Letter: Quotes attributed to Carr were taken out of context

Jan. 23, 2013 @ 12:22 AM

Editor:

Editor Stan Voit wrote a column Dec. 23 bemoaning the fact that Americans can possess AK-47s and high capacity magazines. He said he gets the Second Amendment, but that our rights (given to us by God and protected under the Constitution — my insertion) are not "absolute." You, as I, are entitled to opinions and interpretations. That is a freedom a Republic enjoys.

However, what you do not get to enjoy unfettered is taking journalistic liberties or taking statements out of context. I refer to your paragraph in which you said "Even Dale Carr, second to no one here in his conservative Republican credentials, favors a ban on assault weapons like the AK-47 and a limit on the size of magazines."

Troubled by that, I personally contacted Rep. Carr and asked him if he did indeed say such a thing. He was adamant that he was taken out of context. What he did say is that "We need to come up with a way to keep these out of the hands of people with mental disorders." I would go as far to personally say that he was taken out of context to further your position.

The liberty you took with Dale's position is not unlike President Obama and other leading Democrats. They are saying that 40 percent of gun purchases are made without background checks. That number is from a study more than 20 years old, and even then that number was inaccurate. Misusing old statistics to further an agenda is the same as misrepresenting Rep Carr's position; it furthers your public argument for more gun control based on an inaccurate quote.

I respectfully ask that, in the future, you leave a personal bias behind when listening to whom you interview so you can properly represent that person's position.

Steve Osborn

Sevierville

Editor's note: The comments in the column were from an interview the editor had with Rep. Carr about the new legislative session, from which a story was written and published. That story included his views about guns. The editor stands by his quoting of Rep. Carr.