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Mad Dog Ellison

April 29, 1990

Paul Ciotti tells us that Ellison once brought a pistol with him and cleaned it without comment during a story conference. Presumably, the pistol did not belong to Ellison, because elsewhere he describes gun owners as "functional illiterates with virility problems."

Such intolerant hyperbole is typical Ellison, of course, and this probably had more to do with why he was so often beaten as a child than his Jewishness did, despite what he claims. The dramatic, implied threat of the story-conference pistol cleaning is also characteristic of the man. And it is irresponsible as well. It is the sort of foolish misuse of a firearm that would never be even considered by the majority of functional illiterates with virility problems.

LEE W. SMITH

Los Angeles

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