troll as well

     
  • Roosevelt posted at 11:58 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Roosevelt Posts: 56

    #protip to the Alligator: Don't feed the trolls.

     
  • mls2b posted at 10:58 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    mls2b Posts: 2

    Yes, you have the right to your own opinions. You can say the earth is flat if you want, but don't expect folks to listen politely and not ridicule you for it if you do. And sorry to tell you this (given I must be the inbred redneck hick you seem to think all of red-state America is), but Monday's column, which was so ridiculous I thought it was satire when I first read it, all but begs for it.

    Here's a hint: you want polite discourse and open, reasoned debate, don't insult the intelligence and motives of your audience. Don't insult their faith and families, don't look down your noses at those who disagree with you, don't make snide asides about spelling or grammar ("Dalmatians"?), and kindly consider that reasonable people MIGHT take offense when you attack and patronize them this way. You do that, then we'll chat. Until then, enjoy the abuse you've all-too-roundly earned.

    And kindly grow the fuck up.

     
  • I like penguins posted at 10:56 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    I like penguins Posts: 4

    I find it fascinating that people who live and would die for their Second Amendment, don't really care for the First one all that much.

     
  • DartsAndQuarrels posted at 10:54 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    DartsAndQuarrels Posts: 27

    I want so very much to be able to sympathize with the Alligator here, but the Alligator makes that so very difficult.

     
  • MummysCurse posted at 10:43 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    MummysCurse Posts: 195

    Soooooo, you published an op/ed column and many people (including me) read, filtered its content through our own perspectives, and then criticized it accordingly.

    You're now, apparently, telling us that we have no business criticizing these columns?

    Why don't you take the easy way out, and simply eliminate the comment function on this website?

     
  • tedd4566 posted at 10:23 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    tedd4566 Posts: 1

    What are the chances that there is another horrible writer for the Alligator! God only knows how this collection of talentless writers (that all think they're the next Hemingway) was formed? Don't be so condescending and patronizing to people that disagree with you. There were many people that commented on the Loganville article that had legitimate criticisms of it. They were conveniently left out, but the incoherent comments that added nothing to the discussion are the focal points for some reason. So don't act like the only reason people didn't like the article is because it was just too much for them to wrap their heads around. Both the Loganville and this article are terrible. I know the Alligator staff can't take criticism too well but your writers make Stephanie Meyer look like Tolstoy.

     
  • Rowdy posted at 10:16 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Rowdy Posts: 22

    Yeah, I agree, this was a very patronizing article. I didn't manage to read the infamous article from, what was it, last Monday? But I still feel incriminated by the Alligator not because of anything I said to that article (obviously, I didn't read it) , but because I am Christian. I don't know why anyone would think that the best way to respond to bile was with bile. The Bible says, albeit it spelled funnily, to turn the cheek. Just because this in the Bible, I imagine you will turn a deaf ear to it. But Gandhi, who I'm sure you have more appreciation for, also said that an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

    I don't mean to criticize the Alligator, and I apologize if that is how you choose to read this. But I don't think it appropriate for people to say they value opinions, and then print such a demeaning and generalizing article. I've enjoyed reading the Alligator since I've been at UF. But I grabbed the Wednesday paper, actually excited to read the opinions because I enjoy how a certain Religion major writes in a way that is aimed equally at everyone, and not tearing down one side or the other, but really just putting his views peacefully and earnestly out there; but instead, I found the exact opposite in a degrading article that I felt attacked me for the beliefs that I hold even though I had absolutely nothing to do with the original article or the ensuing flame war following it.

    P.S. If they're not reading the Odyssey, you may also have several readers from the Greek organizations that tend to be Red, and also tend to be less religious than the redneck Christians you targeted. Having a tendency to be on the Conservative side, it is likely they too, support guns. I don't know if it would have better or not if you had also struck out equally at them or not.

     
  • BrazilianRider posted at 10:16 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    BrazilianRider Posts: 1

    This entire article consists of you hypocritically defending your opinion.

    If you're writing about such a controversial subject, you should expect backlash. Grow up and deal with it. Don't insult your readers with ridiculous assertions and don't attempt to belittle THEIR opinions in an attempt to validate your own.

    I'm also sure you all spend time on the internet. As you know, the first sign that someone is losing an argument and licking their wounds is when they start correcting other's spelling and grammar. This allows them to feel better about themselves while not actually contributing to the discussion. Also, "Dalmatians."

    You shared your opinion, people shared theirs. I'm sorry they hurt your feelings but that's tough cookies. This article is a disgrace in every way, and I honestly hope you all get off your high horses.

    But then again, that's just my opinion.

     
  • Shmeag posted at 10:03 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Shmeag Posts: 6

    This website is riddled with people who love to comment about how butt hurt they are about what an article says. I quite thoroughly enjoyed this read.
    And Romulan 147 posts? Not only that but 147 posts on a website that you apparently think is full of moronic writers. I would invest in a hobby, like winning more spelling bees. Also if you honestly believe that was the real Rush that commented yesterday simply because his name was "Rush Limbaugh", you have a lot to learn about the internet friend.

     
  • Bob posted at 9:14 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Bob Posts: 3

    Quote:
    "If you’re going to pick a fight with a newspaper, spell your insults correctly."

    If you are going to write a 'snarky' column then spell your dog breed correctly. It's Dalmatians.

     
  • Byte Stryke posted at 8:56 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Byte Stryke Posts: 1

    I personally feel that, in this day an age, all journalists and writers should be required to get permits Costing Hundreds of Dollars a year and requiring weeks of training at their expense.
    Our forefathers had no idea when they wrote the first amendment that such large scale media devices and venues would exist and certainly could not have planned for them.
    Regulate media outlets to 10K people to prevent mass misinformation and propaganda events, this will provide for better fact checking and fewer casualties of truth.

     
  • abc123 posted at 8:32 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    abc123 Posts: 15

    "There’s no need to attack anyone"

    Maybe you should practice what you preach. This article seems very patronizing

     
  • Romulan posted at 4:42 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Romulan Posts: 481

    Quoted for emphasis....

    >>There’s no need to spur on your ignorant followers to attack someone simply because you disagree with them.

    >>Is it because words in the Bible are spelled funny? Is that why you can’t correctly spell out your arguments?

    >>“Oh, I’d grab my handgun,” you drawl, “all while keeping up with the game on TV, as I am a red-blooded American.”

    For the record, I listen to Neil Boortz at least an hour or two every week. Do I seem 'inarticulate?' I have won spelling bees. I don't watch football or any sports. Neil Boortz is a retired attorney and an elitist (not a redneck... how ignorant that anyone would assume that.) He is an atheist. You should be happy about that, right?

    I think it is germane to point out that Neil Boortz retires at the end of this week after about 40 years of broadcasting. The fact that he chose to spend nearly an hour talking about this article during his much-talked-about (and much-listened-to) final week on the air is significant. Make sure you realize the gravity of that distinction. It's 'historic', as The Prez would say. Did you not see that Rush Limbaugh himself left a comment? That's also 'historic' (for the Alligator.)

     
  • Romulan posted at 3:47 am on Wed, Jan 16, 2013.

    Romulan Posts: 481

    Yes, she should have had a .357 loaded with hollow points. One shot would have put him down, and those poor children wouldn't have been so frightened by the entire ordeal. BOOM! --- and it would have all been over a lot sooner. Good point, editor.