Letter to the Editor: Gun Control Views

A Forsyth County resident shares his gun control views and writes, "based on facts and not wishful thinking."

Gun Control Views Based on Facts, not Wishful Thinking

I am a Veteran, I pay taxes, I vote, I have the highest level of government security clearance, I have sworn to uphold the Constitution, and I work every day in a job that keeps America safe. I am a reasonable person. I am not insane. I am pro-gun and right to carry. I open discussion on the topic of gun control:

Gun control laws in America do not work and only stop law-abiding citizens from getting what criminals already have. The only thing that can effectively stop a criminal with a gun is a law- abiding person or law enforcement with a gun. These are facts that are based on hard statistics, common sense and reality. Guns are not going away in the world. This is another reality. Gun control creates an illusion that something is being done to actually curb violence in America. What gun control advocates are saying is that you personally, are not responsible enough to own a gun, even though you are law abiding and may very well have had guns for decades in your family. That is gun control.

The United States Department of Justice National Institute of Justice found should the gun ban be renewed, its effects on gun violence would likely be small, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement, because rifles in general, including rifles referred to as "assault rifles" or "assault weapons" are rarely used in gun crimes. That study by Christopher S. Koper, Daniel J. Woods, and Jeffrey A. Roth of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania found no statistically significant evidence that either the assault weapons ban or the ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets had reduced gun murders or violent crime.

Research by John Lott in the 2000-second edition of "More Guns, Less Crime" provided the first research on state and the Federal Assault Weapon Bans. The 2010 third edition provided the first empirical research on the 2004 sunset of the Federal Assault Weapon Ban. Generally, the research found no impact of these bans on violent crime rates, though the third edition provided some evidence that Assault Weapon Ban slightly increased, not decreased, murder rates. Koper, Woods, and Roth studies focus on gun murders, while Lott's looks at murder, robbery, and aggravated assaults.

According to the FBI, the Center[s] for Disease Control and Prevention and USA Today mass murders are not as uncommon or random as people think. There are dozens a year. Lone gunmen make up less than half of them. One-fourth involves two or more killers. Over one-third does not involve firearms. Knives, blunt objects, bombs, or fire were used. Assault rifles are rarely used. If firearms are used, handguns are the guns of choice. Mass murders are actually a little older on average than typical killers. They are 32-years-old average. Mass killings account for less than one percent of all murders. According to these sources more people die from migraine headaches and falls than from mass murders.

So gun bans are proven to do nothing to prevent crime. Factual evidence shows that where gun laws are the strictest, gun related crime and violence are the highest. So do more guns mean less crime? This is a fact that anti-gun people cannot come to grips with. But it has been proven by numerous government sources that when guns are more available to law abiding American citizens in a particular area, crime does not go up. That is factual, indisputable and cannot be debated as NRA spin. Although the anti-gunners will feel good for doing something to try and curb violence, their efforts will be in vain and the result will be loss of freedom, the raping of our Constitution, and the inability for those who refuse to be a victim of violent criminals the right to defend themselves. The old saying, "When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns" is true. Americans must understand this and stop the attack on our Constitutional rights.

The fact that some cannot justify a “need" for assault rifles, semi-automatic rifles or pistols does not hold water. Why do we "need" cars with 300+ horsepower, motorcycles, alcohol, fast food, tobacco products, large bladed knives, contact sports, four-wheelers, etc.?  Should all of these things be outlawed? They all are statistically more dangerous to our health and safety than firearms. Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer to make a bomb that killed numerous people, including children. Should we outlaw fertilizer? The list goes on... when you attack personal freedom there is no end to what others will tell you is too dangerous for you to own or laws that will be imposed to protect society. Where does it end when you attack personal freedom? The answer is there is no end once liberty is taken away. The government will decide for you what to do and what not to do because they know best. We are still the land of the free based on personal responsibility and the choice to live as you see fit. But don't get too used to that idea... A growing number of people in America see personal freedom and individual rights as flawed logic. The fact that you cannot understand why somebody wants to do something or own something completely within their rights and within the law does not mean they are wrong, evil or bad people. Unfortunately, some tend to vilify those who do not agree with their thinking, which often then morphs into oppressive laws that will have no positive results. America is being polarized by the left and their relentless attacks against our freedom.

