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Old 01-31-2013, 08:50 PM
dabloniarz dabloniarz is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 66
Default A letter to the President.

Here is a letter I sent to the President and my congressmen. If you haven't written a similar letter to your congressmen, I encourage you to do so.

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to commend you on your efforts to reduce senseless violence in the wake of the school shooting in Newton, Connecticut and other recent tragedies. Our society is in desperate need of meaningful improvements to our nation’s mental health care system that will help diagnose mentally unstable persons and provide them with the treatment they need. I am also hopeful you will find the means to improve security in our nation’s schools.

While I agree with some of the steps you plan to enact through executive action, I would also like to express concern about your plans to eliminate gun violence by implementing a ban on “assault weapons”. As a law enforcement officer for the past fifteen years, I believe the proposed ban to be ineffective and ill-advised.

The United States already has strict and effective laws controlling the sale and ownership of truly military grade weapons, such as machine guns, automatic weapons and short barreled weapons.

Redefining “curio and relic” weapons to exclude importation of historical military rifles, such as the M1 Garand and M1 carbine, will have no impact on gun violence and will only serve to keep them out of the hands of history buffs that collect them for their historical value. Your assertion that these historical rifles are “fully functional and powerful military weapons” disingenuously implies the rifles are equivalent to modern military rifles when, in fact, they are not. These semi-automatic military rifles were designed in the 1930’s and have more in common with modern “sporting” rifles than modern military firearms. Furthermore, they are heavy and unwieldy compared to modern civilian rifles and are rarely used to commit crimes. Your assertion that these historical relics are of no interest to collectors, are easily converted into machine guns and are appealing for use in crime is inaccurate to the extent that it suggests your proposed ban is merely a dishonest numbers game designed to reduce the availability of firearms to civilians by any means possible.

The “assault weapon” ban you propose crafts a meaningless category of firearms based upon characteristics having everything to do with a firearm’s appearance and ergonomics and little or nothing to do with the function or lethality of the firearm. This “assault weapon” designation is then used to mislead the general public unfamiliar with firearms into thinking ordinary weapons designed for civilian use are specifically designed for the military and are therefore too dangerous to be in the hands of average citizens.

For example, the proposed ban falsely suggests semi-automatic rifles, such as the AR-15, that are merely similar in appearance to military rifles are “assault weapons” intended for military use. In reality, rifles such as the semi-automatic AR-15 have been specifically re-designed for the civilian market and stripped of military features like automatic fire while retaining reliability, durability and ease of maintenance aspects of the original military designs they are based upon.

Civilian semi-automatic rifles like that AR-15 are no more dangerous than any other semi-automatic rifle of similar caliber and are arguably less lethal than “sporting” rifles of larger calibers commonly used for hunting and not banned by your proposal.

Banning semi-automatic AR-15 rifles designed for the civilian market as “assault weapons” simply because they are similar in appearance to the M16 and share some of the same design features that make the M16 reliable, durable and easy to maintain is like calling civilian Jeep SUVs “assault vehicles” and banning them simply because they resemble the military vehicles their designs are based upon.

Many of the “military” characteristics included in the proposed ban, such as pistol grips, vertical fore-grips, thumbhole stocks and telescoping stocks that are used to categorize a firearm as an “assault weapon”, are actually nothing more than ergonomic features allowing a firearm to be used more comfortably.

A telescoping stock is an ergonomic feature allowing easy adjustment of a firearm’s length to fit a marksman’s stature and for multiple marksmen of different statures, such as a father and son, to comfortably use the same firearm. Some gun control advocates may argue that a telescoping stock allows a firearm to be more easily concealed; however, minimum barrel length restrictions already in place effectively address this concern.

Pistol grips, vertical grips and thumbhole stocks improve a marksman’s grip on the firearm allowing it to be more easily braced tightly against the marksman’s shoulder. This helps manage recoil felt by the marksman, which can be an important benefit for small statured marksmen and older marksmen suffering from arthritis. It also reduces fatigue experienced by competition marksmen after a long day of practice at the range. These types of grips can also improve a marksman’s accuracy. The features you propose to ban can be of great benefit to law abiding hunters and competitive marksmen who take the time to place carefully aimed shots, but are of little or no benefit to a deranged shooter rapidly firing into a panicked crowd. The banning of these features will have no impact on the violence inflicted in such tragic circumstances.

Similarly, your proposed ban refers to standard, factory issued magazines with a capacity of greater than ten rounds of ammunition as “high capacity” magazines, with the implication being that these “high capacity” magazines are intended for military use and are too dangerous to be in the hands of average citizens and further suggests limiting the capacity of civilian magazines will somehow lessen the loss of life in mass shooting incidents such as the Newton, Connecticut school shooting.

