You'll shoot your eye out.

TonyD

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It's long but here it is...


Mr. VerSteeg,

I was particularly appalled at your version of “responsible” journalism titled, “Change the way Ralphie eyes NRA”, Thursday, December 28, 2006.

I’ve taken the time to rebuke your fiction with fact with information gathered and reported in Gun Facts 4.1, copyright Guy Smith, 2006. That information, as well as my own thoughts, is highlighted in red. Though I severely doubt you’ll let facts get into the way of your views.


”…There, in what police say probably was a gang-related encounter, Jesse Cesar got into a shoving match with Berno Charlemond. It escalated. There was shooting. Charlemond was killed. Then there was more shooting as police chased Cesar, who finally was cornered, arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder of a police officer.

The dead man, Charlemond, had been arrested a month ago for carrying a gun onto the mall property. Cesar, the alleged shooter, had been charged in August with attempted second-degree murder, but the charge was dropped. He also was arrested in 1999 on a burglary charge.

How do you keep people who don't have Ralphie's noble purpose from getting their hands on guns? At this point, with so many guns in circulation, you probably can't. Guns are everywhere. And even people who don't intend to do harm often end up doing so.”

Fact: Most violent crime is caused by a small minority of repeat offenders. One California study found that 3.8% of a group of males born in 1956
were responsible for 55.5% of all serious felonies.81 75-80% of murder arrestees have prior arrests for a violent (including non-fatal) felony or burglary. On average they have about four felony arrests and one felony conviction.
Fact: Half of all murders are committed by people on “conditional release” (i.e., parole or probation).82 81% of all homicide defendants had an arrest record; 67% had a felony arrest record; 70% had a conviction record; and 54% had a felony conviction.83
Fact: Per capita firearm ownership rates have risen at a steady pace since 1959 while crime rates have gone up and down depending on economics, drug trafficking innovations, and “get tough” legislation.84
Thoughts: Criminals are not motivated by guns. They are motivated by opportunity. Attempts to reduce public access to firearms provide criminals more points of opportunity. It is little wonder that high-crime cities also tend to be those with the most restrictive gun control laws – which criminals tend to ignore.

81 Robert Tillman, “Prevalence and Incidence of Arrest among Adult Males in California”, 1987
82 Robyn Cohen, “Probation and Parole Violators in State Prison, 1991: Survey of State Prison Inmates”, Bureau of
Justice Statistics
83 Brian Reaves, "Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 1998", Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2001
84 Ibid., based on a compilation of 85 separate surveys from 1959 through 1996


”…Last week, The Post ran a front-page story about two such cases. There was 19-year-old Amy Dargis of East Stuart who "found" a stolen pistol outside the apartment she shared with a felon and accidentally shot her 17-year-old sister in the neck, killing her.

Then there was 17-year-old Dustin Williams of Port St. Lucie, who allegedly stole a pistol from a Martin County sheriff's deputy and accidentally shot his 16-year-old best friend through the forehead, killing him.”

So far you are recounting criminal acts perpetrated by, who else but criminals!

”…You'd think that by this time everybody would know that "unloaded" guns often aren't. But apparently not. You'd think that gun owners would know to take extra steps to keep their firearms from being stolen. But apparently not.”

So, it is the law-abiding citizen that is now responsible for the premeditated acts of criminals?

”…There's almost no end to gun violence. People still kill each other in hunting accidents. Young children still find their daddy's guns and kill themselves or siblings. People still lose their temper and, in an act regretted as soon as it's done, settle the argument with a gun too readily at hand. And guns still make suicide a too easy choice for those in despair.

