Category Archives: The Second Amendment

articles relating to our Constituional right to bear arms

An Open Letter to Candidates for Political Office

Dear Candidate:

Defend the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution and we will have your back!

As with all citizens, we the firearms owners want safe communities. Many of us have become cynical, however, seeing our rights relentlessly attacked while criminals get a pass. We know the responsible and lawful use of firearms better than anyone. Besides our constitutional rights being undermined, we view the obsessive attacks on our legal gun ownership as political, dishonest and a deadly distraction. What we need is to address the litany of real issues that undermine our public safety while preserving the civil-liberties of lawful citizens.

Our rights as law-abiding Americans under our Constitution and the Bill of Rights are non-negotiable. You need to know all the facts surrounding criminal-violence with firearms. They simply do not support the assertions of the gun-control industry that push the narrative, “more armed citizens equal more deaths.”

There are numerous credible research studies that prove unequivocally that pervasive firearms ownership is not the problem. To the contrary, we the lawfully armed citizens are the solution. In fact, it has been shown more gun-control laws that burden us actually put society at greater risk while more legal gun ownership have been shown to reduce deaths.*

Despite empirical evidence including the government’s own data (CDC, FBI, DEA and the USDOJ), the burden continues to be unjustly placed upon us, the lawful citizens, while real solutions that target criminal behavior are routinely ignored.

The attacks on lawful gun owners like us take many forms that go beyond the legislature, this includes the intentional blurring of the truth by propagandists who implicitly equate criminal behavior with legal gun ownership. These are a result of well funded campaigns orchestrated by the powerful gun-control lobby** in partnership with anti-gun politicians and many in the mainstream media.

Further more, anti-gun regulations deliberately force firearms manufactures out of large markets reducing their production amortization capabilities. There is also the political arm-twisting of banks to deny banking services to those in the firearms business. In addition, there are the unrelenting attacks on ammunition production and availability from the Obama EPA.

While the optics of political campaigns may be often challenging, to cede even a rhetorical defense of the 2nd Amendment and lawful use of firearms will utter frustrate those of us in the firearms community. We will believe that the candidate or public official does not have our backs. This is rooted in the fact our rights have been unfairly and routinely attacked by those who are either ill informed or have an anti-gun and anti-freedom agenda.

What we want are champions of liberty and courageous leadership that will not fold under corrupt and dishonest political attacks. We will in turn passionately support those who are truthful, have a sincere interest in real public safety solutions and who will stand firm with us to defend the Constitutional rights of all Americans.

Sincerely yours,

The American Sportsman
The American Patriot
Law-abiding Firearms Owners of America
Americans for the Defense and Preservation of our Constitution
The American Tax Payer

* 1) Harvard Study titled, “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” Kates & Mauser; 2) Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, NW University, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun,” Gary Kleck & Marc Gertz; 3) “More Guns Less Crime”, Dr. John R. Lotts, Jr., PhD.

** 1) “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging,” Frank O’Brien, OMP: John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut, KNP Communication; Al Quinlan, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research; 2) Members of the anti-gun industry: Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Bloomberg et al; The Brady Campaign, Sarah Bady; Moms Demanding Action (formerly Million Moms Against Gun Violence); The Joyce Foundation; Moveon.org; Violence Policy Center; Freedom State Alliance; Media Matter; American Academy of Pediatrics; Americans for Gun Safety; Coalition for Peace Action; Gun Free Kids; National Gun Victims Action Council; Protest Easy Guns; Real Hunter Real Conservation; Students for Gun Free Schools; Tides Center Foundation; DCS Congressional; David Bohnett Foundation; Crime Gun Solution; Wounded in America; Third Way; Coalition to Stop Gun Violence; RI Coalition Against Gun Violence; Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence (RI).

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Why does the “gun-debate” miss the target?

The term “gun-violence” should be retired from our lexicon for public policy debates. By focusing on the gun we’re already being driven by a narrative that is biased. That’s because at the mere mention of guns, much of the public has already been conditioned to believe guns equal violence. This is a direct consequence of a decades long rhetorical campaign by the anti-gun movement to vilify the gun culturally.

