Amazon Books Gun Shy

February 25, 2013

To: Amazon Books

I direct your attention to an article on the Web forwarded to me, "Amazon Removing Gun Products From Store. Worse Than EBay,"   about Amazon demanding that vendors remove certain accessories and other gun-related items from their Amazon listings. If they do not comply, these vendors will be banned from selling all their products on Amazon. The veracity of this article is not to be questioned, albeit it would be helpful if you confirmed this ultimatum.

I cannot imagine what prompted Amazon to reach this decision other than a craven submission to the anti-gun hysteria that arose even before the Sandy Hook School, Newtown, CT massacre, together with all the misinformation about guns and gun-owners propagated by enemies of the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution, a hysteria which has gripped not only many Americans but Congress and numerous advocacy groups. This hysteria can be likened to a kind of moral epilepsy, rooted in a penchant for political correctness and towing the government line, in this instance an episode of too little neuronal activity in the brain, a phenomenon which has caused you to bite your tongue and require your vendors and customers to bite theirs.

That being said – and I am sure you are not so far gone that you cannot detect the tone of contempt and opprobrium for you in this missive, but, then, when have cowards ever felt shame for their behavior? – I offer you an opportunity to maintain a consistency in your policy and win the acclaim of the anti-gun bloc. I strongly urge you to remove from sale on Amazon Books any title of mine in whose title the term "gun" occurs. Two titles come to mind at the moment, Whisper the Guns, and Running Out My Guns. In fact, I suggest that you remove all my titles, for in each and every one of them guns are employed. This would include the whole series of Sparrowhawk, novels about the American Revolution.

Come to think of it, why not remove all titles that feature guns and violence from your listings. If you are going to be so conscientiously and foolishly picayune about the matter of guns and gun-violence, it would salve your sense of moral worth with an act of total and unqualified consistency.

Just think of the national acclaim you would garner by performing such an act of contrition. Of course, it would reduce your listings by an unimaginable percentage, and consequently affect your revenue, but, after all, what is money when it is imperative that you do the "right thing"?

Best wishes in your new endeavor,

Edward Cline
Williamsburg, VA

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