Cartoonist stands by controversial drawing depicting young shooting victim

Apr 14, 2015, 2:28 PM | Updated: 6:00 pm

Editorial cartoonist Milt Priggee stands by his drawing of 2-year-old Kaden Lum and the devil. (mil...

Editorial cartoonist Milt Priggee stands by his drawing of 2-year-old Kaden Lum and the devil. (miltpriggee.com)


Editorial cartoonist Milt Priggee, who stirred up controversy with his portrayal of a 2-year-old shot and killed in Bremerton, stands by his drawing.

The cartoon depicts Kaden Lum as an angel and Uncle Sam as the devil with two handguns and the phrase “America’s gun culture” written on his jacket.

Rantz: Cartoon exploits dead child for political points

Priggee defended the cartoon in an interview with KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz, who took issue with the drawing.

“A cartoon is a simple machine to make the reader think, not joke,” Priggee said. “It’s not a comic strip, it’s not entertainment, and this is where newspapers have fallen down. They have not taken any kind of opportunity to educate the public because a lot of times people come to an editorial cartoon and they say, ‘Well there’s nothing funny about this. Why is this in the newspaper?'”

In this particular case, Priggee’s aim was to get readers to think critically about America’s gun culture, something he believes is a problem on both sides of the political spectrum.

“On one side, we have a bunch of liberals that don’t care, and then on the other side, you have people that are blocking whatever little improvement could be made on tightening up whatever,” he said. “The problem is that we, as a society, are not discussing it enough. That was the intention of the cartoon.”

From Rantz’s perspective, though, Priggee’s cartoons that address the gun issue only tell one side of the story.

“I see about 80 different drawings on your website (about guns) … You go after the gun lobby, you blame the actual gun, you mock gun owners as stupid, you mock accidents that have happened,” Rantz said. “I understand that you’re actually trying to make a point. You’ve taken the stance that you are trying to go after all the issues surrounding America’s gun culture, but it seems like you’re only going after the people who support the right to bear arms.”

Rantz isn’t the only critic of the Priggee cartoon – Lum’s grandfather, Jason Trammell, told KING 5 that it was “in very bad taste” and “not in line with honoring my grandson’s memory.” And for that, Priggee is understanding.

“I am sorry they are hurt,” he said. “I hope they would see it my way. Obviously they don’t.”

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Cartoonist stands by controversial drawing depicting young shooting victim