CHILDREN AND GUNS
Myth: 13 children are killed each day by guns
Fact: Adults included – This “statistic” includes “children” up to age 19 or 24, depending on the source. Since most violent crime is committed by males ages 16-24, these numbers include adult gang members dying during criminal activity103 (incidentally, ‘child’ is defined by Webster as a person between birth and puberty, typically 13-14 years).
Fact: Criminals are included - 70% of these deaths are adults, age 17-20, involved in gang warfare. Half of the juveniles killed are involved in gang activity at the time of their deaths, often involved in drug related firefights.
Fact: Suicides and criminals included - These numbers include criminal activities and suicides.104 As suicides make up more than ½ of all gun deaths, the number drops even further, to about 1.3 children a day. 105
Fact: The federal government lists the total firearm related deaths for children were 612, or 1.7 per day, in 1998. 154 were suicides106
Fact: Over 13 teenagers die every day in automobiles, seven behind the wheel.107
Fact: Four children die each day in the U.S. from parental neglect and abuse.108
Fact: For contrast: 1,917 children die each day from malaria109 and 15 men, women, and children per day are murdered by a convicted felon in government supervised parole/probation programs in the U.S.110

103 FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1997
104 National Center for Health Statistics, “Rates of Homicide, Suicide, and Firearm-Related Death Among Children -
- 26 Industrialized Countries”, 1997
105 Center for Disease Control, National Vital Statistics Report - Deaths: Final Data for 1998, July 24, 2000
106 CDC WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1981-1998
107 U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 2001
108 National Center on Child Abuse Prevention, 1998 Annual Survey
109 Fact Sheet No 178, U.N. World Health Organization, 1998
110 1998 US Bureau of Justice Statistics

Myth: Guns are often used to commit violent crimes
Fact: 90% of all violent crimes in the U.S. do not involve firearms of any type.236
Fact: Even in crimes where the offender possessed a gun during the commission of the crime, 83% did not use or even threaten to use the gun.237
Fact: Less than 1% of firearms will ever be used in the commission of a crime.238
Fact: Two-thirds of the people who die each year from gunfire are criminals being shot by other criminals.239

236 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1998
237 National Crime Victimization Survey, 1994, Bureau of Justice Statistics
238 FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1994
239 Ibid
 

TonyD

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(The rest)

”…The Ralphies of the world, when they grow up, probably are wise enough to warn their own kid that he could shoot his eye out. They'd favor reasonable restrictions on gun sales and effective record-keeping to keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible hands.

But that reasonable approach has been trampled by the point of view that is, appropriately, identified with the leadership of the National Rifle Association.”

No, the Ralphies of this world would advocate education and training such as, The Eddie Eagle program, Women on Target, Refuse To Be A Victim and other youth shooting programs taught THROUGH the NRA. They would also advocate holding a person responsible for their own actions and not pawning it off as someone else’s fault.

LICENSING AND REGISTRATION
Myth: Other countries register guns to fight crime
Fact: Most of these laws were in fact enacted in the post World War I period to prevent civil uprisings as had occurred in Russia. A report of “Committee on the Control of Firearms”, written by the British Home Office officials in 1918 was the basis for registration in the U.K., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.45
Fact: Though restrictions were few in the US States and the number of legally held handguns exceeded those on the Canadian side by a factor of 10, rates of homicide were virtually identical.46

Myth: Gun registration works
Fact: Not in New Zealand. They repealed their gun registration law in the 1980s after police acknowledged its worthlessness.
Fact: Not in Australia. “It seems just to be an elaborate system of arithmetic with no tangible aim. Probably, and with the best of intentions, it may have been thought, that if it were known what firearms each individual in Victoria owned, some form of control may be exercised, and those who were guilty of criminal misuse could be readily identified. This is a fallacy, and has been proven not to be the case.”47 And this costs the Australian taxpayers over $200 million annually.48
Fact: Not in Canada.
• More than 20,000 Canadian gun-owners have publicly refused to register their firearms. Many others are silently ignoring the law.
• The provincial governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have dumped both the administration and the enforcement of all federal gun-control laws right back into Ottawa's lap, throwing the Canadian government into a paper civil war.
• And all at a cost more than 1,646% times the original projected cost49 (the original cost was estimated at 5% of all police expenditures in Canada50). "The gun registry as it sits right now is causing law abiding citizens to register their guns but it does nothing to take one illegal gun off the street or to increase any type of penalty for anybody that violates any part of the legislation," according to Al Koenig, President, Calgary Police Association.51 "We have an ongoing gun crisis, including firearms-related homicides lately in Toronto, and a law registering firearms has neither deterred these crimes nor helped us solve any of them",
according to Toronto police Chief Julian Fantino .52
• The system is so bad that five Canadian provinces (B.C. joins Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario) are refusing to prosecute firearm owners that fail to register.53
Fact: Not in Germany. The Federal Republic of Germany began comprehensive gun registration in 1972. The government estimated between 17,000,000 and 20,000,000 guns were to be registered, and in fact only 3,200,000 surfaced, leaving some 80% unaccounted for.54
Fact: Not in Boston, Cleveland or California. These cities and states require registration of “assault weapons” . The compliance rate in Boston and Cleveland is about 1%.55 In California, it is about 10%.
Fact: Criminals don’t register their guns.