The anti-gun establishment funded an eighty page activist’s manual, Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging (authors:Frank O’Brien, Al Quinlan, John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut), produced by three powerful Washington D.C. communications firms. It’s no coincidence that most anti-gun activists appear to use this playbook, because the rhetoric we hear constantly in the media and from anti-gun groups mirror its contents. But why is it not Criminal Violence they wish to prevent? Is that not what we all want? Why obsess over “guns” and not criminal behavior?

By packaging the words gun with violence into a term, the dialog is already tainted. This term suggests gun equals violence, or that they are the same thing. They are not. Quite the trick because a gun by itself cannot be non-violent any more than it can be violent without an operator. It’s merely a machine, and depending on the operator one can achieve good results or create very bad ones.

Take the car, for example, another machine. We all drive one and are well served by it provided, however, it’s not misused. If you drink and drive, you put others at risk. If we text and drive we endanger ourselves and fellow travelers. Yet when vehicular homicides happen, we don’t blame the car. But substitute the car with guns, suddenly, the perception is entirely different. Why is that?

When sportsmen use firearms, their rights are attacked although they’re clearly not the problem. They’re equally responsible operating their firearms as good drivers would be with their cars. Whenever a crisis involving firearms occurs, however, the knee-jerk reaction is always to target guns giving criminal behavior a pass. Why not ban cars due to vehicular homicides?

It is utterly disingenuous when Bloomberg compares fatalities between traffic and shootings, yet operates under a double standard when comparing cars to guns. They do not push for a ban on cars. On Bloomberg.com, an article by Chris Christoff and Ilan Kolet compares death statistics between traffic and firearms predicting the latter will surpass the former by 2015. Not surprisingly, they ignore the lives saved by lawfully armed citizens.

It is of course ridiculous to ban cars because of a small minority of bad drivers or drunks. Yet the anti-gun establishment targets the gun as though regardless of a small minority of cases the gun is somehow more responsible for the deaths than a car is of traffic fatalities. For the debate to ignore the behavior of the operators and not clarify the vast disparity between those responsible verses those who are abusers, is grotesquely dishonest and manipulative. In fact, the gun-debate deliberately hides the truth and has at its core a nefarious motif.

Here are facts about firearms in America most do not know because of a relentlessly one sided narrative dominated by the anti-gun establishment. One hundred million Americans own firearms and use them responsibly for a variety of purposes. They are hunters, collectors, sportsmen and women as well as citizens who use them for personal protection. There exist a great deal of objective scientific research on firearms ownership in America from universities of criminology (NW Univ., Kleck & Gertz; Harvard, Kates & Mauser) and statistical analysis by government agencies such as the CDC, FBI, USDOJ, etc.

Empirical research confirms an unmistakable truth that overwhelmingly firearms save more lives than they take every year in America. On average the annual disparity is greater than eighty times more lives are saved by guns compared to those lost (NW Univ., Kleck & Gertz; National Safety Council, Itasca, Il.), but that includes suicides and accidental deaths. The actual firearm-homicides rate average eleven thousand annually (CDC.gov). When we make a clear distinction between criminals and good citizens, the lawfully armed save lives by more than two hundred times the rate at which criminals kill.

Gun-control only burdens the law-abiding citizen while protecting criminals. That’s not an opinion, it’s fact (Harvard, Kates & Mauser). Given the statistical proof of lives saved by armed citizens, imagine if the entire nation were a gun-free zone like the nation’s crime centers: Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York City, etc. These Hot Spots (FBI terminology) or killing zones have one thing in common. They share the strictest gun-control laws in America.

We wouldn’t cut the antlers off a deer to protect it from attacking coyotes anymore than we should disarm innocent would-be victims from marauding predators in our society. If the anti-gun established should achieve its objective of disarming the citizenry, I shudder to think how much unintended carnage we shall have in America as a consequence.

