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Columbine Survivor Writes Obama Thoughts On Gun Control Legislation, Second Amendment and Rights

columbine survivor gun control

Columbine survivor Evan Todd released an open letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday in which he offers a point-by-point analysis of proposed firearms control initiatives, dismissing them as ineffective and dangerous to Americans’ rights.
Read Todd’s open letter to Obama, below.

Mr. President,

As a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives:

Universal Background Checks

First, a universal background check will have many devastating effects. It will arguably have the opposite impact of what you propose. If adopted, criminals will know that they can not pass a background check legally, so they will resort to other avenues. With the conditions being set by this initiative, it will create a large black market for weapons and will support more criminal activity and funnel additional money into the hands of thugs, criminals, and people who will do harm to American citizens.

Second, universal background checks will create a huge bureaucracy that will cost an enormous amount of tax payers dollars and will straddle us with more debt. We cannot afford it now, let alone create another function of government that will have a huge monthly bill attached to it.

Third, is a universal background check system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through the lens of time.

It is not impossible to think that a tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now — but future generations have the natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants ever since the Second Amendment was adopted.

Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons

The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke.

columbine survivor gun controlGun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second Amendment shall not be infringed.

10-Round Limit for Magazines<

Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all.

Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?”

Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on?
Lastly, when did the government get into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.

Selling to Criminals

Mr. President, these are your words: “And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.”

Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program?

Furthermore, the vast majority of these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all the hoops —  because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn’t now — so what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy guns legally just resort to the black market.

Criminals and murderers will always find a way.

Critical Examination
Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.

Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?

You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:

First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.

Second, press Congress to repeal the “Gun Free Zone Act.” Don’t allow America’s teachers and students to be endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they cross the school line.

This is your chance to correct history and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with resistance.

Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals.

Respectfully,

Severely Concerned Citizen,

Evan M. Todd

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Statistis Showing That Firearms Save Lives and Protect Property Are Largely Ignored

Statistically speaking, there is a significant amount of evidence showing that guns save and protect more people than they harm. Facts, however, are not always appreciated or reported in the national press. Unfortunately  we live in a society where any tragedy will keep a large percentage of the populace glued to the news 24/7 lusting for the latest tidbit of information, while news of bravery and heroism are all but ignored by the media. If a mass shooting is prevented, it may get a blurb on a local TV station or a mention on a morning talk show, but it will be largely passed over  – especially if the violence is prevented with the use of a firearm. The everyday hero goes unsung and real, common sense solutions are laughed at or treated with disdain by many and passed over in favor of actions that victimize  all of society.

Much of the national media and the American public are willing to overlook statistics that say the crime rate in the This women prevented a school shooting in TNU.K. has tripled since banning guns and now has the highest crime rate in Europe, but Switzerland, with the highest gun ownership rate, has the lowest crime rate. It is statistically factual that violence is more frequently perpetrated without the use of a firearm than with one. These weapons include blunt objects, hands, feet, knives, and even cars. So far there have been no moves to ban any of these deadly weapons.

Many in the media and public are  also willing to overlook the fact that  statistically crime rates decrease as gun ownership increases and that the areas with the most restrictive gun control laws also have the highest crime rates. Apparently there are some real flaws in the philosophy that gun regulation makes society safer, but often when individuals become entrenched in a philosophy, they have a difficult time taking a step back and giving it objective and critical thought.

Although statistics can often be skewed to serve the purpose of the person using them, good statistics taken from objective research can be very helpful. Below are listed some statistics that show a view of gun ownership and gun control that are at odds with much of current popular opinion being promoted in the media.

 

Statistics Show Gun Owners Use Guns to Prevent Crime

  • A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”
  •  Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders. Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.
  • Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative CriminologyU.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.
  • *A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.

 

A Survey of Male Felons in State Prisons Found That Gun Ownership Deters Criminals

  • 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”
  • 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun”
  • 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”

 

Handgun Ban Correlated with Increased Murder Rate In Washington D.C.

  • During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.

 

Gun Control Laws Correlated with Increased Homicide Rate In Great Britain

  • In 1997, Britain passed a law requiring civilians to surrender almost all privately owned handguns to the police. More than 162,000 handguns and 1.5 million pounds of ammunition were “compulsorily surrendered” by February 1998. Using “records of firearms held on firearms certificates,” police accounted for all but fewer than eight of all legally owned handguns in England, Scotland, and Wales.
  • The homicide rate in England and Wales has averaged 52% higher since the outset of the 1968 gun control law and 15% higher since the outset of the 1997 handgun ban.*

*These statistics are not current. The current crime rate is much higher than this statistic shows, in part due to the rioting in the UK in 2011.

