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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Angry Responses Show Reasonable Gun Control Is Far Off

By John Railey
JOURNAL COLUMNIST

"You're no g-damned good, John, and that's the truth about you." So wrote one of the many people who responded to my column last week in which I said some forms of gun control are needed. That man, who identified himself as Bill Emery, also included these lines in an e-mail: "Feel free to call 911 when you're confronted by one or more thugs on a public sidewalk who ostensibly want to rob you, but actually want to beat you bloody and rape your wife while you watch." Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you, too, Bill.

He was one of more than 50 folks nationwide, almost all men, who responded, often in anger, to my column about the Nov. 11 shootings near Kernersville. When a madman armed with a rifle and several hundred rounds of ammo fatally shoots a reserve deputy, seriously wounds a full-time deputy and slays two civilians in what should be a quiet neighborhood, we should all wonder if there aren't some compromises we can make to do more about gun control. Especially since that's just one incident of gun violence in this county and country.

The responses I got told me what I should have realized about why more people aren't taking up the issue: The gun-control opponents are legion, well-organized and they hit hard.

I got all of two e-mails from people who agreed with me on the need for gun control.

But within hours after my column was posted on the Journalnow.com Web site last Sunday, critics of gun control from states including North Carolina, Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, California, Virginia, Maryland, Louisiana and Washington began firing e-mails at me. The widespread response just might have had a little bit to do with my noting that the National Rifle Association, to which some of them said they belong, fights most gun control.

That's fine with them, my critics said. And for even suggesting gun control, they called me "a funny little man," an "idiot," "a rabidly gun-hating troll," "a flaming anti-gun liberal," "a leftist propaganda weenie," a "typiecl (sic) national socialist democRAT moron," an "enemy of freedom" and "uneducated, bigoted and cowardly."

One critic noted that I didn't address what should be done with criminals who use guns. The critic was right. So here's what I think: Violent criminals should get long prison sentences.

Several critics said I was lying when I wrote that I love guns myself, that I own three shotguns and a .22-caliber rifle and that such sporting arms should never be taken away from citizens.

Many gun-rights advocates can't see anything but black and white on this issue, just as Americans can't see anything but black and white on too many issues these days. The gun advocates can't believe that there are folks like me who love their guns and the Second Amendment, but think that measures such as mandatory trigger locks, safe storage of guns and longer waiting periods when purchasing them are needed.

We also need a ban on handguns for civilians and a revival of the assault- weapons ban. There should at least be some room for compromise on trigger locks and waiting periods.

But none of the gun advocates I heard from left any room for compromise.

And most of them didn't even acknowledge Sgt. James Johnson, Reba Idol and Dwight Allen - the people fatally shot near Kernersville whom I wrote about - or any of the other tens of thousands of people nationwide killed or injured by guns each year.

But there is room for hope. One of the folks who e-mailed me in response is Donna Fleming. Idol and Allen were members of her church, Pine Grove United Methodist in Kernersville.

"I have always said common-sense compromise (about gun control) is the key," Fleming wrote. "I just want to save innocent lives."

Railey is the Journal 's local editorial writer. He can be reached at [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I emailed a reply

I emailed Mr. Railey the following reply to his column:​

Hi John,

I read your column in Sunday?s paper, ?Angry Responses Show Reasonable Gun Control Is Far Off.? I may be different from the gun owners whom you quoted. There are many more articulate, learned gun owners than those you mentioned in your column. Let me offer a reply to your column.

First, everyone agrees the recent Kernersville murders were horrible, whether committed by rifles or baseball bats. Those who would limit the right to keep and bear arms should have all the facts. The US Justice Department keeps detailed crime statistics. 3 of 4 violent crimes do not involve firearms (of any kind). FBI statistics showed that 73% of homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults did not involve firearms. Actually, baseball bats, hammers, and golf clubs were used in more violent crimes than firearms. Please note that government statistics show that guns are used 3 to 5 times more for defense than criminal uses.