Anyone making such an argument clearly has little or no experience with firearms. Anyone with a basic familiarity of their firearm can change magazines in less than one second. It doesn’t take any special training or skill to accomplish this. By the time a victim realizes a shooter is changing magazines and makes a decision to act any opportunity to resist or flee will be long gone. Banning “high capacity” magazines will have no impact on the violence inflicted by a deranged shooter firing into an unarmed crowd.

Unfortunately, the “assault weapon” ban you propose can no more effectively eliminate gun violence than banning vehicles with anti-lock brakes and power steering and limiting their fuel tanks to a 10 gallon capacity can eliminate the problem of drunk driving.

Placing unreasonable restrictions on the second amendment rights of millions of responsible, law abiding gun owners in an ineffective bid to prevent acts of senseless violence by mentally deranged persons constituting a statistically aberrant percentage of the population recklessly starts our nation down a path of ever-diminishing freedom.

Once we start dismantling the Bill of Rights piecemeal, where do we draw the line? If we, as a nation, are willing to discard the second amendment rights of millions of law abiding citizens in exchange for the mere hope of stopping a mentally deranged person from abusing that right to commit a heinous crime why stop there?

What about the 1st amendment? Like guns, the internet can be used to commit heinous crimes. Every day thousands of people use the internet to manufacture and distribute child pornography. In the process, innocent children are brutalized for the sexual gratification of social deviants. Just the other day, 222 people were arrested in the United States as part of a child pornography sting involving 123 victims of child exploitation. How many children have to be raped and molested before we ban the internet? Maybe we should require millions of law abiding Americans who will never use the internet to commit a crime to pass a background check and register their identities with the government before we allow them to go online in the hope that we can prevent criminals from abusing their 1st amendment rights to commit a heinous crime. If we can stop even one child from being sexually abused by banning the internet isn’t it worth it?

Gun control advocates often argue guns are designed for the sole purpose of killing and serve no legitimate purpose in a civilized society and the second amendment therefore doesn’t deserve the same protection as freedom of speech. Unfortunately, my experience as a law enforcement officer for the past fifteen years has made me painfully aware that the threat of lethal force embodied by possession of a firearm is often the only means of securing one’s right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness when confronted by criminals with a dark heart and evil intent.

This is America; the land of the free. In America, we don’t deny millions of law abiding citizens their constitutional rights because of the actions of a few mentally deranged people. Please reconsider your ineffective and ill-advised ban on “assault weapons” and focus your efforts on meaningful changes to our nation’s woefully inadequate mental health care system and the implementation of practical school security measures.

Sincerely,

Alan
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2013, 08:57 PM
Topkick Topkick is offline
 
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Amen
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2013, 08:58 PM
CaptainMagic CaptainMagic is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 660
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Your letter was very nice Sir but you of course know that nobody is going to read it, it's a shame, I actually did read it.

My letter went like this.

Dear Mr. Obama, I did not vote for you and I'm not really sure who did, see I actually work. Your ban on cool looking semi automatic weapons is perfect for your third term election. Good looking ahead and see you at the skeet range.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2013, 09:16 PM
Gordon_Freeman Gordon_Freeman is offline
 
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Location: Southern US
Posts: 415
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That is a great letter. I like to keep mine very short so that I know someone will read it.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2013, 10:07 PM
Tinpig Tinpig is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SE Massachusetts
Posts: 711
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An extremely articulate, well-reasoned, and carefully argued letter, dabloniarz.
By not taking the easy snide and sarcastic route, you've represented gun-owners well as passionate, intelligent, rational and well-informed adults who will not cede their rights.

Tinpig
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2013, 10:17 PM
levisdad levisdad is offline
 
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Location: Chandler AZ
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Well done Alen!
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2013, 10:21 PM
a31b20 a31b20 is offline
 
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Location: California
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Good job !
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:59 PM
MyTurn MyTurn is offline
 
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Location: Northern Detroit, Michigan, Suburbs
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Alan-

Excellent letter! I can tell you from personal experience with politicians and their staffs that letters like yours are the only kind that get respect and are viewed with credibility. Your letter has the tone and content we should all emulate. Thank you.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2013, 11:00 PM
MTC29 MTC29 is offline
 
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Location: Santa Marg. CA
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A very nice letter but if you actually expect anyone to read it who is not a member of a firearms forum or a gun rights organization you need to limit your words of wisdom to a single paragraph.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2013, 11:25 PM
M1Collector M1Collector is offline
 
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Location: Mason, Ohio
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bravo!
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