Myth: Gun registration will help police find suspects
Fact: There is registration in Hawaii, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Yet there has not been even a single case where the laws have been instrumental in identifying someone who has committed a crime.56 Criminals very rarely leave their guns at the scene of the crime. Would-be criminals also virtually never get licenses or register their weapons.

45 Steven W. Kendrick, “Response to Philip Alpers' submission to the California State Assembly Select Committee
on Gun Violence”, January 2000
46 Professor Brandon Centrewall , American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 134, Page 1245-65
47 Chief Inspector Newgreen. Registrar of Firearms for the State of Victoria, Registration Firearms System CRB File
39-1-1385/84
48 Gary Mauser , “The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England and
Wales”, The Fraser Institute, 2003
49 David Ljunggren, “Ottawa Under Pressure Over Gun Registry Fiasco”, Rueters, December 4, 2002
50 Prof. John Lott, “When ‘Gun Control’ costs lives”, Firing Line, September 2001
51 Calgary Herald, September 1, 2000
52 “Opponents increase pressure to halt Canada's gun control program”, Associated Press, Jan 3, 2002
53 “Victoria won't enforce firearms act”, Vancouver Sun, June 06, 2003
54 Ted Drane, “Why Gun Registration will Fail”
55 David B. Kopel, “The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other
Democracies” 231, n.210 (1992).
56 Prof. John Lott, “Gun Licensing Leads to Increased Crime, Lost Lives”, L.A. Times, Aug 23, 2000

So, in recent years, gun-rights groups have worked to prevent police from having access to sales records of pawned guns. They've tried to tell business owners they can't keep employees from bringing guns to work. They've worked to limit as much as possible background checks on gun buyers.”

So, in recent years, gun-rights groups have worked to keep the rights where they belong, with the people. They have worked to ensure our God-Given rights are not trampled on be deceiving law-makers and those they have brain-washed so the good citizen’s of this Country can protect themselves and the Constitution.

The extreme view on the other side - that guns should be banned - won't work. It only drives the Ralphies of the world into the NRA's arms. Because of ingrained attitudes, the NRA for a long time to come will find it easy to portray any restriction on gun sales or improvement in record-keeping as a government attempt to confiscate Ralphie's gun. But, over time, responsible proposals to improve law enforcement and gun safety can woo Ralphie away from the NRA. It can happen because America keeps shooting its eye out, and so much worse.

As statistics indicate, legal gun ownership by law-abiding citizens, continue to grow on a daily basis. This is due in part because irresponsible journalists continue to shoot their eye out with false-hoods, make-believe, scare-tactics and often out-right lies.

As the Supreme Court has ruled that law-enforcement is NOT responsible for the safety of any individual, I wonder, what would be your fate when the wolf growls outside your door?


Regards,
 
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Man, that's really good. I hope that he takes the time to read it all...

It's very well put. Let us know if you get a response from him.

And D, did you send anything back? If not, you know that he's just sitting there with his chest puffed out thinking that he won the argument...not that you could EVER get board with his lame excuses as rebuttals.
 

calsdad

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That is an excellent response. I wonder if there is a way it can be sent to the same newspaper that pubished Mr Van Der Ignorant's original column so they can publish the reply.
 
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Derek, you da man!

