Open Letter to the President On Gun Control from A Columbine Massacre Survivor

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.

Gun 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 they 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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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

55 Responses to Open Letter to the President On Gun Control from A Columbine Massacre Survivor

  1. avatarSammy says:

    I hope it helps, but I’m afraid it will fall on deaf ears.

  2. avatarPaul says:

    Yes. YES. YES!!!!

    This is the voice of reason.

    • avatarRandy Drescher says:

      Thank you Evan, waste of time though. The president is still reeling over the loss of his son, he was killed with a semi automatic weapon you know. bo has made his decision, it was good decent gun owners or minority criminals, you are seeing the results now, Randy

      • avatarRandy Drescher says:

        I screwed up Paul, this was not meant as a reply to you, Randy

      • avatarConway Redding says:

        Obama had a son who was killed by a semi-automatic firearm, or, more precisely, by a criminal using a semi-automatic firearm? Are you sure you don’t have Obama confused with Bill Cosby? As far as is known, Obama has two children, both daughters, and both, at the time I write this, still living. Cosby, on the other hand, had one son, Ennis, who was shot to death during an attempted robbery.

        • avatarBill F says:

          Maybe a reference to Obama’s statement: “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.”
          When Barry made the statement, he was obviously referring to the 12 year old Trayvon wearing the Hollister shirt, not the tattooed, fully grown , suspended from school Trayvon.

    • avatarWilliam says:

      Which will never even reach the President’s desk. As if it could change the mind of a Nobel Peace Pri. I can’t finish.

  3. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Funny how this guy, with all his facts and evidence is somehow less credible and will get less media attention than Gabby Giffords who managed to squeeze out “Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something.”

    And by funny I mean sad.

    • avatarthatoneguy says:

      I think people are just amazed she can still form words and blink. I guess they don’t take account of the fact those words are being drummed up by half a brain now

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        That’s seriously messed up dude.

        As an Arizonan I truly understand the frustration of one of our own jumping on Bloomberg’s jack wagon to pursue legislation that wouldn’t have prevented her shooting in the first place but making light of an innocent person getting shot in the freakin’ head ain’t right.

        Does she have the right to speak out on gun issues? I believe so. Is she using what she went through chasing useless legislation? Absolutely.

        • avatarthatoneguy says:

          No, what’s seriously messed up is trying to suppress the Constitutionally protected rights of law abiding citizens. F$ck Gabby Giffords, her husband, and everything they and their ilk are pushing. Getting shot in the head and living doesn’t give her a free pass.

        • avatarWhatever says:

          She has as much right to speak out as we do to calling her a puppet. That’s the point. And it matters not that you are Arizonian.

          And this isn’t going to be popular, but she was not innocent. Deciding to become a public figure and govern others has, throughout history, carried a risk higher than selecting to remain part of the governed.

  4. avatardisthunder says:

    That was excellently written, and hits all the points it needs to while still feeling passionate.
    Mr. Todd, if you’re reading, thank you. I have immense respect for your courage and poise.

  5. avatarBrian S says:

    BRAVO! and THANK YOU Evan

  6. avatarpat says:

    Good man. But will they listen? ‘Big Gov’ needs to be bigger, which means control of semiauto firearms now and ALL firearms later. Its just the nature of the beast.

  7. avatarOld Ben turning in grave says:

    Excellent. So, Mr. President, if you choose to ignore this well-reasoned, cogent argument from an adult surviver, how are you going to justify that? The oppinions of little kids who believe you can make everything all better with the stoke of a pen count for more with you?

  8. avatarBob says:

    Obama’s mind is made up, he refuses to be confused by the facts.

  9. avatardwb says:

    “Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. ”

    and great for sales. Cant tell you how many non-gun owners have come up and said “this is ridiculous. i think i need to buy one before they are banned.”

    • avatarpeter says:

      This is my hopeful (but probably wrong) theory: He realized that his successor(s) would try to ban guns and that gun bans would not get through a Republican-controlled Congress.

