Seems to me his head is screwed on straight.
As a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives:
Universal Background Checks
First, a universal background check will have many devastating effects. It will arguably have the opposite impact of what you propose. If adopted, criminals will know that they can not pass a background check legally, so they will resort to other avenues. With the conditions being set by this initiative, it will create a large black market for weapons and will support more criminal activity and funnel additional money into the hands of thugs, criminals, and people who will do harm to American citizens.
Second, universal background checks will create a huge bureaucracy that will cost an enormous amount of tax payers dollars and will straddle us with more debt. We cannot afford it now, let alone create another function of government that will have a huge monthly bill attached to it.
Third, is a universal background check system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through the lens of time.
It is not impossible to think that a tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now ? but future generations have the natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants ever since the Second Amendment was adopted.
Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons
The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke.
Gun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second Amendment shall not be infringed.
10-Round Limit for Magazines
Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all.
Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I?ve heard you ask, "why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?"
Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on?
Lastly, when did they government get into the business of regulating "needs?" This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.
Selling to Criminals
Mr. President, these are your words: "And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this."
Why don?t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program?
Furthermore, the vast majority of these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all the hoops ? because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn?t now ? so what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy guns legally just resort to the black market.
Criminals and murderers will always find a way.
Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy ? but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.
Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening ? and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?
You said, "If we can save just one person it is worth it." Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:
First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.
Second, press Congress to repeal the "Gun Free Zone Act." Don?t allow America?s teachers and students to be endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they cross the school line.
This is your chance to correct history and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with resistance.
Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals.
Severely Concerned Citizen, Evan M. Todd
Evan Todd writes:
That's gonna leave a bruise. Go read.
All of this could mean two things, as both campaigns intensify their appeal to swing voters in the coming months: Kerry, with his orange vest and military credo, might very will sway the minds of some of the 'salt of the earth sportsmen,' as Kristin Goss calls them. And Bush might very well lose support from some of those Second Amendment stalwarts if the ban on automatic weapons becomes a political hot potato.
This is incorrect. The ban at issue is a ban on "assault weapons", a term that (while very loosely defined) does not include automatic weapons. Automatic weapons, while protected under the 2nd Amendment per US v Miller, have been heavily regulated since 1933 and their manufacture for civilian ownership banned since 1986.
The "Assault Weapons Ban" bans 19 specific semi-automatic firearms by name, additional semi-automatic firearms by possession of more than one of several characteristics, and normal-capacity magazines (limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds or less).
The confusion between machine guns and the assault weapons ban is longstanding and the result of a deliberate choice to mislead the electorate by the Violence Policy Center. From their own website:
Assault weapons -- just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms -- are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.
I will note for the record that "armor piercing bullets" and "plastic firearms" are similar to assault weapons in that they are a phantom menace; scary, while presenting no significant threat.
"Plastic firearms" are allegedly scary because they can pass through metal detectors, but no such firearm actually exists; the Glock brand of handguns that the VPC is so concerned about still contain a large quantity of metal parts, including the barrel, and are readily detectable by metal detectors.
"Armor-piercing bullets" are bullets which can supposedly pierce a bulletproof vest. This is a capability shared by almost every type of ammunition suitable for hunting, and depending on the vest, often entirely normal handgun rounds will suffice. The type of bullet makes very little difference.
Of course, "machine guns" are real. But are they a real threat? They are already banned from manufacture, banned from ownership in some states, and each transfer is registered with the BATF (for a $200 fee), subject to BATF approval, requires a local law enforcement signature, and includes fingerprinting. As you might expect, legally owned machine guns are rarely used in crime. By "rarely", I mean there is one commonly known incident -- and that was a police officer committing a contract killing.
Please do not contribute to further public confusion over this issue. I will look for your published correction.
