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Old September 28, 2009, 10:47 AM   #1
45Gunner
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Open letter to those that oppose gun rights

AN OPEN LETTER TO: Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer,
Dick Durbin, Frank Lautenberg, Michael Bloomberg, the Violence Policy Center, the Brady Campaign, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others pushing for the elimination of 2nd Amendment Rights:


Just after graduating from College in 1968, I volunteered for service in the United States Army. As an American Citizen, I felt it was my duty and an honor to serve my country.

The Army trained me to be a killer. It put automatic weapons in my hand and taught me how to utilize them to its full potential and then sent me to a far away land (Vietnam) to kill its inhabitants. Was it the weapons that directed the firepower or was it the Government that directed me and my comrades to kill as we had been trained to do?

In 2001, Terrorist struck on our soil killing thousands of innocent people. Once again, I served my country by becoming a Federal Flight Deck Officer while in the employ of a U.S. Civil Air Carrier. I was issued a semi-automatic handgun by the U.S. Government and trained to kill terrorist in a close quarters combat situation.

My point; it appears to be OK to protect ourselves and the citizens of these United States with the blessing of the U.S. Government but some of our lawmakers (U.S. Government) do not find it necessary for law abiding citizens to individually protect themselves with firearms. Making guns illegal to own would have to be followed with making it illegal to own an automobile because without a doubt, more people are killed each year by automobile than with a firearm. Further, the old cliché is absolutely right: When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

As the bearer of a Concealed Weapons Permit (CCW), I have been background checked by the FBI and Local Authorities, even though I have had a Secret Clearance while in the service of the Government. As with nearly all holders of a Concealed Weapons Permit, I take my responsibility seriously, have and will take continuing gun educational classes and practice marksmanship on a regular basis. My greatest hope is that I will never have to use my weapon to defend the life of a loved one and/or my own. I refuse to become a victim, as I would be defenseless as a law-abiding citizen if my gun rights were to be taken from me.

The law of averages dictate that there will be the occasional accident. However, I refer you back to the number of people that are injured, maimed, and killed each year on our nation’s highways.

I urge you to reconsider your position on gun rights. Push for enforcement of current legislation, not make more restrictions so honest, law-abiding citizens will be forced into being outlaws because they refuse to give up their means of protection. Endorse and approve full reciprocity for legal gun owners to protect themselves throughout these United States the same way a citizen can legally drive his car from State to State.

Respectfully and Sincerely,


Mark Schwartz
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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Good Letter Sir

But if it was my letter I'd leave the auto accident line out. Accidents and intentional homicides are two very different things.
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:29 AM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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Guns have rights?


When writing, or speaking, to those who are not "inside" the issue about which you are writing it is always best to avoid "insider" vernacular.

Comparing firearms with automobiles is a tired, old comparison that doesn't hold water with many people, certainly not with the "antis".

It's a severe stretch to claim that nearly all CCW holders take their "responsibility" seriously, practice marksmanship and take classes regularly.
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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They trained you and now they have no use for you. There is nothing in your letter that is not known by your target audience. The letter sounds angry and that could be threatening. Your letter if not relegated to the trash can would fit nicely in their anti gun rights evidence folder. I have a life sized vision of one of the antis testifying before a committee waving a file full of letters from trained killers who are angry that they aren't being allowed to use their skills under their own recognizance.
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:11 PM   #5
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Peetza & Parapliers,

You both make good points, but if I didn't know better, I would think that you weren't on our side. Instead of shredding his letter with criticism, why don't we thank him for his effort and help him make the argument stronger.

I think one of the most convincing arguments is made with John Lott's study that guns are used in self defense up to 2.3 million times a year compared to "477,040 victims of violent crimes stated that they faced an offender with a firearm" in 2005.

Source:

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/guns.htm


All that being said, I will opine that no matter how strong the argument, you aren't going to swing those mentioned. You would probably have better luck with undecideds. Good luck Mark with your endeavor. You are going to need it with those people.
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:16 PM   #6
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pilipinopilot... I don't feel that his letter was angry in any way. It seemed very straightforward and forthright to me.

Is that likely because I have those same sentiments? That outlawing car's is more likely to save lives than outlawing gun's? I restore car's for a living and would go broke and starve without them, but I'd rather have them put on the block that a gun...