      As a result, he proposes them so that everybody buys a gun.

      They inevitably fail.

      Now everyone has a gun or 10.

      Future gun bans for the next generation or two are invalid.

      /overly-hopeful

  10. avatarJohn Fritz says:

    Powerful and eloquent. Thank you Mr. Todd.

  11. avatarensitu says:

    Well meant but pointless attempt to influance the Communist/Islamist jugernaught that is engulfing mankind’s last best hope. The physical end of the Republic and the very concept of Liberty

  12. avatarRandy Cramer says:

    HOLY SMOKES That was AWESOME!! Thank You Evan..

  13. avatarPowers says:

    Great points. Unfortunately, the President and the anti-gun politicians and organizations do not want to hear facts. They want to control them and have even more innocents victimized with nothing but a phone to call 911 and hope that they can get there in time. They won’t. The first responders are the people already there on scene. And if one or some are legally armed, tragedy can be averted or the impact minimized. I am so disappointed in the collective ignorance of our country that allowed the liberals into office. And we have had no worst administration ever than the the individuals in the White House now.
    They truly, truly hate Americans rights and freedoms. Control. Control. It is all they want. I hope this country wakes up. I love my country, and I am angry at the liberal dismantling of America.

    • avatarmuh says:

      well, that’s the way the political world works today. look at europe and you’ll find the same there in many countrys. would be interesting to see some research if there are some common reasons for that. to me, it seems like the controled world is triumphant over the free world and i think it’s strange that this is happening at the very same time in europe and the US (well, ok, it was forseeable that the EU would lead to an supernational all-control-organisation, altogether with the typical german control-loving society, but it’s still suprising control-freaks are such a great danger to you at exact the same time).
      whoever wants a big gouvernment needs first to produce victims. those victims ‘need’ the help of a big gouvernment, so they will ensure it’s continous growth via theyr votes. i think there is a critical mass of victimized people needet to ensure endless growth of gouvernment. we in the EU already reached that point, i think you’re not far away from it. after it’s reached, there will be no democratic way to cut a big gouvernment to a normal one. very sad outlook.

  14. avatarCameron S. says:

    My hat goes off to this man. This is the voice of pure reason. It’s really hard to counter such clear and concise fact being delivered.

  15. avatarS.CROCK says:

    probably the best thing i have read since… um probably Joshua Boston’s letter to di fi.

  16. avatarAccur81 says:

    Well said and worth repeating, too bad BHO doesn’t give a sh!t.

  17. avatarLance says:

    Glas Fox News put him on air. Good men like him we need!!!!!!!

  18. That is an awesome letter, thank you Evan.

  19. avatarniceguns says:

    Nice try but, Obama will be a bigger Tyrant than any of the ones mentioned
    He hasn,’ t even gotten started with his evil scream to destroy America
    Just wait its comming, he is pure evil. He’s gotta get the guns first.

  20. Wow, this person must be a Criminology major or a lobbyist for the NRA. Because those are exactly the same arguments from the NRA.

    Considering all the proof that tougher background checks work, it is amazing to me that people can make the same silly, unproven, illogical arguments, tirelessly, and then conclude with: “…that proves background checks don’t work.”

    • avatarSilver says:

      Who cares? It’s unconstitutional. End of argument.

      Lobotomizing everyone and locking them in their homes would end crime. I guess you support that.

      If you want to live as a slave in a polite tyranny or police state where you can live in the comfortable lie that you’re safe, go across the pond. We free men would rather keep our unpredictable freedom. We have the mental and emotional strength to deal with it, unlike those on your side.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      The guy got shot yet if he doesn’t fit your itinerary his sentiments mean nothing?

      Unless you’ve been shot before you should use Starbucks’ wifi for something better. Here’s a start,

      http://www.zazzle.com/hipster+clothing

      • avatarLucas D. says:

        Yeah, it’s always great when the liberal “victims of a tragedy cannot be disputed” policy runs into a victim of a tragedy who doesn’t support their views. Since a coin toss to decide who’s right would still leave them with a 50/50 chance of being wrong, it seems most adherents to the policy just ignore dissenters and hope they’ll go away.

