Today in my inbox I found an email from President Obama. Well, obviously not really from him, but from his mail server. It was in response to the petition that I signed. The body of the email I received is at the link as well.
I wanted to send a more personal response than just clicking on a link saying “me too!” That’s not enough. I also want to send this to my representatives at all levels of power, from the national executive and legislative all the way down to the local councils. There are many letters to choose from. But something written by me I think is better than adding another to the tally of form letters. If you want to use it as a basis for one yourself, feel free. If you want to start a debate, I’ll gladly and courteously debate you and shake hands afterward.
For your consideration:
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Reducing gun violence is a complex issue. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that is the proverbial silver bullet.
The problem is that you can not regulate it away. Laws only apply to those who adhere to them. For instance the firefighter shooting that happened last week, as tragic as it was coming on the heels of Newtown, was done with a gun that as current laws state should not have been possessed by the shooter. The answer should not be more laws, but rather to review how we are reacting to, responding to, and treating the unstable individuals carrying out these heinous crimes.
An “assault weapon” ban would not prevent people from killing. The murderer of the firefighters had previously killed his grandmother not with a gun, but rather a hammer; he was a felon that was already prohibited from owning a firearm. The law didn’t work — the existing laws didn’t work. Already, the FBI statistics show that in the most recently reported year (2011) that the number of homicides committed in the United States only 2.82% were committed by rifles of any kind, including anything considered “assault rifles;” no breakdown is reported so this is a super-set of anything rifle-like. This is less than half (5.75%) of the number of homicides committed with “Hands, fists, feet, etc.”
Similarly, making a law to reduce the capacity of magazines will do nothing except prevent new people from lawfully possessing new production instances of the magazines. Existing ones, even if the law goes so far as forcing law-abiding citizens to turn normal-capacity magazines in, will not prevent law breakers from holding onto them. A law such as this only punishes people who had no hand in these crimes. All of this is inspite of the fact that magazine capacity is not correlated to violence in the first place!
In municipalities where there is an existing assault weapon ban already in force, such as Chicago or in the nation’s capital, crime statistics have shown that it doesn’t work. All it does is prevent the law-abiding from possessing the now banned weapons. People intent on crimes, by the fact itself, don’t abide by the laws.
I urge you to look at the whole problem, and not to just pass laws to merely look like you are doing something. The current proposals that simply limit our citizens’ rights and will not move the needle on violence should not be considered. Especially if those proposals and actions do nothing but curtail the rights of innocent and law-abiding citizens of this great nation and not have a real effect on the problems themselves.
Thank you for your consideration,
Seattle, Washington, 98103