Conviction comes four decades late

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, June 22, 2005

By Staff
Our View
Forty-one years to the day after the crime, an 80-year-old Mississippi man was convicted of murdering three civil rights workers in 1964, a crime dramatized in the movie Mississippi Burning.
Edgar Ray Killen was a part-time preacher and sawmill operator in Philadelphia, Miss., during that time. The story goes that three civil rights workers in Mississippi to investigate a black church torching and register people to vote, were pulled over for speeding, jailed briefly, and then released. After their release they were followed out of town by Klansmen and beaten and murdered. Their bodies were found 44 days later in an earthen grave.
An all-white jury failed to convict Killen of violating the civil rights of the three men in 1967.
While certainly far too late, it is nice to see justice finally be done. Many say that we should "keep the past in the past", but that opinion only seems to happen in trials such as these.
It is very important that people face up to their crimes, whether they are a young man or a man in a wheelchair using oxygen. Our country's history is filled with many injustices, and it sends a good message to not only our nation's minorities, but also to the world, that America will no longer stand for racism.
Race relations are improving every day in our country, and attempting to right the many wrongs done in the past can only help. The U.S. Senate is currently working on a resolution to apologize for not passing anti-lynching laws in the early 20th century, and we applaud them for doing so.
While things are certainly far from perfect, with effort from everyone, America can become the melting pot we learned about in schools.
It's all or nothing
Our View
Recently several media giants, most notably the New York Times have taken a strong stance against gun ownership and gun ownership rights.
As many know "the right to keep and bare arms" is protected under the Second Amendment.
Limiting the sale of guns is as ridiculous as limiting the sale of cars. More deaths are annually caused in auto accidents than by guns.
That, though, is not the point. The point is that an organization which owes its existence to the First Amendment and the "freedom of the press" that is guaranteed in that amendment wishes to take sides against another amendment.
What makes attempting to take gun owners' rights any different than taking away the rights of the press?
Would the New York Times back legislation against the First Amendment?

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