Ms. magazine has been accused of many things in its 40-year history, but shying away from controversy is something even our most vocal critics have never charged us with.
We have been accused of allowing ourselves to be bullied by pro-gun commenters in the wake of publishing part one of a three-part-series by freelance contributor Heidi Yewman on how easy it was for her to get a concealed weapon permit and purchase a handgun without even having minimal training.
We were soon deluged with responses, almost all of them attacking the piece and the reporter, some even including Yewman’s home address—presumably to encourage others to track her down and set her straight.
We moderate reader comments, and reserve the right not to publish comments we consider to be abusive or threatening. With thousands of comments flooding in, we weren’t able to do so with the staff we have in a timely fashion.
No one should suggest Ms. is unwilling to publish tough pieces on guns. The opposite is true. That’s why Yewman came to us in the first place. That’s why we published her piece. And that’s why her piece is still up on our site.
We regret that we didn’t have the means to initially handle the avalanche of reader comments following Yewman’s first piece, and, as we told a reporter at Media Matters America, we have a call into Yewman to offer to post the remaining pieces. We have yet to hear back from her, but hope to continue the series soon.