 

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The Issue is Not Gun-safety – It is Public Safety

More than 8 months have passed since the horrific events at Sandy Hook, and the Constitutional protection of firearms ownership in America has weathered yet another political fire-storm. Where the chips fell however, are surprising and less predictable than the expected exploitation of this tragedy by those who wish to disarm Americans.

Even as it was still playing out on that fateful day last December, as expected, the usual suspects rushed to “not let this crisis go to waste.” Before anyone knew the facts, they tripped over one another calling for gun-bans and the abolishing of the 2nd Amendment.

Truth, reason and the rule of law went out the window in the wake of the crisis. Although crassly exploitative, these ugly chants echoed across the nation from the White House to our State House. Anti-gun zealots and their media partners cued-up to attack gun rights, once again putting legal firearm ownership on trial in the court of public opinion.

Despite being dealt a devastating defeat in Congress and in the Rhode Island General Assembly, however, the anti-gun establishment remains intransigent and continues to plot in the shadows to subvert the rule of law. Even now a battle ensues to recall four rogue council members in the town of Exeter. These members plotted to remove the rights of Exeter citizens to apply for a conceal and carry permit through due process under Rhode Island law and in accordance with the US Constitution. Motivated by personal political ideology and ignoring overwhelming public opposition, they acted in ways that can only be characterized as tyranny. The recall effort is a direct response to both their defiant actions during the public hearings as well as their subversive activities in the shadows.

The attacks on our 2nd Amendment is nothing new but despite a full court press in the wake of Sandy Hook, the attackers may not have expected the resulting unintended consequences. Firearms and ammunition sales have gone off the charts. Shelves are bare in gun stores across America while firearm and ammunition manufactures continue to rack up record sales. While no one knows precisely how many new firearms owners have joined the ranks of the armed citizenry, an educated guess might put that number at some level beyond one hundred million lawful firearms owners in America today.

The fight to defend both our state Constitution and that of the United States is far from over. Anti freedom political forces were successful in subverting the rule of law in a handful of states across the nation including Colorado, New York, Connecticut and Maryland. With their partners in the media, they continually distort the truth and corrupt the public discourse culturally to advance their anti-gun agenda.

The truth is, even as they exploited the broken hearts and raw emotions following the Sandy Hook massacre, none of what they proposed would have saved a single child in that crisis. Sandy Hook, as with all schools in America, was under the presumed protection of a federal gun-ban statute which makes it a felony to possess any type of firearm on and within one thousand feet of the school. This is the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1994 – the crowning jewel of the anti-gun establishment lead by the Brady Campaign. Further, Connecticut had its own “assault” weapons ban in place since 1993. Clearly neither laws could stop Adam Lanza from his murderous rampage.

So let’s set the record straight, the fervor surrounding firearms ownership is completely misplaced, because the issue has never been “gun-violence,” a term contrived by anti-gun propagandists and parroted by the media to implicitly demonizing firearm ownership. The real issue has always been how we must address “criminal-violence.” The fact is, the focus on gun ownership and “gun-safety,” another manufactured term, distracts the public from the real solutions required to advance “public-safety.”

Facts surrounding risks to public safety are well documented by our own government and the statistics are available to anyone interested in the truth. Fact: approximately one hundred million law abiding Americans own firearms lawfully and use them responsibly. Overwhelmingly, they are not a risk to public safety. In fact, when you consider the colossal number of lawful firearm owners, their safety record in nothing short of remarkable. Their safety record quite literally rivals anything else one might imagine that may be a public safety risk such as automobiles, house hold consumer goods, garden tools, heavy machinery, recreational vehicles, boating, the medical profession, construction, public concerts, etc. Unfortunately, these facts will never be reported properly in today’s corrupt media.