Why do I want an assault rifle? Because criminals have them and it puts me on an even playing field for self-protection and because I enjoy shooting them safely and lawfully. An assault rifle in my home gives me security and peace of mind. If it bothers you, do not come into my home. Unless you aim to do me harm, it will never hurt you. It is better to have it and never need it than need it and not have it. If that makes me paranoid, so be it. Those who say an assault rifle is not good for home protection know nothing about the subject. I refuse to let my family become a victim or relinquish my firearms. Not in this crazy world. But to gun control advocates, I am the crazy one for thinking this way.

Many people are short sighted concerning gun control. Guns have always been in America. So what has changed? What has changed is how we think about violence as a society. Violent movies and video games numb and dehumanize impressionable young, impressionable minds. So if guns are outlawed, gun violence in movies and video games also needs to be outlawed. (What?? That will violate our First Amendment rights!!) If you can violate the Second Amendment, why not the First? The goal is to stop the violence, right? To do that, we need to fundamentally change how America thinks. We will obviously need to implement state control to do so. Of course, I am saying this just to make a point. I do not condone government censorship. I am for upholding the Constitution.

I find it hypocritical that some of the same people for gun control in my neighborhood let their kids shoot each other with air soft assault rifles while having mock gun battles in the street in front of my house, have paintball wars, let them play video games where they virtually kill people and commit vicious crimes (i.e. Grand Theft Auto), go to see movies that glamorizes gun violence and listen to music that glamorizes crime, gun violence and prison life.

If you buy illegal drugs, you directly support gun violence. More gun violence is caused by the drug trade and drug addiction than anything else. So, if you buy illegal drugs you are a facilitator and willing participant in the gun violence problem that drives me to have a firearm in my house and carry a legally concealed weapon. Therefore, if you buy illegal drugs, please do not tell me how much you are for gun control. You are an active participant in gun violence not only in this country, but worldwide.

If you make a living making movies in Hollywood that glamorizes gun violence, do not tell me you are for gun control. You exploit gun violence to make millions of dollars and in the process make gun violence and murder "cool." The same thing goes for "artists" who sing and glamorize gun violence and crime.

If you are a software designer, company or store such as Dick’s Sporting Goods or Walmart that markets and sells violent video games, movies or air soft weapons, you certainly cannot be for gun control. You are selling virtual violence, which may lead to actual violence. You cannot be taken seriously if you make money off gun violence. You glamorize guns, especially assault rifles. Therefore, how can you be against them while at the same time you are promoting them?

What do I propose? We need to fundamentally change our cultural thinking of acceptance of violence in our children's lives. We need fathers to get involved with their sons and provide them with a positive role model. According to the Washington Post, young men without father figures in their lives are 20 times more likely to be involved in violent crime involving firearms. We need to instill values in our children. The military makes a serious effort to teach values to incoming recruits because most have none. We need to look in the mirror and reevaluate how we are raising children today. We need to identify and treat those who are mentally ill and dangerous. Warning signs, which there almost always are prior to a tragedy, cannot be ignored. We need to look at mental illness and why some violent mentally ill young men who are at high risk for committing homicide are on the street and not institutionalized or getting help. Why are suicide rates so high for young men? Often, gun violence is a form of suicide where the perpetrator wants to be killed or commit suicide when his carnage has been completed. These are all things we need to consider.

We need to start enforcing those gun laws already in place and stop releasing violent criminals back onto the streets. For example, recently in NY, an individual who was in prison for killing his grandmother with a hammer was released from prison. He proceeded to commit mass murder with a firearm, which included killing firemen, who showed up on the scene. He subsequently committed suicide with the firearm. Was this the fault of the gun? As a convicted felon, the perpetrator could not legally have a gun. Gun laws certainly did not stop him from getting one. And why was this individual let lose after the horrendous crime he had earlier committed? The flaw in the system is glaring, but yet there are those who blame the firearm for this tragedy, which defies logic and common sense.

In risk mitigation you first identify the threat and what it looks like. We have a severe violence problem in America. The main culprits for violent crime are young men in their late teens and early to mid 20's. Most gun violence is drug or gang related.

