February 20, 2013, 02:51 AM
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: live in a in a house when i'm not in a tent
OK, b/c I like to contribute and not just Gripe
Here's a copy of the letter I sent to my state senator. Feel free to cut and paste (and edit as you see fit to match your mood) to send to your rep:
Mr. Jones, I'd like to express my grave reservations with a number of bills that will pass your desk in the near future. I would like to you to vote against their passage. Below I list the prospective measures and my reasoned arguments against each:
1. HB 13-1224 "Banning high capacity ammunition magazines."
Is there any evidence that the 16th bullet is a magical bullet that kills more people than the first 15? None. Will this reduce the numbers of people hurt by firearms? Not according to FBI data. California passed a capacity ban effective in 2000 and the per capita murder rate of "the golden state" has exceeded that of gun-happy Texas for 9 of the last 11 years.
As if that bit of empirical data weren't enough, the National Institute of Justice (www.nij.gov/) has predicted failure of such measures in an internal memo:
If the magazine limit will do nothing to limit violence, we shouldn't add such a law to the books merely to occupy law enforcement nor to baffle ordinary citizens.
2. HB 13-1226 "Banning conceal carry on College Campuses"
The argument for repeal has NO empirical data to back it up. Conceal carry has been legal for several years and there have been no criminal shootings involving any licensed concealed weapons carriers at either CU or CSU. None.
Source A: http://police.colorado.edu/uniform-crime-reports
Source B: http://police.colostate.edu/pdfs/2012-Safety-Report.pdf
Why should citizens who are licensed to carry concealed in their public activities in other parts of society suddenly be considered "dangerous" when on campus? Statistics show that CCW carriers are less likely to commit crimes than other sub-sets of citizens. The first 5 years of concealed carry in Texas (I quote them b/c they have done the best study) shows non-carriers are 7.7 times (males) and 7.5 times (female) more likely to be commit violent crimes.
Conversely, as opposed to numerous other states, Colorado has suffered NO mass shootings on our college campuses in that period. There is no evidence that this is causally related to the ability to conceal carry on Colorado campuses, but if there has been no harm NOR has there been any damage, why would you want to tinker with the current situation? As with other forms of bigotry, the prejudice against concealed carry on campus cannot be justified using empirical measure.
3. HB 13-1229 "Requirement for background checks for all gun transfers within the state."
Consider first that this requirement would have done nothing to prevent the Aurora theater shooting. His guns were purchased legally and that madman passed a background check.
Consider second that the myth that this will prevent guns reaching criminals has been disproved. California already has this rule in effect and yet the earlier-quoted NIJ memo finds that criminals in Los Angeles continue to prefer to source their firearms from local gun shops via straw purchases by people who can pass gun background checks rather than from other states with less stringent gun laws.
Consider also that Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows that most homicides in our state in 2011 (the last year of available statistics) shows that although there were 78 homicides committed with firearms, the total number of crime-related circumstances (drugs, assault on officer, other felony, gang-related) was 11 which indicates that we are not undergoing a crime wave that is being enabled by scads of guns leaking from the hands of private citizens to criminals.
Source: http://crimeinco.cbi.state.co.us/cic.../homicide.html. Note: these statistics are not detailed enough to determine if the 11 murders I note above were even committed using a firearm. Perhaps you could ask them to provide more details concerning the source of firearms used in homicides in future reports.
Consider as well that after our Columbine tragedy, Colorado requires a standard NICS background check on all firearms transfers that take place at gun shows.
Enacting bad policies that don't substantively improve a problem doesn't qualify as good governance.
I look forward to meeting you in your office to discuss this at your convenience. Please send me your available office hours for an appointment.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your detailed response.
Good luck to us all.
I'm right about the metric system 3/4 of the time.