Facts surrounding real criminal atrocities are highlighted by the media and often distorted by those with an anti-gun agenda. Yet positive gun related stories are much more frequently under reported or simply ignored. For example, did you know that every year in America, there are on average two and a half million cases that are reported where firearms in the hands of lawful citizens save lives and foil crimes? By contrast the Center for Disease Control, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice routinely report the firearm-homicides in recent years to total approximately eleven thousand annually. This represents a steep decline dating back to 1976. In fact, from 1993 to 2010, the government reported a dramatic decline of violence surrounding the use of firearms of 73% with adults over 18 while teen violence with firearms dropped by 80%. Still at eleven thousand a year there remains much work to do in enforcement, but it is important to note that the overwhelming majority of these occur in crowded American inner cities, officially called “Hot-Spots” by the FBI, due to gang violence and a criminal recidivism rate that is out of control. These occur in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, New Orleans, etc. In fact, with these urban killings, the United States ranks in the top 10 of the most violent countries in the world, but eradicating the urban killings however, would place the United States dead last on that same list making us the safest nation instead. Considering that one third of the three hundred million Americans who legally own firearms are not the problem, imagine if America could solve the real problems in the “Hot-Spots.”

Politicians and public officials must focus on the real challenges we face in the inner-cities where clearly much of the criminal violence and violent behavior emanates. The problems are multi-facetted and for anyone to default to attacking lawful firearm ownership and our 2nd Amendment, it is utterly reprehensible and irresponsible. Gun-control has never worked historically and much of the draconian policies are unlawful as most anti-gun initiatives seek to render our Second Amendment irrelevant and responsible citizens defenseless. Contrary to the propaganda, gun-control put innocent Americans at greater risk and serves only to protect the criminals.

Earlier this year when the Mayor of Providence announced a gun buy back initiative, I joined other defenders of the 2nd Amendment and attended the first “Gun-Control Summit” sponsored by Mayor Tavares. I had occasion to speak to him personally and suggested that he take a holistic approach to “Public-Safety” rather than focusing only on banning firearms. I told him that his gun buy back program would accomplish little beyond a publicity stunt and that our public resources would be better optimized when focused on the critical facets that surround this important issue. I offered an eight point proposal as an example of a comprehensive plan:

  1. Take action to reform the broken mental health system including laws that handcuff mental health professionals.
  2. Actively revitalize the state’s economy to include bringing opportunity to inner-city communities. This is critical to providing hope and positive alternatives to drug trafficking and youth gang violence.
  3. Providence should set an example to other cites and towns to protect children in schools with armed security and or other means which would be designed for the specific needs of that school and community.
  4. Take action to target street gangs and the illegal drug trade. Actively move to eradicate the violence in the inner city or “Hot-Spots.”
  5. Take action to address the runaway criminal recidivism problems in Rhode Island by reforming enforcement and loopholes in the judicial system.
  6. Enlist educators and parents in the communities to mentor children towards good social behavior and away from those that lead to drugs and criminal violence.
  7. Actively defend the rights of law abiding citizens and preserve the Rhode Island Constitution and enforce the laws of the United States.
  8. Defend the economic vitality of the firearm & sportsmen’s industries and businesses that fund conservation and environmental protection programs for Rhode Island DEM.

The Mayor shook my hand but not surprisingly all my suggestions fell on deaf ears. It was later revealed that he had joined the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign. Subsequently, a five million Dollar donation from Michael Bloomberg was reported as an unrelated event.

Credit needs to be given to the citizens of Rhode Island through this past year. Not only did the citizenry speak out against the attacks on our rights, Mr. Tavares’s efforts to co-opt fellow mayors and town administrators to join in the anti-gun organization resulted in only four mayors out of the 39 cites and towns signing up. Perhaps despite the attempts to exploit the heartbreaking crisis of Sandy Hook, most honest folks see right through the transparent nature of the anti-gun agenda. They know that our problem is not a lack of gun laws but rather the lack of proper enforcement and indeed the necessary respect for our current laws.

Despite the reprehensible attempts of the anti-gun propagandists, we should all be proud that honest Rhode Islanders stood up for the truth and held the line against subversion and corruption of our legislative process. They recognize that anti-freedom politicians have no compunctions of exploiting the heart break of a rare event like a school massacre, to viciously attack and undermine the Constitutional rights of one third of the population of the United States in an overt violation of our presumption of innocence.

