To the Editor:
John Brown is a terrorist. With many similarities, including brutal killings, detailed plans and a strong cause, Brown can be compared to twenty-first century terrorists like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. On October 16, 1859, John Brown, with a group of young followers, raided Harper's Ferry, slaying southern whites to cause chaos and free slaves from bondage. On September 11, 2001, several Al-Qaeda men hijacked and crashed American airplanes to urge America to "[get] out of the Arabian Peninsula, and [stop] its support of Israel" (Osama Bin Lade, October 2001). These two events have many parallels, proving to be very similar.
John Brown does not deserve a pardon. After countless raids and slayings, Brown is a federal criminal and does not deserve the title of "martyr." Even though he killed for the worthy cause of abolition, being one of the most dedicated abolitionists of his era, he should not have killed southern citizens as viciously and as randomly as he did.
John Brown deserved his hanging because he was a murderer. No matter how justified his actions seemed, working to free slaves from the harsh and unfair treatment placed on them by white southerners, the bottom line is that with the option of being a civilized activist, or not, he chose not.