Letters: National Rifle Association President

Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish read emails from listeners about an interview with the National Rifle Association's president. 14.) France To Send More Troops To Mali To Combat Islamist Militants — As France wages war on the Islamists in Africa, French authorities are girding for possible terror attacks back home. But the French show no sign of wavering in their support for the Mali operation.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Time now for your letters. And we received many on the topic of gun policies, following our conversation last week with the president of the National Rifle Association, David Keene. Many of you were critical of the interview.

For example, Carolyn Law of Seattle, who writes this: What is the point of interviewing him if he is able to spout off the NRA's standard spiel? There are real pressing questions that should be asked, and he should be pressed and pressed again to consider and answer them or be called out for not answering them.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And John Godfrey of Ann Arbor, Michigan writes that he winced his way through the interview. He continues: We long for aggressive questioning of those such as Keene, who are advocates of any side in important national debates. Where are the counters, the follow-ups, the calling out of unsubstantiated assertions? Keene had a great day. He got to read a PR statement to ATC's audience.

CORNISH: Still, a number of you wrote to say you were grateful for our interview with the NRA president. That includes Jason Myers of Boise, Idaho, who says this: As a lover of both guns and NPR News, I appreciated Melissa Block's interview with NRA president David Keene. So many interviews become heated, resulting in people talking over one another. Melissa allowed Mr. Keene to make his points and finish his answers before going on to another question.

SIEGEL: And April Walden of Laguna Beach, California, called the interview thoughtful and compelling. And she writes this: Thank you for this alternative to the emotional, reactionary gun debate that we're left with elsewhere. I only wish that more of this sort of level-headed conversation could occur across the country. This is not a binary issue. There's a lot to consider, and you've helped me to see another side.

CORNISH: We welcome your comments. And you can send them our way at npr.org.

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