Sadly, subversive political operatives will be back to attack the Constitution again. As Rhode Islanders, we must therefore continue to stand together and demand that public officials abide by their oath of office and address real concerns that put our public safety at risk. We must unite in this endeavor to defeat corrupt politicians who usurp their power in an effort to advance their anti-gun agenda and redirect critical resources and energy we desperately need to ensure sound public safety policies that will protect all citizens for a prosperous and revitalized Rhode Island.

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Defending the 2nd Amendment

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More than 80 million Americans own 300 million guns legally and used them responsibly (2009 data). Overwhelmingly, we’re not the problem. Sandy Hook, while utterly heartbreaking, compared to the routine inner-city killings, was a rare event. Exploiting it to diminishing the liberties of tens of millions of citizens, compromise the Bill of Rights, devastate businesses and cause undue pain and suffering is a travesty.

Politicians with an irrational hatred of guns ignore reality. None of what they advocate has worked historically. Not the Assault Weapons Ban nor the Gun Free School Zone Act. In fact, gun-bans have put people at greater risk. We should be talking about curbing ‘violence’ not ‘guns’ or the rights of lawful citizens. We must not allow temporary politicians with an agenda or personal bias to compromise our liberty.

Show us the evidence criminals obey laws? You can’t – they don’t. Show us evidence gun-free-zones save lives. You can’t. They empower killers – Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora are examples that suggest the ‘Gun-Free-School-Zone Act of 1994’ enabled school massacres. To diminish gun rights and not defend schools won’t stop mass murderers – they seek defenseless targets for maximum body count.

The FBI reports firearm-homicides are concentrated in inner-cities because of street gangs fuelled by the growing drug-cartel problem.* The CDC says overwhelmingly the victims are young black males ages 14 to 24, so where’s the parade of media and politicians? Debating ‘assault’ rifles or magazine capacity will do nothing to curb the violence. It’s statistically irrelevant and is a deadly distraction.

We should focus on real trouble spots in cities like Chicago, NYC, Detroit, DC, LA, New Orleans, etc. In January alone, 44 Chicago teens were murdered as were nearly 300 children since 2007*. Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country, yet it averages three Sandy Hooks a year.

In New York City from 2003 to 2005, 90% of the 1662 murders (not all firearms related) were committed by felons with criminal records**. Clearly, repeat offenders are the problem, but where is the scrutiny of the criminal justice system? The evidence is clear, inner-city gangs and repeat felons perpetrate gun violence. So why target law abiding citizens?

No one has the right to disarm lawful gun owners. We have a Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” which elected officials have a sworn duty to defend. We demand responsible, thoughtful and adult solutions that target real problems. And we reject irrational hyperbole which corrupts the legislative process.

Good public policy must be fact-based, not be driven by emotions or personal bias. Public policy must be crafted objectively, benefit from lessons of history and rectify failed legislation. Good public policy must preserve the rights of law abiding citizens while accounting for its effectiveness in its stated purpose.

Any policy that suggests more than 80 million law abiding citizens shall have their rights diminished or be criminalized will not only be a gross miscarriage of justice, it will in fact be unlawful. Above all, good public policy must pass the ultimate American litmus test – it must abide by the United States Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

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Open Letter to Our Leaders: We Reject the Gun-Ban Agenda

Subject: we reject the gun-ban agenda & demand real solutions to protect our children

Dear Lawmaker and Elected Leader:

I am a parent first and a gun owner second. I too was horrified at the Newtown massacre and my heart broke as did most parents across our nation. But as a dad and a tax payer, I must insist that cool heads prevail as you go about seeking the right solutions to protect our children.

First of all, I must strenuously protest the disgraceful exploitation of the Newtown tragedy by those who rushed to advance their tired-old gun-ban agenda. The amoral “never let a crisis go to waste” actions of these politicians are utterly contemptible and shameful.

In fact, it is precisely when emotions run high in the wake of such horror, that we need calm and clearheaded leadership to pursue the right answers both to keep our kids safe now and to prevent such attacks in the future.

