Elizabeth Mandelman (Canada)

Elizabeth Mandelman (Project Ploughshares - IANSA): Elizabeth is from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. She moved to Minneapolis in 2000 to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she majored in political science and minored in German. Elizabeth also interned with the Minnesota Senate, for the chair of the Taxes Committee. At university, she also worked for the Center for German and European Studies. Elizabeth received her Master’s in Public Policy at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She also worked for three legislators in the Minnesota House of Representatives. At the time of her fellowship, Elizabeth was the Committee Legislative Assistant for the K-12 Education Finance Committee, and for the chair of that committee. After her fellowship, Elizabeth wrote: “Two and a half months of working (mostly) independently, no friends, non-stop gunnutz (Gun Nuts) harassment, and self-reflection has taught me that I'm capable of a lot.”


12 May

I arrived in Canada as a fellow with the Advocacy Project under the false hope that people who disagree with me would at least listen to what I have to say, respecting who I am as a person. Boy was I wrong.

I was invited by a member of CanadianGunNutz.com to participate on the pro-gun website in a discussion thread regarding gun control. The member invited me through the following statement: “If you are interested in having a discussion over why my colleagues and I think the Canadian system of gun control compromises public safety, please, come visit us on our website. One of your posters already posted the link. I’ll even start a thread for you in our political discussion forum (In the “Firearms Politics” section).”

So, I registered with the website; after all, I had been invited to. I found thread discussions dedicated to each one of my entries, and one entitled ‘Elizabeth Mandelman-An Open Invitation to Discuss Gun Control’. Unfortunately, many of the threads that should focus on the issue of gun control instead attack me personally, and are quite vulgar. I wasn’t surprised, as I have been receiving the same type of comments on my entries. As a result, I decided not to participate in the discussion.

Rather than debating my opinion of gun control and its effectiveness in preventing domestic violence, I have become the major focus of attack. This is unacceptable, and undermines the real discussion that should be taking place. As a practice, I have been deleting comments that attack me or my academic integrity, and I will continue to do so. In addition, I have removed the comments of individuals who have been particularly offensive and disrespectful of my personal character, and will no longer post comments that they submit. Call this censorship if you like, but healthy debate should focus on the issue at hand and not the person advocating for or against it.

Posted By Elizabeth Mandelman (Canada)

Posted May 12th, 2014

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