PERRY: ‘Good’ Americans like death threats and hate free speech just like radical Muslims

The menacing urge to bully people into enjoying free speech that only agrees with our own is hardly unique to radical Muslim criminals. It’s alive and well right here at home and in your own community, compliments of a wide range of radical nut cases

I knew as soon as I picked up the phone what the caller really wanted to say about the horrific slaughter at a French satirical newspaper on Wednesday.

“Has anyone asked the Muslims at the Aurora mosque what they think of the shooting?” the woman asked.

I explained that since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks much of the community, and this newspaper, has become enlightened about Islam and its role in Aurora. Just because Muslim radicals commit heinous crimes, it has no bearing on those Muslims living in Aurora and being part of the Colorado Muslim Society mosque on Parker Road.

January 8, 2015She wasn’t happy with that. She talked about all the horrible things in the world, and now this attack on a French newspaper, being the work of Islam. She insisted we find Muslims in Aurora to comment on the French calamity.

I explained how illogical her request was. We don’t run to the nearest Jewish temple when tragic things happen in Israel and Palestine. It would have no bearing. We do not race to a spate of Christian churches for comment on the latest atrocity committed by the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas or whatever new lunatic thing Focus on the Family says to do to gays.

She was not convinced. She went on to insist that Islam is at the heart of every violent episode in the world. She wanted to hear Muslims in Aurora either renounce what their fellow Muslims were responsible for, or reinforce what she suspected, that they quietly support attacks like what happened in France.

“Violence against journalists comes from everywhere,” I said. “It comes from Americans who could never conceive of even learning about Muslims, let alone becoming one.”

She wasn’t interested.

For the last two years, more than 130 journalists have been killed, and not just in hot spots like Afghanistan and Syria. Journalists are killed all over the world, even in places like the Philippines, Europe and the United States. And for every journalist murdered, thousands more get death threats, including me and my staff.

Most of the threats are kind of laughable. Angry pet owners threaten to have their dog chew my face off for columns I’ve written in support of the city’s ban on pit bulls. Readers threaten to take me out or down or for a long ride for my options about immigrants, gays, racism or religion.

But there are threats that make me very afraid. Most of those come from columns I’ve written about gun control. Ever since the Aurora theater massacre, we, like so many Colorado media, write a lot about the issue. I talk about my opinions on local, national and international talk shows and news shows. I write serious, insistent editorials. I write snarky columns, and I write satire.

One satirical piece I wrote about a year ago had to do with members of the U.S. Senate caving into pressure by the NRA to ignore gun control legislation, even after the calamity at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I essentially lauded a list of conservative newspapers across the country for lambasting the Senate and the NRA for cheating Americans out of expanded handgun registration laws.

What I got was hundreds and hundreds of emails, letters and messages, mostly denouncing me as a traitor, an idiot or an ass. But I also got dozens of letters explicitly detailing how I would or should die for my columns. For the most part, I shrugged them off. But there were several that were pointed, pervasive and unnerving. The phone calls are always the worst. Callers say they know where I live, what I’m wearing, what I drive, where I go, even where I sit in the office. These aren’t insane Muslim radicals bent on killing me because I think their adulation of Muhammad or anyone else is dangerous and misguided. These threats come from people you grew up with that claim to be “good Christians” and “good Americans.”

They make me sick and afraid mostly because they involve my family and my colleagues. They come from people who seethe and drip with the unhinged and crazy anger that I imagine propelled the monsters that murdered cartoonists, journalists and cops at Charlie Hebdo this week.

I’ve included a sound file here so you can hear for yourself what some of these non-Muslims are like.

CLICK TO HEAR A CALLER WHO CONSIDERS HIMSELF A ‘GOOD’ AMERICAN MAKE VULGAR THREATS OVER A SATIRICAL GUN CONTROL COLUMN — Warning: The message is graphically profane and uses disturbing, racist language.

This particular caller was enraged about gun control, but the hate erupts over endless topics. Be warned, the caller is vulgar, vile and prolific in his use of racist, sexual and graphic profanity.

Is this guy representative of American gun owners and members of the NRA? No. I got plenty of heat and even kudos from gun enthusiasts all over the country, most of them weren’t threatening in any way. It never occurred to me to race down to the nearest shooting range and get their take on the rant of some gun nut.

But this bully’s intent is clear. He wants to shut me up, and others like me. The menacing urge to bully people into enjoying free speech that only agrees with our own is hardly unique to radical Muslim criminals. It’s alive and well right here at home and in your own community, compliments of a wide range of radical nut cases.

Reach Editor Dave Perry at 303-750-7555 or dperry@aurorasentinel.com

  • John

    2500 people died and another 2200 were injured in Dec 2014 in 30 countries all in the name of Islam. The lowest estimate is 15% of all Muslims are radicals willing to kill for their cause. 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world. You do the math.