Tony? I absolutely adore you dearheart. If his head doesn't hurt after that, then nothing will nudge that idiot.

Mother's very proud of both of you. [smile]
 

drgrant

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Has anyone done a study about where people who break the law using guns actually got their weapon(s)?

I think the ATF has done stuff like that, because they process a lot of the
gun traces.

I'd say a fair amount of "crime guns" are someone elses stolen
property. (EG, theft, looting, robbing pawn/gun stores, etc).

There's also the "straw purchase" thing, but that's often an unfixable
problem. They can put all the measures they want into place, but
it won't stop someone from strawing guns periodically. The ATF
does catch a lot of idiots, but there are a lot of others who are a lot
more casual about their illicit activities that pretty much fly under the
radar. (If you think about the way the laws work, it is very easy for
a criminal to circumvent them, using a few different methods.)

The demographic of guns that are usually used in crime is usually stuff thats
worth less than $200. Whenever the ATF publishes a list of the top 10
crime guns, with a few exceptions, most of that list is all junkers or
other low end pistols. This seems to indicate that the street market
generally cannot support selling anything worth much over a couple hundred
bucks. I'm sure there are drug dealers with glocks and the like but that's
probably the exception rather than the rule.

The funny thing is the antis don't have a clue about this
issue. If the feds/states increase the "tension" provided by local
laws enough, it will just encourage more theft or illegal imports. The only
reason illegal imports haven't occured in great numbers yet is because
the profit/weight ratio of guns is far far lower than drugs, because the
demand is way smaller. Increase the demand enough and guns will
start coming in too.... guns which end up "dead ends" during
ATF traces because they were made in some foreign country and
never sold through a legal channel in the US.

An interesting footnote here... anyone ever notice that whenever the
government bans/restricts something a lot of people want, that violence and
crime usually starts occuring? [rolleyes]

-Mike
 
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TonyD

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Fact: Though
the number of
firearms owned
by private
citizens has been
increasing
steadily since
1970, the overall
rate of
homicides and
suicides has not
risen.76 As the
chart shows,
there is no
correlation
between the
availability of
firearms, the
homicide rate, or
the suicide rate in America.
Fact: “ . . . a detailed study of the major surveys completed in the past 20 years or more provides
no evidence of any relationship between the total number of legally held firearms in society and
the rate of armed crime. Nor is there a relationship between the severity of controls imposed in
various countries or the mass of bureaucracy involved with many control systems with the
apparent ease of access to firearms by criminals and terrorists.”77
Fact: Five out of six gun-possessing felons obtained handguns from the secondary market and
by theft, and "[the] criminal handgun market is overwhelmingly dominated by informal
transactions and theft as mechanisms of supply.”78
Fact: The majority of handguns in possession of criminals are stolen, although not necessarily
by the criminal in question.79
76 Prof. Gary Kleck, “Targeting Guns: Firearms and their control”, with supporting data from the FBI Uniform
Crime Statistics, 1972 to 1995
77 Colin Greenwood, “Minutes of Evidence”, Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs, January 29, 2003
78 James D. Wright, U.S. Dept of Justice, The Armed Criminal in America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons 2
(1986)
79 Gary Kleck, Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control 97 (1997)
 
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Here's a thought

What if in our school systems we taught our children about proper gun safety? We teach them about safe sex and basic social skills, so why not? So what if someone doesn't own a firearm? They taught us how to use a computer, and not everyone owns one. My point is that a lot of people learn their commonsense from places other than their parents (if they have any intelligence to begin with), and school is one of those places. Believe it or not, teachers have a major influence on their students and how they perceive the world. So wouldn't it make sense to start at a place that our children would get the most exposure to the facts? This is just a thought.[thinking]
 
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What if in our school systems we taught our children about proper gun safety? We teach them about safe sex and basic social skills, so why not? So what if someone doesn't own a firearm? They taught us how to use a computer, and not everyone owns one. My point is that a lot of people learn their commonsense from places other than their parents (if they have any intelligence to begin with), and school is one of those places. Believe it or not, teachers have a major influence on their students and how they perceive the world. So wouldn't it make sense to start at a place that our children would get the most exposure to the facts? This is just a thought.[thinking]


poison luv - if you can get a school in MA to agree to that, I'll be the first one to start a fund raising campaign to put you in the corner office. [smile]
 