        That said, good on you, Mr. Todd.

    • avatarJarhead1982 says:

      Unlike all the following government reports and data showing that it doesnt work?

      Lets continue this review by acknowledging how many of the existing gun control laws actually apply to the bad guys.

      http : // supreme . justia . com / us / 390 / 85 /

      Haynes vs. U.S. 390 U.S. 85 1968 where the US Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of Haynes that any law requiring a felon to self incriminate themselves and violate their 5th amendment rights was not enforceable as a charge for prosecution.

      Hence criminals don’t have to follow 85% of the existing 22,417 gun control laws that do so, e.g. your stolen weapons, registrations, etc….

      Would you care to suggest that the 5th amendment be repealed, no, don’t think you would!

      Then we should review how well those laws are enforced anyway.

      Like the BATF for refusing to prosecute more than 1% of the 1.83 mil felons, others, and crazies rejected by the background check since 1994.

      http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/html/bcft/2008/bcft08st.pdf USDOJ Background Check & Firearm Transfer report 2008

      Like the BATF for refusing to catch ANY of those lying on their 4473 forms (Cho, Loughner & Holmes were crazy, they lied) or using fake identifications.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/03/21/national/main280557.shtml General Accounting Office study

      Like the BATF for refusing to do anything about the 95.52% of felons who don’t even attempt to buy from a licensed source to begin with.

      http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=940 DOJ Firearms use by Offenders Nov 2001

      Like the BATF for refusing to allow civilians access to use the NICS background check for private sales as only licensed dealers are allowed.

      http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0213/atf_bigger_screw_up.php3#.USZ8b6X_S20

      Lets not forget that our politicians play a significant role in enabling the crazies to go free. As a result of VA Tech, Pub. L. 110-180 NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 was enacted.

      http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/PUBLAW/HTML/PUBLAW/0-0-0-38245.html

      The real question and failure, is what have the states actually funded or resourced for this mental health reporting to the NICS?

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/nics

      Going to the actual NICS website, we see as of Dec 2012, there are only 1.83 mil records of people who by due process have lost their 2A rights for being severely mentally ill. Yet mental health experts agree that on avg. over 23.15 mil US adults (50% of current 2.7 mil prisoners) are severely mentally ill.

      http://www.hrw.org/news/2006/09/05/us-number-mentally-ill-prisons-quadrupled
      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/20130102_nics-index.pdf

      Don’t forget the NCIC FBI database showing over 1.043 mil open felony warrants in the US today. Uh where’s your data showing that 50% of these 1.043 mil people wanted aren’t severely mentally ill eh?

      So sad the police aren’t really incompetent, the reality is they are forced to choose the lesser of two evils, go after the really bad ones, and let the average bad ones go free.

      http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/crime-law/fugitives-among-usmore-than-1-million-active-felon/nR48B/

      So is that the 80 mil law abiding gun owners fault, BATF fault or the politicians fault, sucker question I know!

      • Jarhead,

        I agree with you that the BATF needs to follow up on denied background checks. The only question is: why don’t they? In some cases, it is because local law enforcement already arrested the person on some other charge. In other cases, it is because the BATF doesn’t have the funding they need to follow up.

        Generally speaking, though, the fact that the BATF has a low followup rate does not mean that the program isn’t working. In some cases, it means the program is working, but just needs more follow-up.

        http://hamptonroads.com/2013/02/stats-show-virginia-gun-background-checks-effective

        Every time I hear someone say: “Background checks don’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals”, the first thing I think is “how would we know until we try?”

        Although it is true that spree shooters most often use legally-obtained guns, the opposite is true for the majority of what is called “drug crimes”. The guns in Chicago, for example, are almost 100% illegally obtained.

