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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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This weekend’s column: The NRA and Santa Claus ...

The myths of Santa and the NRA — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune ... In the next day or two, this newspaper and newspapers all over America will participate in the annual Christmas tradition of reprinting Francis Pharcellus Church’s editorial of 1897, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." Bah, humbug. Editorial writers, practitioners of a craft dedicated to the search for truth, have been sawing away in this country for a long time. And the only product of ours that most people remember is a piece arguing for a continued belief in a mythical being. Which brings us to the National Rifle Association and its front man, Wayne LaPierre. He held a press conference Friday in which he blamed every part of American society except the gun culture for the deaths of 20 children and six teachers the week before in Newtown, Conn. It’s the media’s fault, he said. Video games. Violent movies. Gun-free school zones. Lax tracking of mentally ill people. And particularly the void of gun-toting guards in every school in the country. Fantasy. Every word. And a lot more dangerous than any story about a toy-giving fat man. ...

Fact-Checking the NRA Press Conference — The Atlantic Wire

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The Worst Mass Shootings of the Past 50 Years — AP/Time

The Simple Truth About Gun Control — Adam Gopnik | The New Yorker

Two Debacles in 12 Hours — John Dickerson | Slate

The NRA: From Awful to Even Worse — Michelle Cottle | The Daily Beast

Tea Partier: Video games, not guns, caused Newtown massacre — Morning Joe

Wayne LaPierre Speech Was A Total Public Relations Disaster, Say PR Experts — Catherine New | The Huffington Post

NRA fires blank on gun violence — Denver Post Editorial

America’s gun culture: Connecticut shooting didn’t stop it, just made it worse — Tim Rutten | Los Angeles Daily News

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