A number of major retailers decided not to display the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine, which had on its cover a picture of Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber.

Apparently, the magazine said something about him that the people who make these decisions did not like. Except for the fact that one wonders who has the presumption to make these decisions about the ideas and opinions others should be exposed to, one might almost feel grateful to know that someone out there is protecting our tender sensibilities from harm.

But then, these same retailers are happy to display every week the National Enquirer, Star, People magazine and the other like promoters of lies, scandal and sexual innuendo. Apparently, smut is OK with these people. They profit from it, too.

It’s the expression of an opinion that they don’t like, the kind of thing that might make people think or give them an idea that the retailers want to preserve us from.

John J. Wells

Oakland