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Open Letter to Peter David, Comic Book Writer and Writer Of


I’ve just picked up the Comics Buyer’s Guide ,a trade rag for people who build their lives around comic books, and I’m reading Peter David’s column which is the first thing I always do when I pull CBG out of my Post Office box. Pete’s taking shots at the NRA again. He obviously believes the NRA is evil incarnate. If the NRA were rendered impotent and, of consequence, all guns ceased to exist, a new day of peace and paradise would dawn over the earth. Governments are, quite naturally, exempt from the demands to disarm. Apparently the All-father in Washington is a benevolent spirit who can be trusted never to raise a weapon in hostility against “ordinary Americans” as the Branch Davidians in Waco can testify.

Peter justifies his position with the assertion that removing guns from easy access would preserve the lives of countless numbers who die of violence each year. Gun availability makes it too easy to kill, Pete insists, but history shows that people who wanted to kill other people have always found convenient ways to commit murder. Cain did not require an automatic to murder Abel, Samson used the jawbone of an ass, Philip of Macedon was killed with a knife and Julius Caesar fell before the swords of the Roman senate. In no single case was a gun, illegal or otherwise involved.

What it is, see, I don’t always agree with Pete just as I didn’t mostly agree with Denny O’Neil and his take on issues of the day in the famous Green Arrow/Green Lantern comic book series of the early 70’s. But, ya see, I enjoy reading what the loyal opposition has to say even when I’m convinced they are wrong headed. So I continue to read Peter David’s column when he tells me it was the NRA that inspired the kid at Columbine rather than a career bureaucrat in the White House with a bimbo between his knees who, at about the same time as the Columbine incident, had ordered the slaughter of thousands of people in Yugoslavia with the justification he was liberating them from a tyrant. I don’t always agree with Pete, but I respect his right to his stupid opinion and his right to express it cos the man believes in what he puts down on paper. The man has integrity.

So then I flip the pages of the Comics Buyer’s Guide to the back cover and here’s this ad for a comic book credited to writer Peter David about this really cool kid who is a super spy and who is printed there in glorious four colour waving this big gun in my face. Of course the gun is excessively cool with a flashlight in the muzzle, a radar range finder, hot and cold running water, a five disk CD player, a collapsible Olympic size swimming pool in the handle, and a deep base radio that plays NPR all day long (batteries not included).

Immediately the question comes to mind, “What’s NRA opponent Peter David doing writing a comic book about a really cool kid running around brandishing this excessively cool gun?”

Well, for money, of course. Peter David is a professional writer. He makes his living by stringing words together in a chosen order and taking money from those who hire him.

But one wonders, has this really cool kid born of Peter David’s imagination applied for membership in the NRA? Would he be acting this irresponsibly with deadly weapons if he had?

Tell me, Pete...tell me this thing the really cool kid is waving in my face is not in fact a gun. Tell me this really cool gadget that looks like one of the guns out of Star Wars is actually the wonder dog Rin-tin-tin incognito. Tell me this really cool gun look-a-like device is in reality a one person air flotation device this really cool kid uses to spy on NRA headquarters to get evidence to land Charlton Heston in jail on conspiracy charges.

Tell me anything, but please don’t tell me your convictions go no deeper than the ink that stains the back page of CBG. Cos, ya see, this really cool gadget this really cool kid is waving about like a flag may not actually be a gun, but it looks like a gun, a really cool fantasy gun designed to appeal to preadolescent and immature not-so-cool kids who have no idea what a real gun is or how to handle an honest-to-god deadly weapon. That is how the thing is designed and that is the premeditated intent, to look like a really cool gun and the cool gun is displayed in this ad to sell comic books to all those kids who will see the ad and be convinced this is a drawing of a really cool kid brandishing a really cool gun.

What’s your response to the next kid at Columbine who gets himself a really cool gun that is in fact the dangerous weapon it looks to be and goes out to show everybody how he’s the world’s coolest superspy by blowing away a few of his selected friends? Are you gonna say it’s all Chuck Heston’s fault?