In New York City, the mayor has declared a so called war on firearms, but what he has really done is declared a war on crime and gangs which as a result has taken illegal guns off the street. New York has done so by using controversial “stop and frisk” tactics and racial profiling. If you are black or Latino and in a “bad” neighborhood in NYC, be prepared to be stopped and frisked because you look suspicious. It is an extreme example of identifying the threat, but the legality of it is questionable.

Once the problem is identified, you implement control measures that will actually work to solve the problem. You do not implement knee jerk reactions or control measures that will do nothing and serve no purpose. At schools, gun control will not stop a madman from attacking children if he has made up his mind to do so. The perpetrator will get a gun one way or another or build a bomb to commit a spectacular attack. So how do we mitigate this truth? It should be considered to place a police officer in every school. I propose better barriers to mitigate a perpetrator breaching the schools security. Strict access control should be implemented. Barriers should be put up to keep vehicles away from the buildings to mitigate vehicle borne improvised explosive devices. Metal detectors should be at every door. Basically the same security that the Pentagon employs should be used at schools on a much smaller, scaled down level. We also need to look at all threats and not just gun related hazards. For those who say they do not want schools to look like "prisons" and who are against such security measures, I ask you, are you serious about school security or are you just concerned with pushing your gun control agenda? Why do the president's children deserve armed guards at school, but my children and yours do not?

There is the question of who will pay for these extra police officers in schools. It is ironic that liberals are concerned about this. It is the first time the left has thought spending taxpayer’s money to provide jobs is a bad thing. It can be thought of as “shovel ready project” stimulus money. These are union (FOP) jobs, and I am sure that if President Obama had stated it instead of the NRA, Democrats would think it was a great idea. However, it is each state’s decision to put police officers in schools and voters will have to decide how to pay for it if it is seen as an option worth pursuing.

There are two types of thinking (not liberal or conservative). There is Subjective Thinking and Objective Thinking. Those who subjectively think about guns are probably those who own guns and who are comfortable around them and have been around guns their entire life. They see gun control quite differently than those who think objectively about the topic. These people are not comfortable around guns, have never owned guns, do not like guns, and do not think anybody else should like or own guns because they know best and anybody who does not agree is an idiot. For instance, they do not understand that having a 30 round magazine vs. a 10 round magazine makes little difference. You just have to reload more often between magazines. It will have no effect on crime. So why enact such a law? Only law-abiding citizens are affected by gun control. Gun control just does not make sense to subjective thinkers. Objective thinkers hate guns and even gun owners with deep conviction. Unfortunately, neither side will ever be persuaded to think otherwise. We have to agree to disagree and vote to either keep or relinquish our freedom and right to bear arms in accordance with the Constitution.

It is estimated that gun merchants will sell a normal 10 years worth of firearms in the next few months as there is a surge to purchase assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols before any ban goes into effect. Just the possibility of gun control is resulting in more gun sales. This happened the last time such a ban went in place also.

Where is the outrage from the gun control crowd over the fact the United States government gave fully automatic assault rifles to drug cartels in Mexico in order to "prove" American guns were being used to commit crime in that country? This fiasco resulted in a U.S. Border Patrol agent being killed with one of the weapons. The gun control crowd has been conspicuously silent about the "Fast and Furious" operation. Why was there no protesting or the demanding of accountability? What some will do to further their cause is simply unbelievable. They will truly sleep with the devil. America should be angry and embarrassed by the tactics used. Somebody should be in jail over it. The hypocrisy of the gun control movement knows no limits.

Concerning gun accidents in the home: They are tragic. However, only people can be responsible for anything. Do not blame a piece of metal for being at fault. A gun can make no decision. They only do what people make them do. There are sometimes consequences for irresponsibility that the government cannot bail you out of and that unfortunately results in tragedy. If a child is killed or injured accidentally by a firearm, blame the gun owner for allowing it to happen, not the gun. Most gun owners are extremely responsible and should not be persecuted for others irresponsibility. If a child drowns in somebody's pool, nobody blames the pool. It should be the same thing with a firearm accident. It is no different.