Not that that would ever happen, it's just the thoughts that go with it.

Would that our Constitutional rights to Keep and Bear Arms be read aloud every month by congress or the president, this wouldn't be much of an issue...
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:17 PM   #7
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The problem with comparing accident rates for doctors and cars with guns is that of intentionality of purpose.

Cars and doctors are not seen as having a primary purpose as instruments of lethal force. Guns are seen as such, esp. by antigunners. Thus, the comparison is not compelling. Accidents from cars or doctors are sad but acceptable side effects of their positive use.

The self-defense argument works better, IMHO. Then, accidents might be seen as acceptable risk.

However, the strongest antigunners won't be moved by such letters. They have discounted the arguments. The battle is for the undecided politician or voter.
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:41 PM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightSight
Instead of shredding his letter with criticism, why don't we thank him for his effort and help him make the argument stronger.
It's hard to suggest changes without pointing out weaknesses....
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Old September 28, 2009, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
It's hard to suggest changes without pointing out weaknesses....
Agreed. Some of the weaknesses have now been exposed. So what arguments do you find compelling so that next time he may borrow them?
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Old September 28, 2009, 03:14 PM   #10
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NightSight,

Thanks....I posted this letter as I am going to get involved in standing up for 2nd amendment rights as I think it is an important thing to do. Especially in today's political environment when we have so many sooth slayers embedded within the political machine. I was hoping for constructive help and critique but I see that this is not the place to get it.

Most of this forum is enjoyable when it comes to fun stuff but a lot of people are quick to criticize without adding anything constructive. If any one that cared to comment so that I could alter my letter so that it would have more positive impact to help the cause, I would certainly accept that and be open to such input.

C'mon guys, work with me...not against me. Got something positive to say that will help, spill it right here. If by some stretch of the imagination you find this is against your beliefs and value system, then let's hear your point of view but spell it out, don't just throw darts at it.
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Old September 28, 2009, 04:02 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45GUnner
C'mon guys, work with me...not against me. Got something positive to say that will help, spill it right here. If by some stretch of the imagination you find this is against your beliefs and value system, then let's hear your point of view but spell it out, don't just throw darts at it.
I never had any intention of working against you. If I tell you what to write and you write it then you'd be my secretary and it would be my letter. So far as "darts", like I said, you can't make it better without taking out what might be a problem. I may be a bit "abrupt" in my observations. Maybe I should subscribe to the old advice of starting and ending with a compliment and putting the negative in the middle... but, that never worked for me. I see right through it and assume other people do to, so, got a problem? Tell me about it and I'll tell you too. Fair is fair.

Suggestions?

1)Don't bother with the "antis". They're going to change their minds the same way you're going to change yours. Go for the "undecideds".

2)You have to think, and talk, in a way that your audience thinks and talks. That was my point about "gun rights". Guns don't have rights. The term "gun rights" is used by antis and "gun rights" people. Regular people want to hear about the issue. Stay away from insider vernacular, especially that which may be confusing and/or engender negative images.

3)Some arguments are old, tired and/or obvious. The car/gun comparison is one of them. Your target audience, the undecideds, aren't going to buy it. The antis aren't going to buy it. All you'll get is "Ar Ar Ar, Hell yeah!" from "the troops" and that'll be it. Such arguments are a turn-off for those that may be open to...

4)The facts man. Present the facts. It doesn't matter that cars kill more people than guns. The "undecideds" need to know why GUNS ARE GOOD. Why are you telling them that cars are bad? Present statistics about lives saved, rapes prevented, kidnappings stopped, the truth about firearms accidents and deaths, etc.

5)The tone of the letter is decidedly angry and resentful. It does indeed come across as an angry ex-soldier who is unable to ply his trade..... and that's from a guy on your side. Imagine how the undecideds might see it.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; September 28, 2009 at 04:07 PM.
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Old September 28, 2009, 04:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
The letter sounds angry and that could be threatening. Your letter if not relegated to the trash can would fit nicely in their anti gun rights evidence folder.
I disagree. The OP's letter is polite and to the point. He has a Constitutional Right to write such a letter. There is nothing threatening in the letter. The anti's will always have stuff to complain about, but it shouldn't stop the OP from politely expressing his opinion to the media and members of Congress. I might not agree with the automobile analogy, but I understand the point he's trying to make. I say well done, and keep up the good work!
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Old September 28, 2009, 08:32 PM   #13
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Peetzakiller makes some valid points and I will ponder them while I work a re-write. I hope that more of you will add your honesty and positive input before I make a final draft.