    Dave, do you think you would be free from persecution in the eyes of Muslims? You believe in gay rights. Your beliefs are capital crimes in their eyes.

    You are so willing to condemn all NRA card holders as backwards bigots who need to come into the modern age, yet you give a pass to a religion which tolerates and approves honor killings, mutilating girls, killing those insult their prophet, condemns woman to the life of slavery as property, and kills or stones gays to death.

    You are a hypocrite who is trying to appease the tiger.

    • Try harder

      Actually, he’s partaking in free speech.

      Also I’d look up the difference between religion and culture and do some research on the various muslim cultures since last time the world has checked, not every muslim country partakes in honor killings or “Mutilating girls.”

      You are a bigot who is angry at those who can see past the layers that amount to the crazy thing we call our world.

      • Jason

        Whats interesting is John is engaging in his free speech as well, yet he is a bigot because he states the facts of what people are doing in the name of there religion and making a judgement on those facts.
        Ryecatcher and Try harder, you both read a couple of lines from John and make a judgement on him. How are you any better?

        I don’t condemn all Muslims, but one has to question why a religion has produced significantly more radicals than all the other religions combined. I also question why the 85% peaceful Muslims tolerate the 15% who are radicals.

      • John

        Time for you two to pull your heads out of the sand. 2000 women, children and elderly were just killed by Boko Haram for the crime of being Christian or not Muslim enough. What other modern religion tolerates such massacres. What other religion sees the beheading of a british soldier, the murder of journalist, the decapitation of an Oklahoman woman as justified. Many Imams came out and justified the attacks, few denounced them. If a jew or christian group slaughtered wholesale like that, every other jew or christian group would roundly condemn the actions.

        Find me a 90%+ Muslim country were minority religions are not persecuted? Heck find me a 50% plus Muslim country were minority religions are not persecuted.

        And No I don’t feel all Muslim people are bad people. Not all Nazi’s were bad people, not all Stalinist were bad people, not all communist are bad people, but the silent peaceful majority are irrelevant for what their groups are doing as a whole.

    • ryecatcher

      Amusing you would call Dave a hypocrite. His insightful comments in this article were spot on in my opinion.

      You seem to think you know about Islam. You generalize in stereotypical language while sweeping your own prejudice and hypocrisy under the carpet.

      Judging from your comment you seem to be a “backward bigot”. (Your words not mine) Are you?

    • Retiree

      So what, exactly, is the point you want to make about Muslims?

  • davebarnes

    Keep writing Dave. We are with you.

  • Roger V. Tranfaglia

    Sorry Dave, I’m NOT converting to Islam to appease you or anyone else. So if you want to take me to court for what something some twit leaves on your VM. GO FOR IT!……HINT: I’ve had guns pointed at me and have been accused of the most horrible vile things. If I actually did a tenth of the crap I’ve been accused of, I would be in jail right now. I suggest you do your homework before coming after me…….

  • ramrodd

    Comparing the tiny big mouths of the Westboro Baptist Church to murdering islamists proves how lost you truly are..

    Comparing Israel being bombarded daily from islamist groups in Palestine is also ridiculous..what would this country
    do if Mexico was bombing the Southwest on a daily basis..

    Try being honest and print some of the passage in that short Koran….. someone should!!

    • ryecatcher

      Try being honest yourself. The Westboro Baptists defy rationality. That with the other questionable comment you make concerning the Palestinian Isreali conflict make me wonder about the state of your rationality.

      • ramrodd

        thats where you leftists go…..personal attacks, because your argument is non existent..

        Again….who cares about a tiny group who protests – are they physically harming anyone!!
        are you comparing them to jihadist murderers?

        and please enlighten the board on where you stand when it comes to israel and the palestinians,
        i could guess but you go for it

        it took a week for you to reply

        • ryecatcher

          “You leftists”? Is that like “you people”? No need to enlighten anyone particularly someone as truly illiterate as yourself.

          It appears you’re easily upset given your complaints as to the timing of my response. Oh well.

          • ramrodd

            yo genius… this is the internet!! you play literacy!!

            you continue down the path of personal attacks because you cant defend your ignorance

          • ryecatcher

            Oh well.

  • Silver Fox

    Very true Mr. Perry. Unfortunately, we were here before. Starting in 1861 through 1865, 600,000 “Americans” lost their lives because we could not get past ideologies resulting in violence and death as the only perceived solution. The ideological battles continue in the U.S.A. today on many fronts. We can hope that with education, cooler heads will prevail. I’m keeping my fingers cross.

    • lorraine

      couldn’t agree with you more Dave.

    • ryecatcher

      Cooler heads will prevail. They always do in the end. Good comment by the way.

  • Kevin

    “…denouncing me as a traitor, an idiot or an ass.” An accurate depiction, I would think.