The ghastly shootings at Virginia Tech have driven The New York Times into an editorial snit. But though the mantras of gun control drown out the paper's ancestral voices, its morgue hosts bloody accounts of Civil War Draft Riots raging on the newspaper's doorstep even as Confederate guns thundered within earshot of the District of Columbia.
In 1864, a gun toting mob sought to lynch the newspaper's Editor for a reason some 21st century readers might approbate:
Henry Jarvis Raymond served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
It did not greatly signify that Abe Lincoln was a bit of a Whig-- what made the mob howl was the rhetoric of the newspaper's competitors. The New Yorker 's Horace Greeley smiled to see siege laid to his hated rival at The New-York Times , but as armed thugs marched up Broadway, Raymond, who had seen battle with General McClellan in Virginia, prepared a stern Editorial reaction.
He put himself the on firing line by deploying a Gatling Gun in The New York Times newsroom window and another in the paper's front entrance , "commanding Park Row to the north", and the deterrent saved the day .
How times have changed since The Times appeared "in full mourning" after Raymond died of apoplexy in 1867.
In the newsroom where he invoked the Second Amendment in defense of the First 1n 1864, his successors mostly plead the Fifth.
Indifferent to the Gray Lady's pleas for disarmament in the Demon Nerd of Blacksburg's wake , Miss Venus Ramey of nearby Waynesburg Ky. braced herself in her walker last Friday and shot the tires out from under a carload of escaping burglary suspects. Not having a Gatling to hand, the 82 year old former Miss America of 1944 used her trusty 38 Police Special.