The Peace and Justice Commission questions a lack of rational debate regarding crime committed with firearms. Yet it is impossible to have a debate with that faction of the public that is virulently anti-gun.
The shrill Michael Bloomberg, Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, etc. control the rhetoric from the anti-gun side. They are apparently ignorant of the meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment. Their illogical arguments and scaremongering tactics are not reasonably constructed to reach a common-ground position, making it impossible to have a reasonable discussion. It is clear that they want to deprive law-abiding citizens of their constitutional right to arm and protect themselves; meanwhile, these arrogant hypocrites are afforded armed protection courtesy of our tax dollars.
A number of years ago I went to IPFW to hear former Mayor Paul Helmke (president of the Brady Campaign) speak. He too talked about reasonable gun control laws, but only engaged in the same old tired rhetoric rife with half-truths and deception about firearms. He claimed to be in favor of reasonable gun laws yet, under Helmke, the Brady bunch filed friend-of-the-court briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Washington, D.C. and Chicago outright bans on firearm ownership, including those used for home protection. Fortunately, we have a Supreme Court that understands the history, the basis of and need for the Second Amendment.
My uncle was a law-abiding citizen and a long-standing National Rifle Association member who taught me to shoot on his rural Illinois farm. He did not keep any guns in his Chicago home because of the citys outright ban on firearm ownership. One night he was murdered and his wife brutalized in their home by some thug because he had no firearm to protect himself and his wife. The murderer was not caught.
Judging by his recent uninformed rant against the NRA, Kevin Krajewski (NRAs tragic, hollow victories, Aug. 6) has little knowledge of the NRA and the majority of its activities teaching gun safety and handling to hunters, youth and law enforcement. While the NRA is a powerful lobby, it also represents tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners. The NRA may be the only thing standing between 50 million U.S. gun owners and complete government disarmament of the citizenry.
Krajewski and the PJC mention assault weapons or reinstating the Clinton assault weapons ban. This is strange for several reasons. Assault weapons fall under the 1936 National Firearms Act rendering these firearms as class 3 weapons, making them all but impossible to acquire. They are used so rarely in crime that no statistics are kept. Also, FBI statistics proved that the 10-year long ban on military-style firearms had no measurable effect on crime. Military-style rifles are used in less than 2 percent of the firearms-related homicides in the U.S. Knives are much more commonly used as a murder weapon than military-style guns.
Krajewski states more than 100,000 of our fellow citizens are shot or killed with a gun annually but fails to state that a firearm is used to thwart a crime 1 million to 2 million times annually (FBI estimate). In 2009 there were 9,150 firearms homicides, less than half of 1 percent of the total deaths. Of those, very few were mass murders. This is not to diminish the seriousness of these crimes but to give a more balanced perspective on mass murder and the use of assault weapons in crime. Krajewski offers nothing that would reduce the use of firearms by criminals, a group already known to ignore gun laws.
Lastly, we can have a dialog on firearms, just come with the facts and leave the Brady bunch/Bloomberg/Schumer/Feinstein crowd out of the debate. They have nothing to offer.