Second, the problem isn?t a lack of gun control laws. We have many thousands in Federal, State, and Local governments. Frankly, I believe we have too many. The biggest problem has been lack of enforcement, particularly in the Federal Government under President Clinton. As examples, the Columbine Murderers used weapons obtained in violation of Federal and State laws, as did the North Hollywood Bank Robbers. Here is a link to an NRA source to Gun Laws - http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/Default.aspx . Here is an NRA Article, entitled ?Prosecution Is Prevention,? which details the need for enforcing existing gun laws, as well as the Clinton Administration?s glaring refusal to do so. http://www.nraila.org/media/misc/prevention.htm , See also, ?More Gun Control While Prosecutions Plunge.? http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=39 . The former President was more willing to pass Gun Control laws, such as the 94 semi-automatic ban, than enforce them.

Third, and this may surprise you ? the NRA agrees that people who commit firearm-related crimes should be harshly punished. Thus, the NRA avidly supports Project Exhile which requires mandatory prison time for any felon in possession of a firearm. During its first year in Richmond, Homicides dropped 46%. Gun crimes declined 65%.

For some reason, the media seems to refuse to provide knowledgeable gun owners any voice, other than those who are angry, frustrated, and inarticulate. Every local radio talk show and television station declined to interview me, or any NRA spokesman during the recent debate over the 94 Gun Ban?s sunset. Instead, they preferred calling semiautomatic firearms ?Assault Weapons,? showing fully automatic weapons in their news clips. The most coverage afforded me was getting a letter to the editor published in the WSJ. Still, I thought I would offer you my insight, realizing it probably also wouldn?t make it beyond your email inbox. I hope you appreciate hearing from a gun owner who didn?t insult, threaten, or curse you! LOL!

High regards,

K. Clay Dawson, JD
Winston-Salem, NC
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. Yosuthnmasa, after writing Legal Memorandums for a couple of decades, writing becomes second nature. I've written letters to numerous talk shows and local TV stations. Most response I ever got was an explanation ffrom Laura Ingram's show about what they meant by "cop killer bullets."

The media hestitates to ruin its image of gunowners by giving voice to responsible and articulate gun owners. They prefer to give voice to angry men, who understand gun control is wrong, but have trouble explaining why.
 

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Thanks Bill,

I just sent an e-mail to him as well. He is a dork.


Samuel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Samuel, you don't live far from me! Love your avatar!

Clay D
 

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Wondering what folks consider to be "reasonable gun control". I know some folks think that any sort of gun control laws are a violation of the 2nd Amendment, but I should think that reasonable gun control would include prohibitions against selling full-auto weapons to drunken 10 year-olds high on cocaine. Just what else they would include I'm not so sure.

For example, I'm not a big fan of the prohibition against felons having firearms (nor of many states' prohibition against felons voting) because it creates the opportunity of disarming and disenfranchising segments of the population through culture wars. Pot laws used to be a good example, but now simple possession of pot isn't a felony anywhere in the states that I'm aware of. But consider, for a moment, the effect that rigid enforcement of 922(r) requirements would have on the right of a lot of folks to have firearms and to vote.

Definitely am against the prohibition against psychiatric patients having firearms for two reasons: Psychiatry very easily becomes a means of social control, in the Soviet Union it became little else. And, second, such a prohibition will prevent any gun-loving crazy from seeking treatment. Sorta feel the same way about the prohibition against addicts having firearms - seems to me that the only folks who would qualify for the prohibition would be those who had sought treatment and thus had been diagnosed as an addict, would behoove any gun-loving drug fiend to avoid treatment. Rigid enforcement of the prohibition against drug addicts would have interesting implications if we ever get around to really admitting that tobacco is a drug.
 

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AClay47 said:
Hey Samuel, you don't live far from me! Love your avatar!

Clay D
Hey Clay. We need to find out who that guys boss is. We need to start there and then go to his or her boss. We need to let them know that they are atacking our "God Given Rights". We should sue that A-Hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Samuel, I don't have a problem with Railey expressing his opinion. However, refusing to give voice to an articulate position opposite his views does concern me.

As NRA Election Volunteer for two of North Carolina's Congressional Districts, I wrote local journalists, television stations, and radio talk shows. I outlined issues, with authorities, and I offered to speak or provide speakers. The NRA was willing to provide official NRA spokesmen!

No one allowed us a voice. I doubt Railey will divulge to his readers that he received numerous well-written, intelligent replies to his column. However, I have copies of many emails sent to him, so some day I will use them to prove media bias.
 

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Isn't gun control being able to hit your target?
 

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dinkydow said:
Isn't gun control being able to hit your target?
Stronger Gun Control?

I'd recommend a good pair of shooting gloves and sandbags.
 
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