An argument about a political bumper sticker nearly turned fatal on December 28, 2013. "Good Morning America" reports when police arrived on the scene, the victim was on his knees with a gun to his head. The victim said the argument started because he didn't like the other man's anti-Obama bumper sticker. The suspect, Chris Williams, was arrested for aggravated assault. I am sure Mr. Williams supports President Obama's gun control plan....

An example of gun control and last thought on the subject: When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, what was the first thing they did? They peacefully disarmed the population in the name of peace and harmony. After they disarmed the population, the atrocities started. Citizens were helpless. Food for thought.

The good news is gun violence and crime are down nationwide with a few exceptions like Chicago where high unemployment, gangs and drugs fuel 500 murders a year. Mass murders such as school or movie theatre shootings are very rare. We do need to tighten up security and attack crime better, but we should not believe the liberal media and it’s anti-gun hype that we are all in imminent danger of such an attack.

I welcome debate on this with the stipulation that it be based on facts and not beliefs and that it stay respectful. Threatening me with violence over the gun control will be too ironic. Besides, threats do not bother me. I am an armed citizen.

David Buitendorp

Editor's Note: The opinion(s) expressed here are those of the writer and not of Cumming Patch. If you have something to share, send liz.kennedy@patch.com a "Letter to the Editor."

robin peer January 04, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Well written...thank you for writing this. Our family is a gun owning one and our Son is a competetive shooter. My husband works very hard to keep my Son involved in the sport and also coaches the youth. It is our hope that our Son will be able to go to college on a shooting scholarship. My husband has taught him from a very young age to respect himself, others, weapons and to be responsible. My husband and I both have carrying permits, and have for years. I have two children, both straight A students who have achieved many awards for their academics and behavior in school. My worry is that the gun control initiative may hamper my Son from his ultimate goal...a college education, and a lifelong sport of shooting competetively, both which are respectable. We own many guns including an assault rifle, which my Son and husband have both enjoyed shooting in a safe and responsible manner, we have guns in our home to protect ourselves and have taught our children both how to use them if needed. We completely agree with your words and pray that our rights are not stripped away due to a lack of education and fear. I especially loved your comments to the offenders who make money off of gun violence yet may position themselves for gun control to keep making money, never giving it a second thought that they may be a part of the actual problem!! Thank you again.
Jack Gleason January 04, 2013 at 05:38 PM
What "Justice" was had for the "Ethnic Cleansing" of "Hutus" by "Tutsies" when. after that 1994 genocide, less than 55 Men were held culpable for the murders of over half-a-million people in Rwanda -- a Nation led at that time by armed militants that otherwise dis-allowed it's People to posses firearms -- with those murders being expedited solely at the business-end of Machetes, Axes, and Shovals...when the outcome of "Justice" would NOT have been any different had those murders occurred from the business-end of those marauders having "Guns" instead : ? I will tell you this: When "The People" are enabled to be "Armed" with even simple shotguns and pistoles ~ much-less with the likes of any Semi-Automatic "Assault Rifle" and/or "High-Capacity Semi-Automatic" Side-Arm ~ then I do believe One can better-stay any such a "Mob" from over-running Their Homestead in such mayhem than being "Un-Armed" otherwise...and that "Semi-Auto" enabled effectively makes that success even more-likely so. In consideration of that, which "Survivor" would You more-likely rather be...to then find "justice" post-facto : ?
Jack Gleason January 04, 2013 at 05:50 PM
You think that can't happen here...but it DID in L.A. after some people disagreed with the outcome of those Police Officers involved in the beating of Rodney King...it was a hard three days for everyone there ~ well including for those residents and business breaking California Law by standing-up in protection of their lives and property WITH "Firearms" ~ before Law Enforcement could come into the Community and quell the looting and violence...and whom else recalls whose lives and property were least molested for that mayhem and rioting now : ? Apparently not everyone... : /
r patton January 05, 2013 at 03:12 PM
I guess you are not in favor of the US Constitution's Second Amendment.
Rusty Shackleford January 07, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Our gov't had better tread lightly, for they may just wake the sleeping giant known as civil unrest right here in America. The gun control issue could prove to be the last straw for hundreds of thousands of law abiding citizens tired of watching their liberties being stripped away. We may see our own American spring. Remember what George Washington said was good for a government every 100 years? If not go and read some of George's most memorable quotes.


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