'Women Who Own Assault Weapons Have Tiny Penises'

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I've read a great deal of serious commentary about guns and gun control over the past few weeks. I've also read a lot of dreck. And also some funny dreck. Here is my favorite example, from Todd Hartley in the Aspen Times: "Women who own assault weapons have tiny penises, just like their male counterparts. That would explain why they're angry enough to buy a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible."

I've also been attacked from every direction for my recent Atlantic piece, "The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control)." My favorite hostile tweet came from the anti-gun control Twitter commentator @Joescustomrods, who wrote, "Just read your article on gun control. You belong with the rest of the sheeple my freind. Almost 9000% ignorance."

Almost 9000 percent ignorance? Why "almost"?

From the opposite side of the gun control debate, the Washington Monthly, the august journal of progressive analysis and opinion, stated the following in a critique of my article: "(Goldberg) spouts libertarian gibberish and wanks off to macho fantasies about whipping out his penis substitute and blowing the bad guys away."

I would like to answer the Washington Monthly's accusation by denying categorically that I wank off to macho fantasies about whipping out my penis substitute and blowing the bad guys away.

I'll let actual libertarians answer the first charge. The Washington Monthly, by the way, falsely and repeatedly asserts that the headline on the Atlantic article is "The Case for More Guns," not, "The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control"). I don't have much hope that the editors will correct that bit about wankery, but they should at least correct the title of the piece.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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