 

Handgun Ban Correlated with Higher Number of Murders Committed with Handguns in Chicago

  • In 1982, the city of Chicago instituted a ban on handguns. This ban barred civilians from possessing handguns except for those registered with the city government prior to enactment of the law. The law also specified that such handguns had to be re-registered every two years or owners would forfeit their right to possess them. In 1994, the law was amended to require annual re-registration.
  • In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that Chicago’s ban is unconstitutional.
  • Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the Chicago murder rate has averaged 17% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 25% lower.
  • Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the percentage of Chicago murders committed with handguns has averaged about 40% higher than it was before the law took effect.

 

Although it is easy to feel that we are taking good action when we follow emotional arguments, often there are unseen and undesirable repercussions for such actions. Just as, in the past, congress couldn’t foresee the unintended and undesirable outcome of funding Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, they frequently fail to predict many undesirable outcomes of the myopic policies they promote. How do they really know that they would be making the country safer by passing laws that sound nice in theory but have no real substance? Is there a possibility that such policy might actually make us less safe?

Shouldn’t we have some significant evidence to show a realistic potential for benefit (or at least lack of harm) before we go ripping through the constitution and stripping law abiding citizens of their rights? Or is real thought no longer appreciated when emotions run high? The fact that sound bites and blurbs are repeated constantly in the national media for months on end doesn’t make them true. Critical and objective thought is needed to guide our country in the best possible direction for the future without unintended, and completely preventable, consequences.

 

 

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The Media Does Not Sensationalize The Fact That Guns Protect Innocent Lives

Here are a few news stories about people protecting themselves or others with firearms. These incidents happen regularly, but the media will probably not exploit and dramatize any such acts of protection and courage because they will not keep millions of people on the edge of their seat wanting more news updates day after day like a rare, but dramatic, tragic mass murder/ suicide.

Young Mother at Home With Children Shoots Perpetrator and Defends Family

A young mother in Georgia was home alone with her 9 year old twins when a strange man began to knock at the door. She ignored him at first because she assumed it was a salesman and she didn’t want to be bothered, but he then began repeatedly ringing the doorbell. She called her husband who, in turn, called 911. She then took her twins and a .38 revolver that she had in her house and hid in an upstairs storage room. The man then broke into the house and found their upstairs hiding place. She shot the intruder several times, hitting him in the face and neck and told him to stay down or she would continue to shoot, but he got up and left the home, actually getting into his car and driving away. He wrecked his car a short time later and the police arrested him at that point.


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A 70-year-old woman’s basketball coach was attacked in the parking lot at Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School in Detroit, MI while walking two players to their cars. The men were armed, but so was the coach.

The suspects approached the coach and the girls and one pulled out their gun. The coach quickly pulled out his gun and shot both suspects. One died and the other was taken to a local hospital. Both suspects attended the high school and one was recently expelled.

Both girls and the coach were unharmed.

The coach has a permit to carry and is cooperating with authorities. But this raises an important question to those who want more gun control. What would have happened to this 70-year-old man and two young females if he did not have his gun? Armed citizens save lives. Because of his gun the coach and two girls are still alive.

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A Mass Shooting Stopped By A Man With A Concealed Carry Gun

A mass shooting incident occurred in a Mall in Happy Valley, Oregon on December 11, 2012. It didn’t get much publicity, but the details were interesting. The gunman began firing in the mall, firing as many as 60 shots, killing two people and seriously wounding a third person. Then he became aware of a second armed man, a citizen with a concealed carry permit, who was aiming his handgun at the perpetrator. He was unable to get a clear shot due to innocent people behind the gunman, so he did not fire his weapon, but when the perpetrator saw that someone else also had a gun, he quit firing at others and, instead, shot himself.


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A California Homeowner Defends Family and Guests Against Armed Gunmen During His Child’s Sleepover

In a residential neighborhood in Sacramento, California recently a homeowner managed to successfully defend his home, and the several children therein, against multiple armed invaders. He killed one and wounded the others to protect the children who were having a sleepover in his home. the homeowner was also injured in the gun battle, but, thankfully, he recovered from his injuries.


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A Mother Alone with Her Child Confronts Home Invader and Fires Deterring Robbery or Worse

In Santa Paula, California a mother, home alone with her child, was awakened at 1:30 am by a growling dog. She had access to her handgun and confronted one intruder in her hallway. He challenged her and she fired her weapon, but missed. Then both the burglar inside of the home, and his accomplice outside of the home fled. No one was injured in the incident.


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A Sr Citizen with a Concealed Carry Permit Calmly Shoots Armed Robbers at an Internet Cafe

A 63 year old man at an internet cafe in Florida interrupted an armed robbery by promptly pulling his concealed carry pistol and shooting the two robbers. They fled, but were both found later at a local hospital with bullet wounds.


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These are just a few of the many incidents of protection of property and family by gun owners that are usually passed up by the media in lieu of more sensational news items. I feel that it is important to remember that any tool that can be used for good should not be taken away from conscientious citizens due to the evil acts of a few deranged sociopaths.

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