I sent this letter to all of my legislators. Much more is at stake here than just high capacity assault rifles. I'm hoping many member will also write letters to their legislators.
Dear Senator Johnson:
The purpose of this correspondence is to voice my opposition to any further ban on any particular type of weapon or on any high capacity magazine. Any new broad sweeping gun controls based on the current mass hysteria will not stop the carnage. Please excuse my rambling a bit. I'm fully aware that this is a very sensitive and emotional issue because of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook School.
I have two daughters and 5 grandchildren. My deepest sympathies go out to all those who lost loved ones by the senseless act of an obviously crazed individual at the Sandy Hook School massacre. I can't even begin to comprehend the grief of those who lost children. Had I been there, I pray to God I would have the courage of those who gave their lives to save others.
I have a concealed carry permit and own many high capacity weapons. If I truly believed that turning in my so called assault weapons would save even one life, I would gladly do so in a heartbeat. But I know, that one single act on my part would have absolutely no effect on carnage such as Sandy Hook.
Guns are not the problem. People are the problem. And to counter that with "yes but these deranged people use guns," is a false and misleading premise. If there were, quite literally, absolutely no guns anywhere in the the world, carnage such as this would still take place, by some other means. Matthew 2:16 "Then Herod slew all the children that were in Bethlehem from two years old and under." Jeremiah 31:15 "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children, because they were not."
I'm so tired of the emotionally filled diatribe by most of the national news networks calling for more gun control. And Dianne Feinstein's hysterical diatribe on Piers Morgan's broadcast was just as emotional and without merit. I don't doubt her sincerity, but she's sincerely wrong. Her hysterical diatribe merely fuels the fire for a totally ineffective solution. While legislating against evil is necessary, it does not "stop" evil. Just look at our over crowded prisons.
Deranged perpetrators simply slip through the cracks. How can we possibly know the thoughts and motivations of every single individual? I just heard one psychologist say that such people can appear perfectly "normal." Mass murderers such as the Boston strangler (Albert DeSalvo), TBK (Dennis Radner), the Hillside strangler (Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono), Ted Bundy, and the Oklahoma bombing by Timothy McVeigh which killed 168 people, many of whom were children, and injured over 800, to name but a few, did not use guns to commit their mass murders. Around the world there are hundreds, if not thousands, of serial killers who did not use guns. And what about suicide bombers, Hitlers gas chambers, the Jonestown and Heaven's Gate suicides by poison, and Saddam Hussein's use of poison gas. And this list goes on and on of those who did not use guns to commit horrific acts. Try as we might, we simply can't stop all evil. That's not to say we can't take some measures to curtail it. But in this case, bans are not the answer.
Entire industries have been built around high capacity so called assault weapons and high capacity pistols. Any poorly thought out legislation will have a huge and drastically negative economic impact, and will not stop the carnage. It will simply take a different form.
A very common handgun is the 8 shot 45 caliber Colt 1911 semi-automatic pistol. It's been readily available for decades. Millions are in circulation. It can be quickly reloaded in the blink of an eye and is capable of the same type of carnage as occurred at Sandy Hook. Would you ban it? What about the high capacity Beretta 92 which is our armed forces current sidearm, and owned by millions of law abiding citizens. Would you ban it? I sincerely hope you can see that none of these bans will work. Where would the banning stop? Banning high capacity assault weapons and magazines would simply cause the use of other type of weapons, to accomplish the same dreadful end. Again, where would the banning end? I don't have the answer to the problem. I simply know that banning will not accomplish what we all want.
We've already gone way to far down so many slippery slopes. Every year in this country millions die from cigarettes, alcohol, and abortion. Yet these are all legal activities. We've taken God out of our schools. Our military chaplains can't use the name of Jesus. The unfettered greed of Wall Street has brought us to the fiscal brink. The violence on TV, in video games, and in movies, has escalated dreadfully. The war on drugs has failed miserably. We have twelve million illegal immigrants. Gangs run rampant in cities. And you wonder why we're having so many of these mass tragedies. Our culture has changed, and not in all instances for the better. Our core values have become polluted by liberalism and political correctness. Common sense and individual freedoms are being torn asunder. I will defend unto death, a persons right to hold and express an opposing view. But I don't have to like, condone, or agree with it. In fact, I have an obligation to speak out against it, in a civil manner, when it conflicts with my deeply held convictions.
Just because I own high capacity weapons, what happened at Sandy Hook was not my fault. Those of us "of sound mind" who own high capacity weapons are not the bad guys. Any further gun control will not stop this kind of carnage, all the gun control in the world notwithstanding.
I'm a retired teacher. I spent 8 years in the Marine Corps (Gunnery Sergeant E7) and am a Viet Nam veteran. I used the G.I. bill to go to college. I've served my country, worked all my life, paid my taxes, raised a family, and served on jury duty. Now, after being a responsible citizen who has owned high capacity weapons, including so called assault rifles, for many years, the Sandy Hook tragedy has somehow made it evil for me to own such weapons.
I admit to being a "gun nut". Since my Marine Corps days, I've thoroughly enjoyed all facets of the shooting sport. But my guns also serve a very useful purpose. I live in a very rural area with no local police force. I choose to own high capacity weapons, including high capacity assault rifles, for defensive purposes. And I practice with them on a regular basis. Who's to say I have no need for such weapons? Police have them. Why should I now be deprived of them to protect myself and my loved ones just because a crazed individual used one to commit a horrific act? What do his actions have to do with me? In effect, a ban would insinuate that I'm no longer responsible enough to own such weapons, but I am responsible enough to own other weapons. This is ludicrous. And I'm not just talking about assault weapons. Many, if not most, popular semi-auto pistols have a 15+ magazine capacity. A very popular Glock pistol can accommodate a 32 round magazine. Where do we draw the line? How much capacity is to much? God forbid I should ever have to use any of my weapons for self defense, but in such a scenario, one can not have "to much" capacity. Would you limit me to a six shot revolver for defense when evil perpetrators, who do not follow the law, will still surely have high capacity weapons? And semi auto pistols can be reloaded extremely fast, so any attempt to limit their capacity would be fruitless. Try as one might, further bans are not the answer. It's merely a panacea to calm the mass hysteria in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
I strongly urge you and your colleagues to resist any attempts to implement any new bans on any particular type of weapon or on high capacity magazines as such new bans will serve no purpose other than to further degrade my personal liberties and my ability to defend myself and my loved ones effectively. They will NOT stop or curtail the carnage such as occurred at Sandy Hook, popular opinion and mass hysteria notwithstanding. Find another way.
Although a response would be nice, I really don't expect one. Surprise me.
Regretfully and respectfully submitted,