I just submitted this to the Janesville Gazette, in response to their article by Leonard Pitts, Jr., titled "Freedom to live in fear in this nation under the gun"
Dear Mr. Angus,
Not a part of my letter, just a comment. You allowed Leonard Pitts over
600 words to make specious, snarky comments about a basic human right
and a vitally important subject, but in your letters policy, you limit
the public to 250 words. I urge you to make an exception for this
response. The subject matter is much too important to be subject to
arbitrary limits. The following is 710 words.
Before you tell me that page space is expensive, let me ask how much Mr. Pitts or the Miami Herald paid for you to print his opinion.
OK - here's my letter:
Mr. Leonard Pitts, Jr. evidently has never studied history or read and understood the Constitution.
In Sunday's paper, he tells us that the NRA is pushing to have everyone
armed all the time, in order to prevent more tragedies like Sandy Hook.
Sir, tragedy will always be with us. In all of human history, no
man-made law has ever prevented evil people from performing evil acts.
Advocating passing yet more un-Constitutional gun control laws on top of the 20,000-odd ineffective laws already on the books is a useless and dangerous waste of time.
The Sandy Hook attacker violated dozens of "gun laws", as well as
several long-standing laws against theft and murder. The laws would
allow the courts to administer punishment, but could never prevent the
incident. The only possible way to prevent acts like this is for the
potential victims to have easy and quick access to the tools that have
been designed to deal with violent attackers.
This in no way says that all persons must carry a gun all the time any
more than the risk of fire forces everyone to carry a fire extinguisher
everywhere out of fear. The fire
extinguisher is there for the use of those people trained to use it and
willing to step up in an emergency, to hold off the threat until the
professional firefighters arrive to douse the flames. If the
extinguisher suffices to end the threat, that's fine - but if it is not
available, all the victims can do is wait for help.
Guns are exactly the same thing as fire extinguishers - they are safety
equipment designed to slow or stop the threat of a human or animal
attacker, useable by anyone with a bit of training, regardless of
physical strength, age, or disability.
Before anyone engages in hyperbole and says I want guns mounted in glass
cases in every school hall, let me say two things. First, the Second
Amendment says nothing about hunting or sport shooting. Second, the
right to self-defense is not a right granted by any law or even by the
Constitution - it is inherent in every living creature from birth.
Having said that, carrying a defensive weapon is not for everyone - it
is only for those who are willing to take on the responsibility for the
power a gun confers on its' holder, and are willing to take the time to
learn to use it properly.
In particular, Mr. Pitts relates several incidents as reasons everyone
ought to be forced to either carry a gun or armed guards should be
hired. He skips the fact that in several of these incidents, an armed
private citizen stopped the attack without firing a shot, or that the
attack occurred in a venue where weapons were already banned, leaving
the occupants totally dependent on the good will of the attacker and the
response time of the police. Soon after this article was published, we
saw where a mother and her children hid in the attic from a home
invader, who went on a search for them. The mother had a revolver, and
defended her family - and the only person injured was the criminal.
Stories like that unfortunately don't make good fodder for banning guns.
When you get right down to the bottom of the matter, the Second
Amendment to our Constitution is there to prevent our government from
growing out of control and becoming a threat to our freedom. The fact
that American citizens have neglected to control their elected
Representatives and Senators from enacting un-Constitutional laws and
creating invasive bureaucracies does not alter this fact. America is a
nation of laws and our Constitution is the basic law of the land. We as
Americans need to tell our people in Washington to follow the law as
written, or propose amendments to change it, and stop trying to prevent
tragedy by disarming the innocent and defenseless. We also need to tell
them to study history, in particular the history of the world since
1860, and how governments have grown into tyrannies. We also need to
insist that all Americans and everyone visiting our country follow our
basic laws and most importantly, take responsibility for their own
safety and actions in all matters.
2511 W. Creedy Road
Beloit, WI 53511