TonyD

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What if in our school systems we taught our children about proper gun safety? We teach them about safe sex and basic social skills, so why not? So what if someone doesn't own a firearm? They taught us how to use a computer, and not everyone owns one. My point is that a lot of people learn their commonsense from places other than their parents (if they have any intelligence to begin with), and school is one of those places. Believe it or not, teachers have a major influence on their students and how they perceive the world. So wouldn't it make sense to start at a place that our children would get the most exposure to the facts? This is just a thought.[thinking]


So what if our schools actually taught common sense. The world would be a much nicer place. That question belongs to the federal dept. of education. [thinking]
 
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Some Schols in MA do teach some gun safety, Westport MA 2cd graders get the Eddie the Eagle program. I think it is actualy done by the local police.
 

calsdad

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It would be much better if some real gun safety - and gun handling - was taught at a later age, when it would really sink in. In years past I did a little bit of auto racing, and one of the things you learn is that driver ed training is pathetic if you are really interested in learning how to control a vehicle. I know there have been courses here and there where they take a bunch of students and set up a slalom course and have them each drive thru it to see how well they do. Then they give them just a few drinks - and have them drive thru it again. Having the students see how badly they do under the influence of just a few drinks really drives home the "drunk driving is bad" message.

If we really wanted to teach gun safety we would teach them at a later age when it would sink in - and we would actually teach them how to shoot, instead some guy comes in and walks around the front of the classroom and talks for an hour or so - and a few months later it is all forgotten. Either that or he shoots himself in the foot because "he is the only one in this room qualified to use this weapon" (ATF video [rofl] )

Somehow I don't think any of this is really teaching gun safety.
 
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Some Schols in MA do teach some gun safety, Westport MA 2cd graders get the Eddie the Eagle program. I think it is actualy done by the local police.

[thinking] When I was there they had no such thing. Guess they've come along way in the past 17 years! My nephew currently attends that school system, I'll have to ask about it.[grin]
 
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It would be much better if some real gun safety - and gun handling - was taught at a later age, when it would really sink in. In years past I did a little bit of auto racing, and one of the things you learn is that driver ed training is pathetic if you are really interested in learning how to control a vehicle. I know there have been courses here and there where they take a bunch of students and set up a slalom course and have them each drive thru it to see how well they do. Then they give them just a few drinks - and have them drive thru it again. Having the students see how badly they do under the influence of just a few drinks really drives home the "drunk driving is bad" message.

If we really wanted to teach gun safety we would teach them at a later age when it would sink in - and we would actually teach them how to shoot, instead some guy comes in and walks around the front of the classroom and talks for an hour or so - and a few months later it is all forgotten. Either that or he shoots himself in the foot because "he is the only one in this room qualified to use this weapon" (ATF video [rofl] )

Somehow I don't think any of this is really teaching gun safety.


That's what I'm talking about. They don't teach you sex ed until middle school, so why not have a specialized program intergrated at around the same age? My biggest thing is people fear what they don't know, so inform them.[smile]
 

KMaurer

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Hey, it's easy to teach common sense. It's not something that you're just born with. Whenever your kids do something stupid, you simply make sure to let them know that it's stupid and that there are consequences to doing stupid things. They'll figure it out easily. The problem is that too many parents are ever so concerned with injuring their kids' precious "self-esteem", that they never call stupid for what it is and let their kids see or deal with the consequences of their actions.

Ken
 
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Hey, it's easy to teach common sense. It's not something that you're just born with.

Ken
I dunno about that, Ken. I've known people, smart people, people who you would think should have common sense, not have enough sense to come in out of the rain. People in my own family, a sibling (who I will not identify in case this site is ever discovered by him/her), raised by the same people, taught the same things - sometimes I just shake my head at decisions it makes [rolleyes]
 
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