        If we start requiring background checks at gun shows, and “Chicago resident” starts turning up, we don’t have to look into their mental status to know that they are prohibited from buying out in the parking lot.

    • avatarBrad says:

      Au contraire, I hav slots of proof that they don’t work. It’s conclusive too. So your silly, unproven and tired point is made invalid by all my non-proof.

      Wow, that was easy. Debating with a liberal using their tactics is much simpler than actually citing sources or using facts. And I get to use condescending words like silly and sound superior. Fun!

    • avatartdiinva says:

      If criminal background checks work how do all those criminals get guns? Sounds to me like you are on the payroll of the Joyce Foundation.

      • TDI: Statistically, they get their guns from gun traffickers. If the FBI wanted to shut down the gun traffickers, they could. Under pressure from the NRA, Congress has prevented the FBI and BATF from doing so.

        For example, how many times per year is the BATF allowed to visit a gun dealer who keeps “accidentally” selling to gang members? Once, twice? The answer should be “daily”, but you and I both know it isn’t.

        The sad fact is that the NRA wants criminals to have guns, because it supplies the justification for why everyone else claims to need them.

  21. avatarjoe says:

    What proof?

  22. avatarSilver says:

    Problem is Obama and other progressive fascists already know all this. They don’t care. Their gun-grab is about disarming and victimizing those they plan to further oppress, plain and simple.

  23. avatarFYI says:

    For those who may not know — of which there are many — the hot-headed depressive and masterminding psychopath ‘laughed’ at petty school shooters and bragged about dwarfing the carnage at the Oklahoma City Bombing.
    Columbine was unarguably a failed bombing attempt.
    There were a total of 76 ( explosive ) devices found at the school, two diversionary devices, 13 devices in the suspects’ cars, and 8 more at their two homes.
    Their bombing plan went awry when the two 20 lb. Propane tanks they planted in the school cafeteria failed to detonate.
    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/columbine.cd/Pages/TOC.htm
    Further info still available at
    http://slate.msn.com/id/2099203/

  24. avatarDave says:

    So perfectly stated… Too bad they will never read it.

  25. avatarSgt Bart says:

    I cant help but notice that had teachers been able to carry there were plenty of times where people were under chairs for a long time cowering when they could have been lining up their shot. Victim zones is what is being created. Wake up lawmakers. Criminals don’t follow laws!!!! Every law put on the books strips punishes the people not the law breakers. No 30 round clips….. Now I am out gunned by a criminal. No guns in schools…. Now my children have teachers that can not save them. I carry everywhere I can in my state now. Going to Lowes… armed…. going to the gas station…. armed. My wife asked me why I carry a gun everywhere now when we are only going to the grocery store. I reminded her that those kids were only going to school…. I am not saying I will win every gunfight but what I ask is only the chance to protect myself and my family. The NRA might be a target for haters but they have it right. We need more good guys with guns!

  26. avatarJeh says:

    Bravo man bravo. Im sure this will be ignored though as following anything in this will keep Obama from controlling the populace like Stalin and Hitler.

  27. avatarMamba says:

    Thank you Mr. Todd. Glad to see that you are getting the message out, even if the MSM will try it’s best to prevent same.

  28. avatarg says:

    Great letter… more people need to read it!

  29. avatarBean says:

    Now, I know that everyone seems to love this letter – but is it just me (a UK citizen) who notices that he ‘shoots’ every suggestion down and makes no counter proposals except ‘increase freedom’?

    OK, so we increase freedom to allow all parties to carry guns – this gives MORE unbalanced people access to massively disproportionate weaponry. If you are depressed, or mentally ill, or simply angry, you now have the means by which to kills hundreds of people.

    Wake up America – what Obama suggests may not be popular, but it’s the only way. You are proposing a nuclear arms race that applies to every individual in your country, you are stumbling into a future where Columbine is a weekly occurrence…

  30. avatarsnuggles says:

    send it to the NY times and the Boston Globe.

    and thanks.

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