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Not funny or accurate

To the editor:

From the Library of Congress website:

“Political cartoons can be very funny, especially if you understand the issue that they’re commenting on. Their main purpose, though, is not to amuse you but to persuade you. A good political cartoon makes you think about current events, but it also tries to sway your opinion toward the cartoonist’s point of view. The best political cartoonist can change your mind on an issue without you even realizing how he or she did it.” (1)

With this in mind I take exception to the cartoon by Steve Kelley that ran in the Monday, Aug. 5 issue of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise: “If only we had more gun laws!”“Like they have in Chicago?”

I for one don’t find this funny. Gun shootings are a serious problem in this country, and unless you have something constructive or sympathetic to the victims and their families to say, it is best that you say nothing. Mr. Kelley is trying to say that gun laws won’t stop these shootings, and he is using a zombie idea to try and drive his point home. A little research shows that either Mr. Kelley is disingenuous or a lazy researcher.

As reported in the Washington Post back in 2017, most of the guns seized in Chicago come from out of state. Only 40% of seized guns were purchased in Illinois, and less then half of these were purchased in Chicago itself. Fully 20% of seized guns were purchased in Indiana, which has lax gun purchase laws. (2)

While Mr. Kelley’s credentials are impressive (he has won several journalism awards), this is not the first time that I have been able to take factual exception to one of Mr. Kelley’s cartoons. I think that the paper should do a better job of vetting his stuff before publishing, maybe not for crass humor (which may vary with one’s tastes) but certainly for accuracy.

Dave Staszak

Saranac Lake

Footnotes:

1. http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/activities/political-cartoon/about.html

2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/11/07/where-the-guns-used-in-chicago-actually-came-from/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.eb642fea4e5c

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