The actions of the anti-gun establishment are unbecoming of responsible elected officials. To rob responsible citizens of their Constitutional rights should never be a default first response. We expect and demand better leadership than that!

For those who have done their research objectively you will, as I have, conclude that gun bans or more restrictive gun laws do not protect lives at all. To the contrary, it will generate these predictable outcomes:

1) It will guarantee the deaths of more innocent children and citizens because the only possible means of stopping an armed killer, the firearm, will then be denied to the law abiding public.

2) It will immediately spawn a criminal firearm-black-market just as with the Prohibition where organized crime will be the beneficiary. Criminals will plunder and terrorize at will while unarmed citizens will be defenseless. And organized crime will not require a 7 day waiting period or any background checks.

3) It will immediately cause the closure of numerous industries and businesses that support the sportsmen and those who use firearms lawfully. Besides denying our fiscally desperate nation a significant tax revenue, this action will guarantee great pain and suffering for those now unemployed. This is tantamount to shooting oneself in the foot.

I submit that we must talk about legitimate solutions to protect our children and stop this irrational political campaign of fear and vilification of our 2nd Amendment Rights and of law abiding citizens who own and use firearms.

The truth is, in America the safety record of firearm ownership and its use is extraordinary considering the massive numbers: 300 million legally owned guns and 80 million law abiding gun owners. In fact, the data shows that overwhelmingly more lawfully owned firearms save lives and foil crimes than those that kill. Each year there are consistently two and a half million documented cases where lawfully armed citizens stop crimes and save lives. The data also illustrates that the hot spots of gun crimes are overwhelmingly concentrated in America’s largest urban populations. That is where the problems really are and by-the-way, these are all GUN-FREE-ZONES.

Clearly gun control and restrictive gun laws do nothing to curb gun crimes yet anti-gun politicians persist in pushing for gun bans.

Let me ask those who want gun control to answer this question:

“How will my son be protected in his school should God forbid, a crazed gunman break in as he had in Newtown?”

“What if God forbid, it were your child?”

“If you outlaw guns, how will anyone protect her?”

GUN-FREE-ZONES do not work – they invite would be killers and criminals. Newtown and Aurora are both clear evidence that this is the case.

Why don’t we start by abolishing Gun-Free-Zones? Let us start there.

As for how to counter would be killers, some may think it’s best to arm our teachers. Others may wish to hire armed guards. Still others may propose other means we haven’t yet considered. But the point is a centrally dicated “one-size-fits-all” government mandate is not the solution!

The right solution is for each municipality, each community or each school to decide for themselves based upon their own unique set of circumstances just what will work for them. Government can help and empower them but you need to let each community design their own solution that best fit their situation and not force a round peg into a square hole.

One thing I know for certain: another restrictive gun law will do nothing to save my child’s life, were he to be confronted with the exact circumstance as students at Sandy Hook.

We all recognize that there is an immediate need to ensure our children are adequately protected. We can’t fix our flawed society overnight and our children’s safety should not be held hostage while we debate the long term fix.

I urge our leaders to recognize that this is a complex multi facetted problem that demands real thoughtful deliberation. In the interim, we demand immediate practical solutions to protect our kids. GUN BANS in any form serve only as distractions and threaten to derail our quest for smart, honest and effective solutions.

The deadly consequences that will result from the utterly misguided gun-ban political agenda are simply unacceptable.

For the sake of protecting our children and saving lives, please STOP the political gamesmanship… take a breath, be thoughtful, be the leaders we elected and above all be the adults in the room.

Yours truly,
Dexter Liu
Portsmouth, Rhode Island

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Letter to the NRA

November 20, 2012

Mr. Wayne LaPierre
Executive Vice President
National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Dear Mr. LaPierre:

With President Obama’s re-election, I am writing to you as a concerned NRA member and fellow American who gravely fear for the loss of our freedoms. Like so many of my fellow Americans, I feel a sense of impending doom that in his second term, the President and his progressive operatives will do all they can to forcibly impose the ceding of our national sovereignty and the further destruction of our Constitution.

