As OtherWords readers know, Donald Kaul‘s first column in five months ran on Dec. 19. It was on gun control in the wake of the Newtown shootings and he wrote it in his usual satirical style.

It’s hard to pull off any kind of humor when it comes to the very un-funny topic of mass murder and the weapons used to kill children. But initially it seemed that people got what he was trying to say and understood that the outrageous statements in his column were intended as satire. His fans were excited and said so.

But after the column appeared in the Des Moines Register on Sunday Dec. 30, things changed. Opponents of gun control pulled Kaul’s satirical statements out of context, accused him of threatening members of Congress, and posted these excerpts around the Web. Predictably, the people who saw these snippets got very angry.

These angry folks have taken things to a different level. They have posted derogatory, insulting, and threatening things about Kaul in particular and OtherWords in general on this website and many others. They have sent us hundreds of defamatory emails, most of which are too filled with profanity to reproduce here.

This is why Donald Kaul has written a new column on gun control that follows up on the first one that we’re distributing outside our normal schedule.

I’d also like to thank everyone who expressed their concern about this column in a civil way — both of you.

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Emily Schwartz Greco

Emily Schwartz Greco is the managing editor of OtherWords, a non-profit editorial service.

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