NRA denying compromise on AWB
This is from a statement the NRA is sending out via email to people who write them expressing concerns about an AWB compromise. It sends a mixed message; the NRA is claiming they won't compromise on the final bill sent to the President, but implying that they'll accept a compromise bill from the Senate that includes anti-gun amendments, in the hopes of stripping those provisions out in the conference committee. I'm willing to let the NRA play their game with respect to some of this stuff, but the gun show amendment and the assault weapons ban amendment are off-limits. If those get attached in the Senate, the bill must not leave the Senate.
Can the Patriot Act or Homeland security act remove guns from Americans
I keep hearing that the Patriot Act and homeland security would act like Marshall law if the adminstration declared all guns be taken away from the public. The two new policys have given them this ability. So far I have not found the wording I need to prove this can be done. Logic tells me that it exists but I need to prove it. Could anyone help with the black and white of this question. Where is it located in either of the new laws.
Welcome, Mr. President, to the War on Terrorism. I wish I could say it is good to have you with us, but I extend my heartfelt sympathies to the victims.
In America, the War on Terror is now almost three years old. We have learned a few things from our experiences, and I would like to share those things with you.
We have learned that it is better to fight terrorists where they live, rather than where you live. This will not be easy for you to do. Your terrorists are in large part already within your borders.
We have learned that expensive beaurocracies with a license to hassle provide no safety, and that treating terrorists as ordinary criminals is a license to fail. Instead, seek to intercept and attack terrorists before they strike. Terrorists can be identified by their connections to other, known terrorists. If you seek to identify terrorists you cannot treat them as individuals. Treat it as an espionage case. Trace their connections.
We have learned that it is easy to pass laws that restrict civil liberties under a terrorist threat. We have also learned that it is useless to do so. There are many protestors, dissenters, and petty criminals, but there are few terrorists. Do not be distracted by shadows, Vladimir. Focus on the terrorists.
Combine these aggressive tactics with a distributed defense by allowing your people the right to arm themselves and to carry firearms with them as protection. Soldiers and police cannot be everywhere your people are. But your people are already everywhere. You can trust 99% of your people to handle a gun for self-defense safely, if they are given simple, basic training in gun safety. The people you cannot trust with a firearm are the same people who have no intention of asking your permission before carrying one.
If you cannot summon the courage to give firearms to your people, then give firearms to your pilots and your schoolteachers. That is better than nothing. You will not regret it. Trust your people, and they will trust you.
The ban itself is unconstitutional, sir. It violates the second amendment. The key term here is ''shall not be infringed.'' It would also violate the spirit of the fourth amendment, which provides ''the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures'' of an item already guaranteed to be protected under the second amendment. It can also be argued that the ninth amendment may come into play here, sir, in that although the second amendment doesn't specifically denote assault weapons, that lack does not deny or disparage the right of people to own them. From a historical perspective, during the Revolutionary War, the long musket could indeed be viewed as an assault weapon.
It is unfortunate that Iowa Alumni Magazine chose to give Gordon McLauchlan a platform in which to express his prejudice against American gun owners, as well as his ignorance of guns and gun control laws in the American context. He states that American gun owners have an "almost erotic enslavement of so many to that instrument of death, the gun." He asserts that the NRA and Charlton Heston have made guns a symbol of "machismo." He also claims that there is a "widespread belief that guns maketh the man." McLauchlan offers, of course, no facts to support his bias.
Normally I don't post pointers to letters written in response to articles; they are typically too short to be worthwhile. This one is an exception, and well worth reading.
The Ohio Legislature is considering a right-to-carry proposal to lift some of the state restrictions on citizensı rights to carry concealed firearms. This indicates that even politicians can have occasional flashes of insight and wisdom. Liberals are, of course, convinced that this leads to street gunfights. Considering the shallow, emotional liberal philosophy, this reaction is expected. The truth is quite the contrary. For decades, gun control laws passed across the country, to the delight of our criminal element. While the crime rate rose, some communities and states recently eased some restrictions. In every case, stricter controls led to increases in violent crime while places that removed some laws preventing people from protecting themselves, experienced a decline in those same types of criminal activity. The statistics are absolutely indisputable.
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