By signing onto the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty and issuing executive orders that bypass Congress, the President is signaling a clear anti-gun and anti-freedom agenda in his next four years. While I appreciate the NRA’s enormous efforts in its active opposition to this White House such as Fast & Furious, I strongly believe all freedom loving gun owners of America can and must do even more.

Having actively supported a number of political campaigns since 2008 only to be defeated time and again by Democratic machine politics, I’ve learned that the left is extremely good at mobilizing a united coalition. Obama’s second term will require all hands, even beyond the NRA membership. We need a united coalition of gun owners, sportsmen, pro-gun organizations, the firearms industry, the Tea party, other liberty groups and just freedom loving ordinary Americans across the country for this fight.

To me the NRA has always been more than a pro-gun advocacy organization. We are a defender of American liberty. With a coordinated and united coalition we shall have overwhelming political power and the resources necessary to defeat the gun-grabber’s assault on our freedoms once and for all. I therefore respectfully request that the NRA take the lead to build such a united coalition in anticipation of what will surely be the fight of our lives.

If Louis Farrakhan can put one million of his followers on the Washington Mall, surely the gun owners of America can do ten times that. Together en masse we can send an unequivocal message to the Washington ruling elites that as Americans we will not tolerate the hijacking of our liberty, the ceding of American sovereignty and the destruction of our Constitution by anyone in public service, and that includes the President of the United States of America.

Very truly yours,

Dexter Liu
Portsmouth, Rhode Island

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Which is More Deadly: Guns or Liberalism?

Reasonable Americans will agree that violence in our society must not be tolerated. Most will also acknowledge that poverty in America and violence have a close correlation that require comprehensive solutions. Where we differ, however, is in how to accomplish this.

Overwhelmingly violent crimes occur disproportionally more in urban America compared to the rest of the country. Unfortunately, the regularity with which we hear of shootings in high crime neighborhoods desensitizes the public to the point of apathy. While the use of firearms is prevalent in violent crimes, it is important to understand the underlying causes in order to implement the right fixes.

Liberals argue that more gun control is necessary to stop violent crimes. But would that really work? Is there any evidence gun laws reduce gun crimes? Or will more gun control simply render lawful citizens defenseless. Do we once again compromise Constitutional liberties and trounce on the rights of the many because of the crimes of the few?

The 2nd Amendment in the US Constitution grants every American the right to bear arms. This is a fundamental right and is foundational to our American liberty. Today, there are already numerous laws that restrict and control legal gun ownership. Yet despite these curtailments of freedom, gun crimes persist. In fact, roughly 12 thousand firearm homicides occur every year in America. So, do the gun laws actually work? Clearly they do not.

Studies show that armed criminals usually acquire guns through illegal means. In research sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), The Armed Criminal in America by James Wright, focused on 1,874 felons incarcerated for violent crimes. This comprehensive study was based on extensive interviews of subjects from prisons across the country. NIJ found that more than 80% acquired firearms through illegal means, from gangs, the black market or family members. It is estimated that there are approximately 300 million legally owned guns. Although 30 thousand deaths annually are attributable to firearms, the overwhelming majority of law abiding gun owners enjoy safe gun ownership and pose no risk to the public. In order to understand why that is, let’s look at available studies to see the real picture of guns in America.

According to the NIJ study, 80% of the criminals acquire guns illegally. These criminals account for the 12,000 firearm homicides annually. Assuming each death is caused by one gun, then 9,600 guns are illegal and 2,400 guns were acquired through legal means. Therefore out of the 300 million legally owned guns 2,400 are used in homicides. This suggests that every legally owned gun has a 0.0000008 chance of being involved in a shooting death. Consider the 18 thousand firearm deaths not related to homicides, assuming those guns are legal, adding the 2,400 would then yield a slightly higher risk ratio of 0.000092 per legal gun.

The risk-ratio calculated from these numbers suggests that the overwhelming number of guns owned by law abiding Americans represent virtually no threat to public safety. That said, of course even one accidental shooting is unacceptable. Gun ownership is a serious responsibility and requires proper training and strict adherence to safety. Responsible leaders should stress proper firearm education and training rather than willfully perpetuate a social taboo through fear mongering and misinformation for political purposes.

