In response to Mr. Allen’s letter I must say, bravo! What a wonderful example of a straw-man argument. In my original letter I explained how, by being “pro-responsibility,” one could be against killing the unborn (i.e. pro-life) and yet still support the death penalty for someone guilty of a crime carrying that punishment. I also happened to use murder as an example of such a crime but notice how cleverly Mr. Allen pointed out that other crimes carry the death penalty followed by an accusation that either I intentionally deceived my audience or I thought murder was the only crime punishable by death. At this point an astute reader may ask, “What does the fact that there are other crimes, besides murder, that carry the death penalty have to do with supporting the death penalty for individuals responsible for committing such crimes?” To that I would have to say, “Nothing at all – congratulations, you have spotted the straw man!”

Kevin Cumblidge

Cal Poly graduate, 2002

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