Thanks to all that participate.
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Old September 28, 2009, 09:07 PM   #14
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If I might suggest...

That while the various agencies of the Fed govt you have worked for trained you to kill, they also trained you how to handle firearms safely.

I have to agree in general with Peetzakilla, the fact that you have been "trained to kill" comes across as an emotional statement, one that can be easily misconstrued. And one that has nothing to do with our natural rights to firearms ownership.

I think emphasising the fact that you have been trained in the safe handling of firearms (because you were trained to do that, along with the other things you were trained to do), is a much more positive image, and one more likely to have a good effect on those who have not already closed their minds on this issue.

And as Glenn pointed out, comparing our right to arms for self defense with automobiles is not a valid comparison. Beyond the fact that guns are used with the intent to inujure (so as to stop attack), where cars and doctors are not, there is also the legal fact that driving a car on public highways is not a "right". Accidental drownings in home swimming pools claim more lives yearly than accidental shootings. They just don't get as big headlines in the news.

You passion is obvious, but your use of cliches weakens the impact of your arguments. We understand, and many of us feel exactly the same way. The dedicated antis are beyond reasoning with, their minds are already made up on this issue, and they firmly believe that they are right. The ones we need to enlighten are those who have not yet closed their minds, and are willing to listen to rational arguments. They get more than enough emotion from the other side.
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Old September 28, 2009, 09:23 PM   #15
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An open letter is more for the edification of one's fellow than to communicate with a specific person or group. Any attempt to communicate with the antis mentioned by 45G is clearly futile. What 45G was saying to me is that he believes that it is ironic that the govt would train him to serve it and then not grant him the right to serve himself and/or his community. There is nothing incongruous about that at all. Their power does not come from the constitution but from their ability to coerce people to enforce their will by force of arms. The imminent Graboids have no intention of granting rights to anyone who is not serving them directly.
The 2nd amendment was to prohibit the federal govt from infringing on the people's natural right to self defense. The 2nd amendment does not grant any rights. The Constitution is not perfect but it is better than what we have now.
As for constructive criticism, may I suggest that 45G refrain from referring to himself as a trained killer and mock the Gun Graboids instead.
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Old September 29, 2009, 08:29 PM   #16
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My suggestion is to stop thinking of them as "gun rights" or "rights about guns". In my opinion, polarizing the second amendment to be 'about guns' loses much of the dynamic behind the reason for the amendment being so important to begin with. It also shifts focus away from the fact that an attack on any amendment effects them all, which too many people including elected officials seem to not understand.

The 2A is about "guns" to the vast majority of folks who oppose the fact that people have firearms; as such, it seems ok to limit that thing that is only about "guns" to them and it can be made to sound reasonable, instead of what it really is: an unreasonable effort to curtail a right by unconstitutional means; in my definition, any effort to weaken the integrity of any right is at once both unconstitutional- as it also weakens others along with it, thereby using the document to weaken itself, in this instance "infringing" what is clearly to not be infringed- and also breaks rights up into smaller chunks that are more easily assailed in the future.

In my opinion of course
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Old October 2, 2009, 03:02 PM   #17
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Numerous violations of L and CR standards. Language filter and use of immature political terms.

This forum is for intelligent discussion of the issues, not rants or low level attaboys!


Read the rules, folks.
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Old October 4, 2009, 12:32 PM   #18
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I thought the letter was fine, tho I agree the auto accident comparison was out of place ... however ... do (the collective) you believe there is value in writing to such gun haters as Feinstein, Boxer et al and trying to convince them they're wrong? I have believed for some time that politicians take stands based on who they want to vote for them ... CA being the loony bin it is, Feinstein and Boxer are acting in their own best interest, IE, getting re-elected so they don't have to actually get a job ... and if you really think about it, they're probably doing exactly what their constituents (at least the majority of them) want them to do. Isn't that what representative govt is all about? I don't like gun-banners and would never vote for one, hard to fault pols who vote in line with what the folks at home want.
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