Progressive liberals routinely attack the 2nd Amendment. With a compliant liberal media, they exploit news of gun crimes to undermine legal firearms sales and ownership. But did you know that there are up to two million cases* per year where lives are saved because law abiding citizens were armed? Most cases go unreported where the mere presence of guns in the right hands prevented potentially violent crimes. Gun owners routinely scare off intruders with home defense weapons and stop violent criminals before they could do harm. On average, it takes 20 minutes for police to respond to a typical 911 call. Defenseless victims would have no chance against violent criminals unless they have a firearm. Disarming Americans and removing the deterrence to violent criminals is clearly not a solution at all.

Violence and poverty are serious problems that require real solutions. In all studies concerning firearm violence the data show that it affects young people disproportionately. Overwhelming, homicide victims in America are youths between ages 15 to 24. As alarming as that is, however, there is a bigger story beneath those numbers. Gun-control advocates will site these statistics to justify draconian gun laws, but what they won’t tell you is digging deeper in the data reveals a more horrifying story which is not about guns at all.

Statistical data from the CDC and the Firearm & Injury Center at the University of Pennsylvania, show that of all firearm homicides in 2002 (more studies show similar results in successive years) the overwhelming majority of cases involve minority black males of all ages with the greater number of cases involving back youths ages 15 through 34. (See fig. 1)

Fig. 1

These alarming statistics reveal something much deeper and more profoundly troubling than the availability of guns illegal or otherwise. Legal gun ownership is clearly not the culprit here. Guns by themselves do not kill, troubled people with bad intentions do. So why is this happening to young black men? Could it be because there has been a complete breakdown of good moral behavior? Is it due to the complete absence of family support and values? What about the loving father figure who inspire, provide proper guidance and keep them out of trouble? Instead of vilifying legal gun ownership why not focus on America’s urban blight epidemic? Where are those community leaders who claim to have the black youth’s best interest at heart?

Hey, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, President Obama, where are all you people? Have all of you completely abandoned these kids? Where the Hell is the cavalry? It’s certainly not the money, America has been most generous. Since Lynden Johnson’s War on Poverty Act of 1964, America has spent over $16 Trillion Dollars to fight poverty. Nearly one half century later, it barely moved the needle.
If $16 Trillion didn’t work, throwing more money at the problem defy reason. Food stamps and welfare do not buy self-respect or self-esteem, to the contrary. In fact, promoting dependency has clearly contributed to the dismantling of the urban family, and that is at the heart of the problem. Yet liberal politicians ignore the obvious and insist on repeating the same failed policies.

Instead of coming to terms with reality, progressive-liberals routinely deflect blame. They blame the inner-city problems on racism. They blame the rest of America for being unfair. And they blame gun rights for urban violence. But the evidence is clear that after generations of failed liberal social engineering, all they have to show for their redistributive welfare policies are dead young black men. It is profoundly shameful, truly heart breaking and utterly unacceptable.

So progressive-liberals persist in deflecting from their failures by denying the vast majority of law abiding Americans our constitutional right to bear arms. What is happening in urban America is the result of the big government entitlement state that we have become. Government intervention into urban America rendered the father figure obsolete and contributed to the breakdown of families. Young back men as a consequence are left to fend for themselves and we wonder why we have an inner-city criminal violence problem.

Consider the vast resources expended, not only has progressive-liberal social engineering failed, it accomplished the exact opposite of its intent plunging urban America instead into deeper poverty and deadly dysfunction. Rather than supporting family values and promoting good behavior, progressive liberalism succeeded in decimating urban families and in the process erecting virtually insurmountable social barriers in the path to success for urban America’s young black men.

So ask yourself which is more deadly, guns or liberalism?

* Every year there are more than two and a half million cases that are reported of lives or property saved because of armed citizens. These are accounts by actual “Armed Citizen” sources reporting to the NRA-ILA as published in the Riflemen.

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Filed under Opinion, The Second Amendment